Neither of these are things I would have asked for at the start, given the choice. I love the idea of squeezing out every drop of life I possibly can, being carried in constant forward motion, anticipating with joy and excitement the Next Step.
But God has chosen large portions of this road I walk to be accompanied by two of the things that are easily on my Top Ten Dreads list: Loneliness and Waiting.
Waiting in the holding pattern. The place where I know there’s a Next Step to Somewhere, but the little green Go light isn’t on yet. So I Wait. I can’t go back. Lord knows I wouldn’t want to, even if I could. I wouldn’t want to have to relearn the things I’ve learned during this time. But I can’t go forward either. If I tried to, things just wouldn’t be right. And I want them to be right; I want to learn all the things I need to learn from this so when I DO take that Next Step I have what I need to do it the best way possible. But it’s hard to Wait.
And Loneliness. It’s not about being alone. I like times when I’m alone and have the opportunity to be quiet, and think, and get things done, rest my mind, recharge. But Loneliness is a whole different matter. It’s a state of being, one where I can’t press an eject button and get out whenever I’m done. It doesn’t matter how many things I’m doing or how many friends are around. It’s just there, under the surface, always. I lived in disgust of it for years, wishing I could get rid of it. But I’ve come to realize that the more I stop shunning it and learn to embrace it, the more it changes from being an ugly, hateful thing to something that is beautiful. Because it makes me need. In the Waiting, the Loneliness makes me so much more aware of my absolute and undeniable need for God. And that is something I would not trade for anything.
So I’m learning to thank God for the times of joy He gives me. And I’m learning to not just exist through the times that seem stagnant. Even though I don’t exactly feel like I thrive during these times of Loneliness and Waiting, there are treasures to be found, Truths to dig for and examine and grow from, and things to tuck away for use later on when this particular Waiting period is done. And though I know there will be other times of Waiting even when this one is behind me, I will strive to stay encouraged, knowing that it only means there will be new hidden gems to discover during each one.