When we find ourselves in a season of waiting, it can feel frustrating and perhaps even meaningless - as if nothing is happening. We might end up irritable or even depressed because it seems like the situation is out of our control.
What can we do when it seems like there is nothing we can do?
Waiting is a process of growth.
A season of waiting could be compared to a pregnancy. We don't see the moment-by-moment developments, but rather than diminishing us or tearing us down, waiting enlarges our ability to receive something new.
As with any kind of growth, this can involve growing pains. It can be helpful to understand what those pains are accomplishing.
Waiting helps us appreciate what we want. It gives us the opportunity to realize how much we desire what is to come. This is a process that takes time. We end up valuing it so much more because of the investment we put in waiting for it and wanting it.
It can also help us realize maybe there are things we don't want as much - and allow us to redirect our efforts toward the things that are truly worth waiting for.
Waiting prepares us to hold on to what we want. Waiting helps us build endurance, and endurance is usually necessary for keeping hold of things that are important to us. While waiting, we might have to ask for what we want - over and over. We learn how to be persistent. We might even refine our communication skills in the process.
We also often end up learning more about what we are waiting for - how to get it, if there is competition for it, and how to care for or maintain it. When we've waited for something, realized its value, and increased our ability to maintain a long-term focus on obtaining it, we are much more motivated - and experienced - in doing what it takes to keep what we want.
Waiting gives us the opportunity to increase the joy to come. The process of waiting can help us realize the value of having others in our life. Waiting can make us uncomfortable enough to reach out to others for support or assistance during our journey, making the celebration even sweeter when we can share it with others who understand the effort it took to get there.
Having the time to build this support network also helps us hold on to what is important to us. Those we brought into the journey become invested in helping us and continue to be a resource if we face challenges in holding on to what we've waited for.
What can we do while we are waiting?
Notice the small processes that are at work around you - and in you. You might even choose to journal about them and let them become the breadcrumbs on your path that allow you to look back and see how far you've actually come while simply just...waiting.