I’m sitting at work at 4pm, waiting to leave to go pick up my daughter. And with how busy I am (or should be), you would think I’d be scrambling to get stuff done. And I was, up until about 5 minutes ago. Now I’m waiting, feeling anxious to leave but unable to because I would feel the guilt if I left early.
Isn’t it odd how even when we are waiting in silence we are still so restless?
Even when I don’t have a million things to do, I try to find something to busy myself. Like here at work, I have 30 minutes before I usually leave, and I’m trying to find something to occupy myself for that time. But I can’t get too invested because I’ll have to leave it unfinished until tomorrow. Still, I can’t just sit here and do nothing.
But perhaps that’s what God has been trying to teach me these past many months (and I mean, many). Maybe I should be waiting in peace rather than restlessness. Instead of finding ways to be anxious, I should be at peace when everything is taken care of. I know that I’ve always struggled with that. I always have something to worry about, and when that something is fixed, I put another worry in its place. I worried about hosting a speaker a few weeks ago. Hosting him was actually really great, and I learned a lot. Now I’m worried about the fact that I’m behind in my PhD work. At home, I’m worried about my daughter not sleeping – is it because she’s too cold? Worry after worry, I find myself drowning in this waiting for the worst thing to happen. God doesn’t ask me to do that. He asks me to wait in peace, and trust in His plan for me. That doesn’t mean I won’t suffer, but I shouldn’t suffer from my own anxiety.
Believe me, a lot of my issues stem from this anxiety. I’ve always been an anxious person, even before I had a baby. But everything is heightened now – like anxiety on steroids. And waiting is so much harder now.
Isn’t it odd how that happens? I’m always unhappy with the waiting for the next stage. I was frustrated when I had to wait to get married. I was upset when we were waiting to start our family. I was uncomfortable waiting for Lily to be born. Now I’m frustrated with waiting on results, waiting even longer for my PhD. I wish I could go back and tell myself to be happy with the waiting. To be at peace with the waiting. Because things change, but not always in the way we expect. (I mean, I used to actually get a full night of sleep and be able to focus entirely on science without being sleep-deprived.) So maybe I should have focused more on gaining the grace I needed while I was waiting, instead of being angry that things weren’t happening the way I wanted. I once heard a woman say that she wished she had spent her weekly time in adoration during her single years praying for grace in her future marriage rather than wishing she was already married. She has six children, so she needs a lot of grace. I should have listened to her.
The times of waiting are opportunities for growth. I may feel like it’s stagnant, and the day to day is unfulfilling. But God is asking me to grow somehow. I don’t really understand how, but that’s what the quiet moments are for.
Right now, no one is screaming at me. No one is stressing me out with a deadline. And the lab is oddly quiet, a strange stillness in a world that is constantly moving. I’m coming to appreciate those moments of quiet, but I really need to focus on not worrying through them. Rather, I should focus on the beauty of the slowness at the end of the day, waiting for the blessing of seeing my baby girl in a bit.