I’ve read a lot about waiting this first week of Advent. My favorite piece this week from “God is in the Manger” was reading about the idea that “not everyone can wait,” that the best “wait-ers” are those who feel they lack or deserve something they have been waiting for. For those who wait and wait well, there comes a point where the only option left is to be humble and trust God.
Word origins are important to me when I’m trying to grasp a concept. A quick Google search tells me that “wait” is related to “wake…early senses included observe carefully and be watchful.” To wait means to pay attention, not just to bury my head in my work, my phone, or my pillow and hope whatever I’m waiting for will magically appear.
All week, I was reminded of my trip to Salt Lake City in October. My plane landed at 1:10. At 1:20, I was giving my email address to the woman working at the car rental counter.
“Ms.–” I started to say.
“Ms? Ms? What about your husband?” the woman asked.
“Don’t have one,” I said. At my age, I am much better at sounding like this admission doesn’t bother me as much as it does.
“Yet. You don’t have one yet. And when you have one, you’ll have to change that email address,” she said.
“Well, I’ve been waiting for over 20 years, so at this point, I don’t think ‘yet’ is all that realistic,” I said.
“All that means is God knows you haven’t needed a husband up to this point. When you do, he’ll show up,” she said.
I sighed. I smiled. I gave her the rest of my email address and she gave me some car keys.
At the time, I found this exchange hilarious. Here I was in a state I left thirteen years ago–in part because no one there would marry me, so what was the point of staying?–to promote a book I wrote about making peace with not being married, and my first interaction with anyone was about me not being married.
Okay, it’s still pretty hilarious.
But this week as I’ve read excerpts from Bonhoeffer’s letters and as I’ve read scriptures about waiting, that conversation has taken on an added dimension.
I have reached a point in my life where, at last, my only option is to live my life and trust God and wait on Him and need only Him.
And I’m fairly certain He’s been waiting for me to get to that point.
The waiting, it works both ways.