Wait Training

[Before I get started, quick caveat. I’m blogging from my iPad app. Blame any poorly chosen autocorrect words on Steve Jobs.]

This Monday, we’re praying and fasting for God to move, for men to walk boldly into relationships, for women to be tender to the Holy Spirit’s leading, and for God to bring marriage to those who desire it.

Happy Advent. I hope that this time of year finds you reflective, and yet joyful. We have a lot to mourn in our current world. Pain. Loneliness. Death. But, we also are in a unique time of waiting, with eyes that have not seen, for the return of our King Jesus.

In and around my personal and cliche “holiday singleness angst,” I am filled with joy because for four weeks a year– waiting, living in the “now and not yet” tension is celebrated. I know waiting for a husband and waiting for Christ’s return are ultimately different. But, my hope for us this season is that we would let our learned patience (via this experiment known as FastPray) inform how we celebrate advent.

Imagine with me for a second that you’ve never had to wait for anything… ever.

You wanted a parking spot at the crowded mall. Done.
You wanted a new job. Done.
You wanted to get married. Done.
You wanted kids. Done.

Everything you asked for, right on schedule. No sleepless nights. No worries. Perfection.

If that were all true, would you even be able to fathom the magnitude of what it means to wait for Christ’s coming?

The short answer is no. You couldn’t. And so, in Christ’s mercy, we wait. We wait and wait. We wait in line. We wait to be married. We wait for families. We wait to be free of sin. And, waiting is painful.

Thankfully, the pain isn’t wasted. God sees our unmet expectations and long delays, and instead of judging us for our lack of patience, He sees our waiting as a sweet offering. In return, He invites us to participate in His story as prophets and priests.

Connally blogged about this a while back.

Single women who long for marital love play this important prophetic role of waiting. Our celibate waiting “mirrors the waiting that belongs to all [people] as we wait for the culmination of the age,” the marriage between Christ and the church, the union between the new heavens and the new earth.

While you wait and pray, you may feel tired, weary and discouraged. Be at peace, God has promised rest.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

Come, Thou, long-expected Jesus.

Blessings,
Anna

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3 Responses to Wait Training

  1. Daniela says:

    Thank you for your comment Katy! Although my waiting has really dragged on a long long time (it’s nearly 18 years ago that I broke up with my last boyfriend and got baptized…), I like your thought about learning to appreciate this time of waiting, and to remember what I’m really waiting for above all – namely Jesus Christ coming back in the clouds of glory. I need to remember that I’m His bride first of all, and that He is the one who can ultimately fulfill my innermost heart’s desires!

  2. Katy says:

    perfectly timed, just this weekend I was thinking about the role of singleness and waiting in advent!! And how much as a single (I’m not married now but in a serious relationship) I loved advent because my waiting felt purposeful and hopeful and like celebration and worship! Christmas was full of tough moments the past few years when alone, but at the same time it felt like my tears, frustrations, prayers, etc were an offering and celebration all at once!

    This Christmas is quite different than last years Christmas. I clung so tightly to Advent because I was suffering with my singleness, even taking a moment to cry on Christmas day. This year I am eagerly awaiting engagement, to a man I met just two days after my heartfelt christmas tears and prayers. And advent is exciting in a different way: it is special to know that after many lonely Christmases full of prayers and waiting, God provides and so uniquely is bringing engagement during advent which I love! BUT, I must admit, in some ways Advent is less exciting and although I have done my devotional, I haven’t thrown myself into advent as much as I usually do. I think there is something so unique about being in the middle of a long wait and advent providing a sense of comfort, a rest along the way: the wait may not be over, but God gives us a short time where the waiting is more hopeful. It gave me courage to keep going and to remember that what I am really waiting for, most of all, is the second advent. I wish I had appreciated that more and I am sure I will wait for many other things in my life too and I hope I remember to take full advantage of advent – both when I need it and don’t need it. I actually, strange as it may seem, miss waiting during Advent this year because I usually am waiting! It was a time full of prayer and devotion that came so easilly.

    I have realized that Christmas (the holiday season) very much seems like it is for those that have happy full lives — with a husband, good healthy, kids, a great job, etc. Advent, however, seems to be a gift to the hurting. What a blessing that God uses his son’s birth to give us eternal hope and hope here on earth!

    • Katy says:

      P.S. Secondary to my post on advent, please note that I said last year I was very single on Christmas and this year I will likely be engaged by Christmas day. The Lord can alter our circumstances in a year, even quicker. 🙂 Still praying for y’all and my many wonderful single friends. Maybe 2013 holds many blessings!

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