life // waiting without purpose

“What we hunger for perhaps more than anything else is to be known in our full humanness, and yet that is often just what we also fear more than anything else. It is important to tell at least from time to time the secret of who we truly and fully are—even if we tell it only to ourselves—because otherwise we run the risk of losing track of who we truly and fully are and little by little come to accept instead the highly edited version which we put forth in hope that the world will find it more acceptable than the real thing. It is important to tell our secrets too because it makes it easier that way to see where we have been in our lives and where we are going. It also makes it easier for other people to tell us a secret or two of their own, and exchanges like that have a lot to do with what being a family is all about and what being human is all about.” Frederick Buechner

Recently I feel like I have been bombarded by articles on the concept of waiting. You know the ones, people waiting for their dream job, families waiting for kids, women waiting for a man. That last one is a frequently used one, especially in the church, and over time you start to wonder if maybe we aren’t just slightly off the mark, but if we missed it entirely. Like, we have sailed way passed it as we wait for the big moment, the one that will tie up the story in a neat and tidy bow and make it all make sense.

The moments race through my head at a mile a minute. But they are small ones, not the giant moments that I can easily make up in the fantasy world in my head. Yesterday was a rough day and I can’t really explain why, but the fantasy world in my head wasn’t there to fall back on.

My long-standing pessimism is what I utilize to keep me out of magical, fantasy land. It is the little voice that reminds me that there is precedent to things, that reality isn’t make-believe and that when everyone else thinks random man a is interested, the answer is always no. My brain and my soul don’t like to match up. One weaves stories full of little moments and tiny hopes that create one wholehearted life. The other keeps my feet on the ground and my head out of the clouds, and in all honesty, that isn’t quite so bad either.

Pathetically enough, I manage to both love and loathe my life all at the same time. It feels like my sanity is being pulled in opposite directions, but sweet goodness, all I want is to catch a break. And then I remember how many I have actually had. The want to feel normal and like everyone else, but then again, why be normal when you can be as fun as a barrel of monkeys. Y’all it is super lame but I will own this (at least on paper), I don’t have time for a relationship and I’m actually pretty great in where my life is at the moment, but darn it all, can I at least have the option of being like, x person is interested and totally wants to go out. Is that asking too much? Apparently the answer to that is yes. And instead I am inundated with bad Christian articles about the sad, waiting women. Please God, I refuse to be that person.

I take a breath and I let myself sit in the brief sadness and annoyance, and then I remember the great moments. Because we should not ever be waiting, we should be remembering. And remembering doesn’t come with a requirement of it always being happy.

“Where we settle is where we die”

I recall to mind those words from a speaker at Urbana06 and think about how true that is. I think of the image that i recently read about the woman who stands at the gate waiting for her prince to come. Team, where we settle is where we die and ladies, do you want to die standing at a fence, alone. If I am going to be single, I better be living fully and jet-setting around the world with a camera, wearing crazy head scarves and flowy long skirts and…sorry, tangent…that’s my fantasy, moving on. No matter how much it hurts or how rough it is, and no matter how much you feel like you’re coming apart at the seams please please don’t settle.

Sometimes life feels like it is spiraling out of control. It’s a whirlwind and I can’t see the start or the end. But at the same time, it isn’t actually a terrifying problem. For so long it stemmed from a disjointed feeling of not being enough, and then one day it was something different. It hadn’t magically been made better, and the crazy feels didn’t disappear, but acceptance of reality and the goodness of a God who is in control takes away the power that fear of the unknown can hold over us. Remembering the truth and grace that has been given to us.

Wonderfully created and perfectly formed. Even in moments of quiet and prayerful reflection, we are not meant to just wait without purpose. And so it goes. Life isn’t all bad, it’s actually pretty wonderful and it can be a bit rocky all at the same time.

Here’s to the little moments that make up the big ones that make life so much more worth living. Without all the ups and downs, where would all the fun be. Here is to not waiting without purpose but remembering the little moments that make up the seemingly large ones. And even in the moments of annoyance, there will always, eventually, be a victory!

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