For months, I have watched and waited as certain opportunities developed – as a portion of myself has been revealed to me.
As I have waited to understand, sometimes I have been impatient wondering what I should be doing next, why things weren’t moving faster, what I had done wrong. It’s been a conscious act to listen to the silence and wait instead of rushing headlong into something.
Sometimes as I have waited, I have been mauled by fear, self-doubt and criticism. Those pesky dwellers that always seem to dampen my resolve and deliberate care and forward progression. Someday, I swear I will make peace with them.
And too, sometimes as I waited, I doubted God and if He was even listening or why suddenly He had pulled out and left me in the middle of situation I needed/wanted direction on.
It is not the first time He has been silent when I desperately needed direction.
Once, on my LDS mission, it had been a particularly trying day – the culmination of several things that had been building. My emotional reserves were tapped out. My faith was at it’s end. As I made a beeline for home with my companion, the tears started leaking from my eyes. It was as if the frustrations, the cares, the worries and all that I was hoping was silently slipping from inside me and landing aimlessly on the sidewalk.
That afternoon, I received a package from my father. A dear, good man who had an impression to send some very specific words to his daughter in the mission field. He later would tell me that he had been sitting in church when the impression came with specific instructions on what to send to me and the words to say. He immediately did as impressed and sent the package the next day.
The package got lost in the mail….but ended up showing up – weeks later – on this particularly devastating day for me.
I opened the letter and I still remember the feeling I had as I read the words. They were the exact answer to the question I had asked myself that morning. The question that had rumbled around and had culminated in my tears. The feeling was a building of my faith, teaching me that moments of silence are not withdrawal but teaching moments to see how I will act on the knowledge I already have. The silence are the times I am being watched to see how I grow and respond of my own accord without other influences.
That was a powerful lesson to me that day. We are never alone. Sometimes we are just given spans of time to act for ourselves, to find out what we really want and believe and to move forward accordingly. This doesn’t come from a detached God or an angry, vengeful God but rather a watchful God who is loving enough to give us some space to practice in and find out what matters most to us, even it that means failures and heartaches along the way.
So in these current moments where I wait on the the Lord for the answer to a question or how to best proceed, I remember that day. I remember a watchful God and even though I don’t have the answers, I know I will eventually and I am at peace.