This will not be my best post. I say this to warn you and to let my poor weary mind off of the hook. I've never wanted to be someone who lets their personal life affect their work but PREGNANCY IS NO RESPECTER OF RESOLUTIONS. Baby brain is real, people. As we near the homestretch here, I find myself less and less useful as a human person. I'm like a slow, bulky goldfish - floating around with little to no awareness or recollection of my environment. I've been working on this post for literally two months. Every few days I will type a few words and then fall asleep while drinking Nesquik. Words on typing complete...I will this Post!...snacktime...nailed it...yoga stretch...nightnight.
So just...be cool guys, okay?
Got this book for our baby and cried my little eyes out.
Someone probably got you this book as a whimsical graduation gift and you were all um, thanks? But then you read it and realized that Dr. Seuss is A DOCTOR OF THE SOUL because it made you feel weepy and brave and warm. And you left in on the shelf in your childhood room, but pieces of it probably floated back to you as you grew from one adventure to the next, grounding you in its simplicity and strengthening you in that strange way that children's books have.
And maybe- just maybe- you've found yourself 8 months pregnant and house-hunting and awaiting word from publishers on the book you poured your heart into and you wake up one morning and roll, Violet Beauregard-like, to the edge of your bed and realize-
Oh crap. I'm in the waiting place again.
How did this happen??
Dr. Seuss warned me!
You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...
...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
I. HATE. THE. WAITING. PLACE. Just reading about it makes me stew and fidget. I like to go and achieve and do and regret and try again and reflect and never ever EVER wait. And it seems like the older I get, the more time I spend in this 'most useless place', praying and sighing and working myself into a fury.
I wanted to wait until I was out of this place to write this post, so I could be all wise and reflective and tell you all the moral of the story. But then I realized that when you're waiting, those are the most annoying people. The "Wait and see! God has a plan!", the "there's a season for all things!" and the "God works in mysterious ways". Come on. Shut up. Sit here and be miserable with me in the Waiting Place.
This is where I'm at, guys. Waiting for Baby Girl to finish cooking in there. Holding my breath on where we will live when she gets here - will we close on a house in time? Should I get this apartment ready just in case? Taking deep breaths and reminding myself that publishing is a slow business and that no news is good news when they've got my manuscript. I live in a movie montage of sighs and email checking and examining my cuticles as the minute hand on my clock slows and pages on the calendar slowly fall to the ground.
I want to pull my hair out.
Because it seems so inefficient. No big deal, but I'm, like, really good at trusting God in the action. So, so good at that. I'm so zen, so adaptable, so breezy. It seems stupid for Him not to take advantage of my angelic trust. Christmas baby? Bring it on. Buying a house in my last month of pregnancy? Let's do this. Publishing a book in the midst of all of it? SHOW ME WHERE TO SIGN.
But the waiting? What a waste of everyone's time. We could be getting stuff done! I could be so useful and shiny and ministerial instead of waking up and breaching out of my blankets and waiting another day.
I warned you guys that I didn't have a moral to this story yet. I'm still living it, I suppose. But here's what some wiser people are telling me about The Waiting Place:
1. I had a friend visiting last week and she's been watching the "In the Meantime" series over at Northpoint Church. She mentioned that maybe this is my meantime. This is a space to grow... and after I punched her in the throat and locked her out of my apartment, I realized that maybe she had a point. I've started watching the series and it's pretty good so far. Has started out pretty basic but man, what a unique topic to be addressing. First world problems, perhaps - but that doesn't mean they're not worth exploring.
2. Hope is always somehow tied up in waiting, isn't it? As you all know, hope has always been a tricky topic for me and Jen Hatmaker really hits it on the head here, as I'm using my limited brainpower to consider the tangle of hope and timing and waiting:
Just a quick morning word to anyone who feels stuck and hopeless. I keep thinking about this phrase in Romans 5:
"...hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly."
A couple of things: Do not be ashamed to hope. There is no shame in banking on God's love to prevail, His Spirit to win the day. That doesn't make you naive or foolish; this has been poured into your heart. Hope is the believer's response and gift. So go on and hope for that relationship to heal, that child to come home, that goodness to rise up in the midst of some horrible darkness. The Holy Spirit is pouring that very love into your thoughts, your feelings, your heart. Hope is our anthem and we can sing it in the dark before even a glimmer of light arises.
Two, "at just the right time." When all seemed lost, when we had no power, no recourse, no way out, Jesus saved the day. The timing mattered. We had nothing. We couldn't fix what was broken, bridge the divide, or engineer a Plan B. And that was the right time for salvation. So if you feel absolutely powerless, hoping for something you cannot control or heal, trust that Jesus always moves at just the right time. He is never late, even though it may seem way too late to you. It is NEVER too late for Jesus. Never. No relationship is too far gone, no loved one is too lost, no addiction is too deep, no heart is too shattered. If you are still in the dark, be still. Listen. Breathe. Learn. What is there to gain from this season? Because there is something. If you are powerless, pay attention because this is Jesus' favorite timing. This is when he saved humanity, so it is certainly when He can save you.
Let hope rise, dear ones. It is never too late.
If you're in The Waiting Place, all I can really say is wow, I'm there man. This place sucks, huh? Let's pull a Job and sit in our ash heap and pick at our skin. But let's not be ashamed to hope while we're here, even if it's a tiny, seedling hope. And let's just go ahead and assume that the brilliant mastermind that created the intricacies of our world - down to the fact that I AM GROWING A HUMAN INSIDE OF MY OWN HUMAN BODY, SIMPLY BY EATING AND SLEEPING - has a pretty good handle on time as well. Let's trust his timing too, because we're stuck here anyways and we might as well, right?
If you've made it to the "Bright places where the Boombands are playing", leave us all a comment. Send us a postcard. We'll see you soon enough - I really do believe that.