What are you waiting for?

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

It seems like every couple of years, we cycle into a summer season that is packed full of weddings and births. There are showers to attend, appropriate dresses to buy, and a bunch of late RSVP cards stuck to the refrigerator like expectant little butterflies.

Dan and I are approaching one of those hectic summers ourselves, and in addition to all the weddings and births, we’re gearing up for the culmination of three years of hard work and anticipation with the big book launch in July.

As I talk to expectant mothers and sexually frustrated couples, and as I wake up each morning worrying about book sales and reviews, one theme seems to be recurring: Waiting sucks. 

And when you’re waiting, it often seems like that’s all you’re really doing—day in and day out.




We’ve been waiting for the book release, waiting for Dan’s business to pick up, waiting to find the right meeting place for The Mission, waiting for publishers to respond to book #2, waiting for the reconciliation of strained relationships, waiting for money to come in, waiting for direction, waiting for word.

I wrote a blog post about waiting during the season of Advent, but had no idea that all of this waiting would continue through Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and now Pentecost.

So I’ve finally resigned myself to the fact that God probably wants me to learn how to be patient, not just for a season, but for a lifetime. If I cannot learn to find peace in the midst of anticipation, I will never experience the joy of contentment, for “we know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans 8:22-23)

It seems that waiting is part of what it means to be human, part of what it means to be connected to God’s creation.


I’m still trying to figure out what it means to embrace waiting as a part of life, but so far the most interesting fringe benefit I’ve observed is a newfound capacity for absorbing the significance of the little things.

If I didn’t have to wait for the next book deal, I’d be less humbled by the first. If I didn’t have to wait for the next paycheck, I’d be less creative with how I spent the last. If I didn’t have to wait for “success”, I’d never know I didn’t really need it to begin with. If I didn’t have to wait for more, I’d never know I already had enough.

Maybe, in the long run, the waiting will be worth it.

So, what are you waiting for? And what have you learned in the process?

(Photo by teo_ladodicivideo)

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