Keeping Your Sanity in the Waiting Room

nessCrappy stuff has happened.  Thing’s haven’t turned out as expected.  You’re holding on to every remaining ounce of faith you possess, believing that God is at work in the midst of it all.  In fact,  you know He is, because when you look back, you recall circumstances, events, and situations in which He’s orchestrated such happenings that cannot be chalked up to mere coincidence.  Nevertheless, your mind is trying to tell you that it really wasn’t Him, tempting you to chalk it all up to chance, demanding you to give up hope. 

There have been times of inexpressible mountaintop faith, in which you’ve been completely confident and assured of everything working out spectacularly, as well as (let’s call a spade a spade) deep, dark valleys of fear, doubt, skepticism, and exhaustion threatening to literally choke the life out of you, convincing you that you’re nothing but a weak fraud. And sometimes these extremes can occur within mere minutes of one another!

You wonder...Has He forgotten me?  Is He going to complete this work that He started? How long is this going to take? What is going to be required or what am I going to have to endure? 

God! What are you doing? And what is taking so long!?!?!

I am definitely not a fan of waiting rooms. Seriously, who is? The very thought makes me antsy. Waiting rooms are for waiting, for goodness sake!  And who likes to wait?!  And besides that…nasty germs are everywhere! 

Nevertheless, here I am, once again.  In a waiting room.

Whether you, like me, are currently in a waiting room, just gotten out of one, or soon to enter this undesired location, sometimes the greatest challenge can be summed up in three words – KEEPING YOUR SANITY. Remaining in tact, not going ballistic, crying, screaming, falling into hopelessness, or just managing to not lose your grip on that ember of faith, can be overwhelming and sometimes seem downright impossible.

In that we’re currently in what seems to be the mother of all waiting rooms, wondering when our name is going to be called, allowing us to exit and move on to the next thing, these honest feelings and observations are nothing short of fresh.  Not expecting to be here this long, we’re anxiously awaiting, at the very least, to be acknowledged.  “Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, I’m sorry for the wait.  We will be with you shortly,” would be nice.  We’ve read all the magazines, conversed with all the other individuals who are also waiting, heard their names called, and watched them exit.  Yet, we’re still here.  We’ve even re-approached the front desk on several (okay, hundreds) of occasions, just in case they forgot that we’re still here.  “You haven’t forgotten us, have you?” 

Still nothing. *Sigh*

How do you manage to keep sanity intact in such a situation?

While in the waiting room, I’ve humbly realized one of the greater challenges has not been the staff, the other patients, or the waiting room itself, but me.  Allowing my thinking, values, and perceptions to not be contaminated by real or imagined circumstances and germs that surround me, affecting my sense of hope and anticipation, has been a challenge of critical importance.  Reading the material which has been provided (metaphorically speaking), which comes from a worldly perspective, and paying attention to the real or imagined perspectives of others, instead of clinging to absolutely nothing other than the truth of God’s Word, dampens my resolve and weakens my proper perspective.  Concern for the opinions of others exposes my lack of focus on my God and His truth.  This fear of being exposed to germs and other contaminates, requires that I re-evaluate and take care of a bit of business.

Romans 12:2 instructs us “And do not be confirmed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

This truth reminds me that keeping your sanity in the Waiting Room takes intentionality.  It takes effort.  It takes determination and constant submission to the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to renew my mind as only He can.  But perhaps most of all, it takes great courage. 

Courage not to listen to the comments and perceptions of others.

Courage to choose to only believe what God says.

Courage to not fear what the world, or others, say we should fear.

Courage to moment-by-moment engage and align our minds, will and emotions to the truth of God’s Word.

Courage to believe.

Whatever your Waiting Room – whether it be the need of a job, housing, mended relationship, return of a prodigal child, ministry, direction, dream, or healing…whatever it is…the truth is that the staff hasn’t forgotten you.  More importantly, God hasn’t forgotten you.  His plans for your future are filled with great hope, promise and goodness.  His good desires for your healing, dream and relationships are genuine.  

He understands that waiting is difficult.  He is compassionate towards you in your frustration.  He’ll grow you in the process.   You may hate it now, but you’ll be thankful for it later. 

Our names are going to be called.  Our time is coming. He is preparing us for our next step.

Much love and prayer for you as you wait.  I’ll be waiting with you.  And we’ll all have great stories to tell of how our names were called and what happened when we walked through that door!