Saturday, February 22, 2014


 ** I suggest starting the youtube video first. That way you can be listening to the song while reading, especially since I reference the song so much in the post itself.**

I'm sitting in my favorite yellow chair this morning with the sun radiating through the big window beside me. Half of my children are sleeping and half are playing legos at the table because dad told them that I needed some quiet time this morning. He then went on to threaten them in ways only a daddy can and so far...success.

Me. Sitting down with my bible.
Why does it take me so long to do the things my very soul needs? 
Why does it take so long for me to simply stop? 
And bow down?

Of course, I should have been sitting in this chair days, weeks before I am now.
But by the grace of God, I am here now.
And isn't that the whole point? I'm no good at this whole thing.
That's why to be a Christian is different than to be....anything else.
It essentially means that I'm most qualified for something by realizing how no good at it I am.
We've been watching the Olympics around here.
And it couldn't more different than that.
In the Olympics, the cream of the crop rise to the top. Step by step. Race by race, the strong get to the podium.
But in this race, this spiritual one, you do best to acknowledge your weakness and your failures. This is how you run.
You run to Jesus.

So, here I find myself.
Being no good at waiting on God.

I've waited many times and in many ways in my life and rarely have I done it well.
When I first heard the song,  "To those who wait," by Bethany Dillon, I was waiting on God to open up a door we could walk through in the midst of a very complicated adoption. It seemed I banged my head into a wall at every corner.
"Bethany Dillon" and "Shane & Shane" came to perform at our church and that's how we met. 

I may have mentioned it before, but my man and his whole family can cook up some good food.
When I met Noah, I was a vegetarian who had just come home from living in Europe for a year and eating food with names like "Hutspot."
He was an educated redneck, whose family cooked an entire pig once a year and actually owned a grill that could fit a whole pig on it.
We were clearly a match made in heaven. 
So, it only made sense that if our church was going to host some of the best contemporary Christian artists in the industry and we were going to need to feed them, we would need to feed them Joyner food.

While the guys made food, I got the privilege of chatting with Bethany and God led our conversation to the adoption we were neck deep in at the time. She shared with me about someone dear to her who had fostered 2 children for many, many years before they were ever able to adopt them and how faithful God had been in the midst of the impossibility of the situation. We then moved on to the concert portion and Bethany shared this new song she had written. At the time it hadn't been recorded so I couldn't buy the CD and listen to it on repeat day in and day out but in that dark sanctuary, while she sang, God spoke clearly to me about waiting on Him.
That was about 3 years ago and God closed the door to that adoption and we continue to wait on Him to lead us in the details of that story.
But now, the big waiting is being done with a full belly, sleepless nights and random kicks to the bladder.
The waiting is being done in the planning of days that all have to begin with "IF I haven't had a baby.." and in the suspension of all normalcy.
I've learned that with the process of giving birth to a child, my waiting is best done quietly resting.
But that isn't always easy.
I would rather be distracted from the present reality than to sit and soak in it.
I find this to be true about all waiting on God, though.

It's in times like these that we are forced to face our impatience. We are forced to face our restless spirits and our quick discouragement. 
My heart is no different now, in this moment, as I wait for something only God has the power to do.
It's no different than when I want people to change quickly or children to learn faster or answers to unknowns to come swiftly.
 While I wait for God to bring this child into the world, I get to see what kind of waiter I really am.
The pressure is on...literally. It's uncomfortable. I want relief. The grass looks greener on the other side. 
It always does when you're waiting.
I forget that there are sweet things about this spot. 
I may have a full belly and no lap to speak of, but I can eat a meal basically whenever I want.
Newborns have a way of getting hungry right when you are. That always annoys me. I'm not gonna lie.
So, it turns out that this isn't just about being pregnant.
Which means it won't really go away when I deliver this child.

It's about Him.
It's about me.
It's about waiting well.
It's about a life that we are in but don't control.

She sings, 
"You can do more in my waiting than in my doing I could do."
This line in the song is so articulate.

I'll never forget my second borns arrival.
My first was 4 days overdue but I went into labor naturally.
So, I had the idea that my second would come earlier, him being my second and me being so uncomfortable.
Haddon's due date came and went and I could be found squeezing pressure points in the fleshy part of my thumb while devouring Eggplant Parmesan. 
Anything that had the possibility of inducing labor. 
I was doing it.
I walked. 
Shoot, at one point, I was practically running up and down the long driveway of my parents house.
4 days overdue, with the threat of induction for low fluid on the horizon, everyone made their way to church and left me in a quiet house for the first time in a while, free from the buzz of activity.
  I lay down to take a nap.
I stretched out and snuggled up to my pillow water broke.
Haddon is the only delivery that began with my water breaking, and I couldn't find it more ironic.
With all of my doing to cause my labor to begin and the moment my labor began was when I stopped doing.

"Oh my soul wait on the Lord, keep your lamp filled with oil."
"Oh my soul, be not deceived, wait for Him, don't be quick to leave."

I grow so impatient so quickly. And up I jump from this quiet place of waiting. Up to do something.
Let's go on a walk. Let's go shopping. Let's go get me my favorite food.
Something to not have to wait on God.

It's sweet to get family time in this waiting. It's fun to go to the park and walk and get ice cream.
But nothing will heal the anxious heart like stopping.
Looking to God.
Seeing His kind and gentle strength.
Seeing His sovereign hand holding up the details of your life.
And being ok with waiting on Him.

Cause really, I am not waiting on this baby, am I?
This child can't make themselves arrive.
I was not waiting on Haitian adoption laws to change.
I am not really waiting for my circumstances to change.
God is in control of all of the details.
All of my details.
And He's in control of yours, too. 
And we are not waiting on ..... 
whatever we are waiting on.

We are all waiting on God.

And we aren't the first ones to struggle with it...

Psalm 27:14

Wait for the Lord;

    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
    wait for the Lord!

Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.
Psalm 31:24
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!
Psalm 33:20
Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.
Psalm 38:15
But for you, O Lord, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
Psalm 39:7
“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.
Psalm 62:5
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him
Psalm 69:3
I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.
Psalm 130:6
my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.
Isaiah 25:9
It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
Isaiah 30:18
The Lord Will Be Gracious ] Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those whowait for him.
Isaiah 33:2
Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble.
Isaiah 40:31
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 64:4
From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.
Lamentations 3:25
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
Lamentations 3:26
It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of theLord.
Micah 7:7
But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.

May you be blessed in your waiting as I am an mine and may we all see His face anew because of the waiting, not just despite it.


1 comment:

naomi mayernik said...

Dear Steph,
I don't know you so I feel stalker writing here, but I met your husband and son this weekend at a sojourn cookout. We really enjoyed meeting them. My husband was looking up the Haiti Love site and stumbled across your blog, he said "you should read this blog, you would like it". You don't even know how God used this post in my heart today. I feel like my heart has been kicking and screaming in the waiting of life instead of resting in the Lord and I love Bethany Dillon and never had seen this song. So thankful I read your post today and thankful for how God uses the body to encourage one another. Blessings on you and your family.