Monday, June 1, 2009

The Benefits of Waiting

While we were in the midst of our adoption process, Luke and I both learned a lot about waiting. I wrote about some of the things God was teaching us here. These lessons on waiting were so valuable to me, not just for the adoption process but for life in general. Life is full of waiting, so thinking about how and why God wants us to wait is very important.

If anyone is an expert on waiting, it is the families currently adopting from China. Waiting families in the China adoption program are now waiting for over three years!!! This means after they get their paper work done (which takes about 4-6 months), they then have to wait for over three years (it's estimated to be about 38-39 months) before they get a referral, and then after they get their referral they wait several more weeks before they can travel to get their child. Whew! We waited about nine months to get matched with Andrew and that seemed like a long time when we were in the midst of the wait. Our adoption was turbo-speed compared to what some of these families are experiencing! Because of this extensive wait, many Christian families in the China program have a lot of encouraging words and wisdom to offer about times of waiting. I found an excellent piece written by one of these waiting moms titled "The Benefits of Waiting." You can read it here.

I was blessed by many of the things this mom wrote, but I was especially convicted of what my attitude should be during times of waiting. During periods of waiting, my attitude should not be one of impatience and self-pity. Instead, it should be thoughtful and purposeful. God doesn't give us times of waiting for us to just sit around and...wait. I loved how the author of "The Benefits of Waiting" looked for things she could be doing, prayers she could be praying, and blessings she could be grateful for throughout her long wait. She was looking for ways she could glorify God during this time, not just impatiently and anxiously wondering when God would give her what she wanted.

After reading this article, I tried to think of ways I could apply it to my life right now. While we aren't currently waiting on an adoption, there always seems to be something we are waiting on. The biggest thing we are waiting on right now is for Luke to finish school. He has been working on his MBA for a few years now, slowly taking one class a semester. He only has two classes left, so we decided to have him to go full-speed ahead and take both classes this summer so he could be DONE by July rather than dragging it out until December. This means he'll be gone two evenings a week for the next eight weeks, and probably have to devote a fair amount of weekend time to his studies.

As you can imagine, I am really excited for him to be done with his MBA. I hadn't been looking forward to this eight weeks (his first summer class was tonight) but reading this article made me realize that I needed to change my attitude and think of how God could use me during this eight weeks while I am waiting for him to finish. Focusing on the good that can come from this wait has completely changed my perspective on the upcoming eight weeks. While I am still looking forward to Luke being done, I am not dreading this time like I was before. I am trying to think of all the ways I can be useful during this time, rather than focusing on just enduring the time. What a difference our attitude makes during times like this!

So I give a big "Thank you!!" to Adeline Quay (the mom who wrote "The Benefits of Waiting") for showing me once again how I am prone to sin during times of waiting, and how I should turn from that sin and glorify God while I wait. As I said earlier, life is full of waiting so learning how to wait in a God-glorifying way is something we all need to think about.

So...what are you waiting for?

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