Do you wait well?
In line, in traffic, for good or bad news? What about for an answer, or promotion, or tax refund?
I confess, I can be impatient, irritated, or dismissive when I’m called on to wait for something. That may be part of why I’ve been entrusted with this season of waiting.
Since October, I’ve been waiting for God to heal me.
I have some mystery illness which my primary doctor has currently speculated might be seronegative rheumatoid arthritis. It has caused swelling all over my entire body (not just joints as is common), numbness in my hands and feet, rashes, dizziness, fatigue and constant pain – either aching, burning, or stabbing me randomly. Mostly at night. So I have a love/hate relationship with sleeping right now. Moving makes me blow up like a puffer fish. Resting causes me to not be able to move. And I’ve been waiting since December to see a rheumatologist. Apparently there aren’t many where I live, and even less that take my insurance.
Did you hear my snort of impatience right then?
Just to make it clear, I’m not complaining. I don’t really think doctors have answers. The few offered haven’t changed anything. (Diet, medicine, activity, etc.) My unique symptoms don’t really match any particular diagnosis. I believe God is my only answer. And I trust him completely. So I’m asking him to help me wait well while I wait for whatever good plan he has to be completed.
At some point, all of us might have to wait for many things – hasn’t this been a season of that? (Sorry to all you who are still waiting for your state or city to open up again!)
But do we know how to wait well?
Here are some of the things I do to wait well:
- Every morning I choose to thank God for the day he made and rejoice and be glad in it.
- I start each day with praising him, reading his word, and singing along with worship music.
- I listen to prophetic words of encouragement.
- I pray for others.
- I proclaim what I know to be true about God.
- I do whatever I am apply to accomplish and let go of the rest. Sometimes that means not washing my hair. (Yuck.)
- I ask for help when I need it.
- I let others know how to pray for me.
- I keep writing books (even though it makes my hands and arms ache).
God is so faithful. He hasn’t allowed my healing to show itself yet (I believe I am healed and waiting for it to show up), but he has shown me so many things. I’m learning to be bolder in prayer. I’ve been alerted to some old resentments I didn’t realize I was harboring against someone who hurt my family. I’m learning to be slower to speak and better at listening. My compassion has increased.
And in the midst of it all, God has helped me write my next book. Yippee! As I write out the last pages, I’m sharing the beginning here with you. Where Blows the Wind is the sequel to When the Wind Blows and now part of a four book series that I never planned, but apparently God did.
So, I hope you enjoy this taste of Where Blows the Wind while you’re waiting for its release on June 15th in time for your summer reading pleasure.
Maybe it will help you wait well. 😉
Where Blows the Wind
The older man had no idea how Tyrina Louise Duval felt about family. How could he? And yet, here he was inviting her to join their gathering. His family of strangers. At least that was the way he put it. Although they all lived in the same building, the group had never met until Hurricane Harriet blew in less than a year ago. The connection between them was obvious. The longing in her heart nearly surpassed her hesitancy. But in the end, she thanked him kindly and turned to leave, flinging a yearning glance over her shoulder as she left.
Now she watched them from her third-floor balcony.
“Ralph Manning,” the man said when he introduced himself and offered to share their story. She imagined it was a remarkable one. No one would guess that the young couple with a baby and the man with the twenty-something girl—from the resemblance she assumed they were truly father and daughter—were not related to the elderly couple. He claimed they met there. Neighbors in this high-rise building of condos. Clearly, no matter how they met, they shared an uncommon love. Tyrina felt it when she walked by. Even from a distance.
Why hadn’t she stayed to listen?
She wanted to. Now she wished she had. To interact with a group that obviously cared so much for each other could only bring joy. Couldn’t it?
Observing them from the safety of her condominium evoked the old pain and longing while reaching an arm out to her with hope. A sad smile tugged at her mouth. Hope brought disappointment. She knew that feeling all too well.
Turning away from the scene below her, she brushed back a stray curl that had escaped from her braid. On humid days like this, her tawny hair tormented her with frizzy strands that barely remained contained in tight braids like the one she wore today. Otherwise, she let her springy locks hang loose down her back and shoulders. She finally learned about ten years ago that fighting her natural born curls was not worth the long hours and money wasted on product. Besides, she believed in being free. And she was trying to be. That included her hair.
Tyrina shook her head at her thoughts. How had her hair determined so much of her identity? For nearly a lifetime, it seemed it was her one claim to real beauty. As a youngster, when her light brown skin brought some snide comments from those lighter or darker than her, confusion took up residence in her heart. Even her grandmother hated that her ebony-skinned son had married a white girl. Tyrina didn’t understand. How could the color of someone’s skin make a difference as to who they were inside?
Confusion ruled her life for as long as she could remember, and not belonging dictated it from the beginning.
Tyrina shook off the reverie.
It was a beautiful afternoon. Exactly the reason she had gone out in the first place. Until she observed the group with Ralph and his friends celebrating something, she’d planned on spending a few hours outside in the warm, but not too hot weather. In late August, cooler days were infrequent in Southwest Florida, so residents took advantage whenever a breezy day lowered the temperature to a reasonable setting. A walk around the grounds or at Fort Myers Beach after church on Sundays gave her time to reflect on the pastor’s message. Every week it seemed that he spoke to her directly. Obviously, that wasn’t the case. She knew it was the way God let her receive the words.
But the past few weeks, no matter what he said, or what she read in her Bible, nothing landed right. Restlessness stirred in her and wouldn’t be quelled.