It was Halloween. I was at my chiropractor’s office and my phone vibrated, signaling an email delivery to my author account.
It was an email from Kathleen Kerr from Harvest House Publishers…
After a long time of Waiting Well, my answer arrived…
My stomach was in knots. The back of my neck was hot and my throat slowly began to tighten as my mouth went dry.
Do I open this now or do I wait?
My thumb hovered over the button. I was afraid but also so very curious…
During this season
- I was intentional about being brave and courageous as I waited patiently for God (read about that here)
- I was determined to be like Joseph and be faithful where I’m at (read about that here)
- I’ve given everything I have (writing, mentoring, speaking, teaching) and entrusted it completely to God (read about that here)
- I’ve chosen to be still and believe God’s promises, refusing to be shaken (read about that here)
But now as my thumb hovers, I can feel my heart race…my answer is one click away…
The thing about answers is there are not many ways they can go, and each answer has it’s own set of responses.
Obviously, this is the answer you hope for and want.
When you get your YES, you get to move forward in your desired direction and make, set, and work goals to achieve your dreams.
Remember as you celebrate, thank God for His kindness. His grace. His opening of the right doors at the right time for you to fulfill His purpose. This is a very exciting time, but it can also be overwhelming with more to do that you realized and twists and turns you didn’t foresee.
In this time of prosperity and stress, you have to determine to stay deeply rooted in God’s Word and on your knees in prayer. Ask Him to give you wisdom, discernment, insight, and perception as you move forward placing your feet in Christ’s footprints. Pray against pride and remember this is a gift of God’s grace. And WHEN things get tough, to for His strength, determination, and fortitude to stick it out to the end.
This is hard. Painful even. It doesn’t matter if it comes in the form of rejection or plans not coming to fruition.
Remember in Waiting Well—It’s Kind of Like Making Bread we talked about trusting God to lead us according to His understanding and not our own (Proverbs 3:5-6)? When you get a “no” take A SHORT time to mourn. But then like we learned in Waiting Well—Commit Thy Works Unto the Lord roll you thoughts, plans, cares, works, actions, deeds into God’s hands. Let Him have them, and then wait for Him to roll back His best into your hands.
A few years ago I was invited to interview for an administrative assistant position at my church. This was a really great opportunity for me and my family, and I was really excited about it. I made it quite far into the process but didn’t get the job—it was offered to someone else. I was crushed. Embarrassed. And beyond disappointed. It’s fair to say I was also angry. But after a few weeks I realized though this was a great opportunity, it was NOT God’s best opportunity for me. He knew if I took the job I wouldn’t be able to pursue the calling He had given me to write or be able to continue the mentoring relationships I had cultivated with my small group of girls, so He shut it down.
Reread Proverbs 3:5-6.
- TRUST God with ALL your heart! All of it. Not just a part or some of it.
- DO NOT depend on YOUR OWN understanding. God’s wisdom and understanding are infinite—it is so beyond our won we can’t begin to fathom it.
- Seek His will in ALL you do. Everything. Each and every detail. In all things. This is the essence of walking in the Spirit.
- And HE WILL SHOW YOU which path to take. Only He knows which path because He is the only one who knows the end from the beginning and everything in between. He knows which course leads to where He wants and needs us to be.
Even when it doesn’t make sense. Even when it doesn’t seem fair. Trust Him. Let Him lead you. But you can’t be led if you’re slumped on the ground feeling sorry for yourself in the midst of a pity-party.
- First, get up onto your knees. Come before God in prayer and roll away your disappointment.
- Then get up! Dry your eyes. And get ready to move to wherever He’s taking you.
In my opinion, this is harder than the other two. It’s a confirmation you’re going in the right direction, but the timing isn’t quite right. You feel more in limbo, not quite sure of which way to go…yet.
Chances are there’s still more work that needs to be done out in the open or behind the scenes; tasks that need to be completed by you or God needs to move mountains that you can’t even see. Sometimes “wait” makes sense, other times not so much. Regardless, it is a hard thing to hear.
It’s like the second rising of
the bread dough. The planning, the gathering of ingredients is all done. The mixing and kneading are complete. Then you wait while the dough rises. You can smell the yeast and sugars and your mouth waters in anticipation.
All that’s left is the baking, right?
After the first rising, you have to punch the dough down, flatten it out, roll it out with a rolling pin, and shape it into the loaf before setting it in the bread pan for the second rising. This seems so counter-productive like you are going backward instead of forwards. But the reality is, it’s all part of the process of excellent bread.
While you wait, spend time in prayer. Review our other conversations on waiting well.
- Waiting Well–It’s Kind of Like Making Bread
- Waiting Well–Be Faithful Where You Are While You Wait
- Waiting Well–Commit Thy Works Unto the Lord
- Waiting Well–Be Still
Let God know how you’re feeling–He already knows, but it’s good for you to spill it out. Then choose to continue to submit. Thank Him for the confirmation He’s given you and ask Him what else you need to do in the interim. Also, ask Him for the enthusiasm and endurance to Be Faithful Where You Are At as you wait for His perfect timing.
As I sat there in the office, my curiosity got the best of me. I read Kathleen’s letter.
This was disappointing to read—at first.
I felt empty. Not gutted, just empty. Sad and let down. A few tears fell, but not many.
After a few minutes and a couple of rereads, I realized this was a letter of encouragement, not a letter of rejection. This was a letter to tell me
- what’s spot-on—> my writing and the concept for my book/Bible Study
- what I need to work on—> growing my audience/Tribe/Platform
Later, after I got home, I went to my office, closed the door, and hit my knees. I poured out all my thoughts and emotions then sat in silence before God. Over the course of the evening, He began to fill the empty space and guide me in the next step.
Before I said Amen, I gave Him sincere thanks for the letter.
Over the last several months I’ve felt the weight of insecurity: Did I have a good project? And the biggie: Am I good enough? Sometimes these insecurities froze me in place and made it hard to breathe let alone write or maintain focus. Yes, God reassured me over and over I was right where He wanted me to be. But in my humanity, I still doubted. God used this letter to confirm what He’s been telling me all along. (I need to work on believing Him in all things.)
Then I had to spend time in confession.
I knew I hadn’t been consistent in blogging or with writing newsletters to my current subscribers. I hadn’t put as much effort in gathering and engaging my tribe as I have in improving my writing. I allowed myself to get distracted and my insecurities to take over and freeze me in my tracks. I allowed Satan’s lies to plant seeds of doubt in my heart which have made me question the direction God’s leading me in. I had to resubmit to Him and His leading.
After I got off of my knees I started to make a list of things I needed to do and offered it to God. This past week I started to prioritize and make goals. Which, I literally just realized, correlates with my new FaceBook Live Series; totally unplanned. (I laid out and planned this series through the October and started it last Sunday, November 4, 2018.) Got to love God’s sense of humor.
The first video was on determining your Home Base—evaluating where you are at currently. Which is what I am now doing! This next Sunday I will be talking about evaluating what we learned from our evaluation. Through this series, I was planning on sharing what I learned and encourage you and my listeners in creating and attaining their own goals. I didn’t expect to be a participant.
Friend, Waiting Well is HARD! Especially when at the end you don’t get the answer you were hoping for. Just remember, when your answer if from God, it’s the answer you NEED in order to pursue where He is leading you. Trust Him. He’s got your back.
PS. As I gather my tribe and work to mature my writing, I would appreciate your feedback (likes and comments). If this post has encouraged, blessed, or challenged you, please share it with our community. And if you enjoy my posts, I invite you to join my Tribe by subscribing to my website. I would love to have you. By subscribing you will get newsletters with behind-the-scenes info of my journey, exclusive giveaways, other special news, and invites.