• Dana L. Butler

How to Stay Peaceful Through the Long Waiting

Hiya my friends!

Whew – life is a blur these days.  Moves at breakneck speed.

SOMEhow, our Maia-girl is almost 9 weeks old. (?!?!)

And SOMEhow, she is already sleeping from 9 PM to 3 or 4 AM most nights.  Can I get a THANK YOU JESUS?!

Also, I SOMEhow managed to put together a slideshow of Maia’s life in honor of her adoption, which we finalized in court a week and a half ago.

The video’s fairly amazing, if I do say so myself.  Just because God’s hand woven throughout this wild story is, in fact, amazing. 🙂  The slideshow includes pictures of Maia’s birth family as well (with their permission, of course).

If you missed seeing it, you can find it here.

“Not Particularly Encouraging”

In the blurry, still-sleep-deprived, sometimes-overwhelming-but-always-beautiful wildness that is my life these days, I’ve struggled to know what to say here in this space.

God has seemed to draw my heart in so many directions all at once lately that my brain feels jumbled and there’s so much I could tell you about today.

BUT–

This is what I want to share:

After I wrote this post about our current transition (both personal and church-related) and how we planned to put our house on the market last week?  The very. next. day, an email came through from our realtor:

I ran a report for you after entering improvements.  Everything I have thus far is not particularly encouraging… Property values in your neighborhood dropped in value 41.98% in past 12 months, which is ridiculously high, but is what an appraiser would see.

Gah! 42 per cent?!

“Not particularly encouraging.”  

For REAL.

<Gulp>

Took some deep breaths.  Prayed a bit.  Chatted with Stan about options.  And decided to meet with our Realtor friend anyway to hear more about her research on property values in our neighborhood.

In the meantime though?  Oh man, did God ever test my heart.

The thought of having to remain in our current home and neighborhood for maybe years before we’d be able to think about selling?  It kind of rocked me.

“God, remember? I don’t feel safe here.  I want to raise our kids in an area where I’m comfortable taking them for a walk.  I don’t want to wait indefinitely–“

The sense of fear and bummed-out-ness that was growing in my heart was a definite indicator that something in me wasn’t looking to Jesus as my ultimate Source.  Of peace.  Of joy.  Of security and safety for our family.

I knew God was trying to get my attention.

Remembering…

Why did it feel so hard to surrender and trust Him on this issue?  To settle into this waiting season with all of its unknowns?  To choose peace?

After lots of conversations with God and with Stan, God’s tender wooing and pursuing of my heart won out yet again. [His kindness SO leads to repentance, y’all.]

But man, the choice to worship and trust in God’s heart and character even when I couldn’t see what He was up to – it felt like a wrangling of my heart this time.

Took every ounce of my trust, my ability to recall how God’s come through for our family and fulfilled our desires in the past.

And He has.  Beyond our wildest dreams.

I mean – for heaven’s sake – look at my precious, beautiful baby daughter?!  [Not up to speed on our recent, wildly grace-filled adoption story?  You can find it here.]


No – really – LOOK AT HER.  Be still my heart!


How quickly I forget God’s perfect, abundant gifts to us, and oh how I remind myself of the Israelites in the desert sometimes!

Father, Your plans for me ARE perfect.  Trustworthy.  Extravagantly fulfilling.  

Worth the wait.  

They ARE.

And Jesus, You alone are my Source of peace and rest in this season.  

Not a new(er) home in the ‘burbs.  

Not a laundry room on the main floor or a finished (non-120-year-old) basement or a fenced-in back yard.

Okay.

Inhale.  Exhale.   Heart realigned under the truth.  Settling into the waiting.  Into resting in Him in the midst of great uncertainty.

So we met with our Realtor friend, and it turns out things might not be as bad as they initially sounded.

MIGHT not.

No way of knowing for sure till we list our house, which it looks like we’ll try to do very soon.

And we’ll see what happens.

For now, just trying to trust my good Father.  Trying to daily choose contentment, even in the hard moments.

At the end of last month’s newsletter, I included a section titled “Faith vs. Fear.”  I want to share that with you here today since I find myself continually returning to these ideas to keep my heart’s perspective in order while I wait.

Maybe it’ll bless or encourage you in the places where your own heart needs a reminder to trust?

[Side note: if you aren’t subscribed to receive my monthly e-newsletter, you can sign up for that here.  It’s free – of course – and it’s a little more personal way that I can stay connected with you.]

Faith vs. Fear

What does all of this boil down to?

God’s invitation: to stay in faith even when the waiting is long and painful.  To say no to rushing ahead of Him, making decisions that are motivated by fear.

Staying in faith requires a deep, heart-level revelation that:

  1. God is wild with love for me.

  2. He sees my deepest desires and needs, and holds them tenderly in His heart.

  3. He hears and considers my every request.

  4. His ultimate plans for me will bring me real, deep joy.

  5. His heart is to fulfill me thoroughly. Utterly. Completely.

Faith says, “Father, I trust that Your plan is perfect, even if it doesn’t happen in my timing.”

Fear says, “I need to run around and figure out all the details right now!”

Faith says, “I can relax and wait calmly on Him, even in the midst of the unknown.”

Fear says, “I can’t handle the unknown – I need my questions answered in order to feel peaceful.”

Faith says, “God, I trust Your heart to give me Your absolute, extravagant best for me, even when I can’t see how things will turn out.”

Fear says, “God’s heart toward me might not be trustworthy because things aren’t falling into place in the way or the timing I’d desire.”

Faith is accompanied by a sense of peace and rest.

Fear is accompanied by a sense of desperation or urgency.

The end result of acting out of fear is exhaustion and disappointment – because our own human plans and schemes fall so far short of all that God wants to give us.  They don’t ultimately fulfill our hearts or our desires.

The end result of waiting on God in faith is an experience of His extravagant goodness that blows your wildest dreams out of the water.

It may take longer than we think we’d like, but from the other side, we’ll look back and see that the waiting was so much more than worth it.

And?  That even IN the waiting, He intimately encountered and sustained our hearts.

That, through it all, He was loving us tenderly and perfectly.

Now.  If I – if we – can just remember.

P.S. Reading via email or a reader and care to leave a comment?  C’mon over!

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