I met my husband for the first time when I was nine years old. He tells me this is true. I don’t remember.
I do remember meeting him again when I was thirteen and he was fifteen. He was beautiful (and smart and funny and Jesus-y).
One month into my fifteenth year, he and I stood on a dock overlooking the Dunedin Marina. He whispered, “You’re the kind of person I want to marry.”
Within a week we’d decided we’d love each other forever as husband and wife.
But first, we would wait. For five and a half years.
(That’s us almost 20 years ago.)
My friend Megs is waiting for a baby.
She, her husband Hayes, and their three boys are adopting a little girl.
I don’t know a lot about adoption, but I know this: it involves waiting. A lot of waiting.
I talked to Megs the other night and she made a joke about how long it was taking. She said her attorney advised her: “Just pray and wait.”
While most people sigh really loudly when they talk about waiting, Megs didn’t. She said, “I’ve never been more dependent on HIM minute by minute than in the last few months.”
Her mantra is Psalm 27:14—“Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
Did I mention Megs is awesome?
I told her I was planning to write about waiting this week and that I wanted to know what she’d learned.
She said lots of good stuff, but this was what struck me most:
Recently, I’ve tried to SERVE during my waiting. I’ve intentionally looked for ways to give time and thought to someone else. Just like when I’ve run races before and get really tired…and I find someone else who is struggling and I cheer for them. It’s like I automatically feel a surge of energy to keep going. To keep waiting.
I loved that.
Waiting to get married to my wonderful boyfriend was hard.
"Wouldn’t It Be Nice" by the Beach Boys was our jam. Sometimes we cried when we played it in the car.
I hung a chart Justin made on my wall detailing our “road to marriage” plan. Every once in a while we’d send each other letters with a countdown to the wedding. But the numbers were so big…
It’s possible to look back at that time and roll my eyes. Kids…
But today I am married to that wonderful man. And I daily experience the joy and satisfaction of total vulnerability, unconditional love, and full commitment in Christ.
This marriage was worth waiting for. Worth fighting for. And totally worth being a little dramatic about.
But the waiting would have been a lot easier if we’d known how to wait well.
I wish we’d taken more time to actually live out our season.
I wish we’d stop dreaming about our future and started dreaming about our present—how we could glorify God and serve one another in the moment.
I wish we’d gone on mission trips together.
I wish we’d taken more time to build and deepen friendships with other people.
I wish we’d spent more time in prayer.
I wish we’d done what Megs is doing—looking for ways to give time and thought to someone else.
We were so nervous we’d lose one another, so afraid this beautiful relationship would slip through our fingers, that I think we held on too tightly, exhausting ourselves in the waiting, refusing to trust God’s timing and God’s plan.
Waiting is about trust. It’s all trust, you guys. Trust God with your future. Trust God with your present. Trust God with what might be. Trust God with what might not be.
And in the meantime, look outside your longing. Look for someone else to serve. Look for something good to do. Look for God, wherever He is.
You can’t push pause and expect the story to still unfold.
When you get that thing you’ve been waiting for, enjoy it. Treasure it. Steward it. Be grateful for it.
But for now, live the life you have today. Enjoy it. Treasure it. Steward it.
***P.S.: If you’d like to help my friend Megs as she raises money for her adoption, send me a Facebook message or leave a comment. Those three boys are going to be superstar brothers. :)