“The waiting room is an exciting place!” she said. “Just watch and see!”
Recently I was in a waiting room at our local ER. Even though I have washed dishes and knives a million times, somehow earlier that evening I cut myself and blood instantly began pouring out of my index finger. Thankfully, the knife was the LAST item to wash. The pile of clean dishes was safely off to the side as my dishwater turned pink. Now twenty minutes later, I held my throbbing hand wrapped tightly in a towel and waited for my name to be called. The cut had been abrupt and deep, with immediate pain and attention causing me to suddenly reprioritize my thoughts and actions. Besides the silliness of cutting myself, it was not good timing at all. It was 8pm on a Sunday night and I needed to organize my time and duties for the last week of school and also help my hubby pack for his business trip. I was already tired and now this! In one quick second, my carefully planned next 24 hours were suddenly ripped apart. As my frustration and embarrassment grew, I now sat watching “the door” before me…knowing that when it opened, I would be called in, relief and healing would soon begin, and I could get back on track. But in the meantime, I felt helpless. I sat and watched others around me. Some were just watching and waiting too, while others jumped up and headed over to the open door…the location we all wanted to be.
I looked around for something to do, anything to fill my time. There were magazines on the table with intriguing titles yet knowing I may be called before I finished the article, I chose to just wait and stay alert. And I didn’t want to fumble with the pages using one good hand and awkwardly holding up the other, possibly becoming a circus act in the corner. I grew restless in my anticipation and desire for someone to just help me and fix my problem.
As I sat waiting, my mind wandered back to a recent conversation. I was on the phone with a dear friend discussing the journey of the Vineyard. She asked, “How’s it going?!” expecting some exciting news. I said, “Hmmm…it’s not.”
“I feel stuck,” I explained. “Like I’m not doing anything. For months I was chasing God so fast I couldn’t keep up. Every time I turned around, He was either leading me somewhere or bringing someone to help me. Now I’m looking around to make sure I’m not missing something, but I don’t see anything. I can’t feel Him moving or talking to me. It’s like I’m stuck in a waiting room.”
“But that’s awesome! The waiting room is an exciting place!” she said. “Just watch and see! Sometimes the journey is about you and sometimes He wants you to sit down and see how it is affecting others. What can you learn from them? What have they learned from you? He may want you to rest and take time to fill up on His Word, take time to worship, refill your tank so when He DOES call, you are ready to go. The waiting room is a resting place – a place to enhance your faith, a retreat for you to refocus and refresh your part in His vision. So just sit still and enjoy! Look around and see how He is working in the people around you. Watch how they are stepping out. See their faith grow and doors open for them. Watch the Holy Spirit fill them and heal them!”
“I never thought about it that way.”
“And take time to think about all that has happened since the beginning when He called you,” she continued. “Remember how you first started. What resources and events have happened since you stepped out in faith? Maybe He wants you to reflect on His blessings and reaffirm your calling. Don’t think of being stuck or think the waiting room is a useless place; choose to grow and rest in it!”
My name still wasn’t called yet by the waiting room attendant, so I took my friend’s advice and began thinking. When we began the journey, every day we were running after God as He brought new people, ideas and resources. Our heads were spinning with excitement and amazement as we clearly saw Him bringing to life His vision! Looking back, we began with an idea and $87 in the bank. I was so scared when He told me to share the Vineyard plans that I almost didn’t. Now I have hundreds of faith stories, how God has done things that I clearly couldn’t do myself. But today there was a lull in activity…and it made me a bit nervous. This “waiting” gave opportunity to wonder not only if I should be doing something, but also if I had heard God correctly. “Am I going the right way, Lord? Are You still there or have I fallen off the path?” Was I believing the Vineyard would still happen even though we turned sharp corners and hit walls? Was I trusting God to provide the resources or was I trying to do it through my strength? Did people want/need the Vineyard as much as I wanted it for them? Was I alone or were there still people cheering me on in my corner?
Just weeks earlier I had experienced another deep cut, not my finger but in my heart. Several of our original team members had left our ministry board due to pressing family issues, career changes requiring new locations and shifting personal priorities which decreased their time commitment with us. God was moving in their lives in good wonderful ways, but it meant leaving the Vineyard journey. One of them was stepping out to start her own journey as God was calling her to leave Texas and work in an orphanage in Honduras…something she has always wanted to do. “But now, Lord?? Really? This is really bad timing!” I will not lie: my heart was torn and my breathing was heavy. I was so happy for her, but at the same time I was devastated. Satan immediately grabbed that moment to mock me, telling me to give up and walk away…that I couldn’t do this alone and if everyone else was leaving, then it was just a bad idea to begin with. Like me cutting my finger, this cut had been abrupt and deep as well, and now with the pain still lingering I began to rethink the Vineyard vision. I knew I wasn’t quitting, but the pieces were now fitting together differently. I fought trying to hold on to my perspective while trying to determine His alterations.
But then you, my warriors, called. You texted. You hugged me and encouraged me without even knowing what was going on. You told me to keep going! You invited me for coffee and ended up giving suggestions to problems you had no idea were happening. So I wiped my tears and waited…waited for God to redirect and call my name. But He hasn’t called yet. I’m still waiting. I’m looking around searching for what I can do but not straying off to be so involved in something, that when He does call, I miss it. I know I need to be patient. I know He is working and orchestrating. And while I’m waiting and watching, He has brought comfort in various ways.
One day while googling something, I fell upon Kari Jobe’s song “I am Not Alone” with phrases like “You will go before me…You will never leave me…” and “In the midst of deep sorrow…Lord, You fight my every battle and I will not fear.” I also found her mother’s testimony of discovering she was pregnant with Kari while having severe cancer treatments. Her doctors were fearful of birth defects and discouraged her from continuing the pregnancy. Her parents prayed, “Lord, only You know what the future is with the health of this baby. Prepare our hearts for whatever comes. If something is wrong, if we are making wrong choices, please close the door and end this journey. We trust you!”
“The waiting room…it’s a place to rest and refocus. A place to refill your faith…”
I’m reading “The Circle Maker” and the author wrote, “Instead of worrying about what you don’t have, do something with what you do have. God will provide the rest in His timing.” For months, I have been gathering items little by little from people graciously donating. I have been storing them in my garage just waiting to move them into the Vineyard. But we don’t have the Vineyard location secured yet, so I decided to step out and rent a storage unit for a while. I then went to my friend’s house to pick up a couple of chairs she had been holding for me…which led me to her friend who just happened to be there picking peaches…who then asked what I was doing with the furniture…which then led to her offering me an abundance of beautiful office furniture! Then the same day my friends and I rented a truck to move the furniture, another friend called and asked if we would like her kitchen table and chairs…which then led me to stand inside a SECOND rented storage unit, wondering if a third one will be needed!! “Do what you can with what you have and let Him provide the rest in His timing.” Amazing!
At my Bible study, I remember my teacher telling us, “He is the Master with the plan. You are the servant. A servant never worries or wonders how or when the plan will be done, as he simple knows the Master will provide all that is needed.” Another teacher said, “We do not have to help God or make His vision happen. It’s not our responsibility. Just like the Israelites wandering in the Wilderness, when He stops moving, you stop. When He moves, you follow. And when you are sitting still and don’t know why, don’t make up or give reasons why God’s not moving just so you don’t look stupid. There’s a reason. Trust Him and just be honest with people.”
This past month has been filled with music. God has been daily sending my way songs like Lauren Daigle’s “Trust in You” which focuses on the frustration of hitting walls and not moving like we think we should.
“When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move…
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through…
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You…
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!
Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings.
There’s not a day ahead You have not seen.
So, in all things be my life and breath.
I want what You want, Lord, and nothing less!”
So…I’m waiting. That’s the Vineyard update. Plain and simple. And it is hard for me, a woman of movement and control, but I’m actually weirdly at peace. I watching for Him to come and show me the next step….to open that door so I can run through it. I’m listening to Him expecting Him to call my name. I know when He does, excitement will once again begin. Healing in “the new difference” will happen. Mighty blessings will shower, storehouses will fill, people will come and the Vineyard will emerge. Where, when, how…I do not know. But I do know Him, the Ruler, the Master, the Orchestrator, the Father and Healer. And while I sit in the waiting room, I will rest and reflect. I will watch those around me. I will rejoice in their journeys. I will pray for the Vineyard and for you. And I will simply wait, be still and KNOW that He is God.
What waiting room are YOU in right now? How can we pray for you?
“My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27)