Waiting again? Andrea Chatelain offers some perspective in your “pause.”
Power in a Pause
By Andrea Chatelain
“I hate to do this on voicemail, but we’ve filled the position.”
For a week after my interview, I’d worked out my future in my mind. Waiting and nothingness needed to end; I wanted fresh purpose and newness. And yet, I sat in my minivan waiting for my daughter’s dance class to end, defeated. I didn’t get the job.
Often I feel ready for the next adventure when God allows a frustrating and confusing roadblock. I think things like, You gave me this gift, Lord, why don’t you want to use it? But what if we reroute life barricades into a purposeful pause?
Lately I’ve had to do some soul searching with Jesus. I’ve left the season of high chairs and blankies and entered the land of never-ending youth basketball tournaments. Little kids are getting big and I’m trying to grow with them. What’s next?
It’s meaningful to explain what we do. If I asked you, what would you say? Perhaps I’m a mom. Or, I’m a teacher. I’m an entrepreneur. We naturally assign worth to what we do, but not always to how God is growing us. No one wants to say, I’m waiting! Woohoo! And yet that’s where we find ourselves so often.
So what do we do during the “not yets”?
In those seasons when we can’t pinpoint our calling, it may be that God is calling us to prepare with him. I’ve found it comforting lately to read in Scripture how God often delays his people from entering the next “thing.” This allows us a purposeful pause to power up with the Lord.
God knew I needed a recharge. I’d started feeling a bit stagnant in faith, and reading my Bible felt more like a chore than passion. Then my friend invited me to read with her through the Old Testament. A few chapters a day. With her accountability, I began to open up Scripture with excitement again. Turns out, in this time of “I don’t knows,” God’s Word was meant to remind me of something I’d forgotten. He has a good plan and will be with me as I keep stepping forward.
Like when I read about the transition between Moses and Joshua. Moses, who’d led God’s people through a lengthy physical and faith journey, died at the edge of the promised land (Deuteronomy 34). But God had a good plan. And before the next leader, Joshua, led the Israelites into a great inheritance, he first took a purposeful pause with the Lord.
Joshua surely wondered what was next, too. In my uncertainty it helped to read that his job wasn’t to have all the answers. In that waiting space, he listened to God’s plan. He heard how the Lord would be faithful and never leave him. He was told to be strong and courageous. To obey God. And lastly, to hold tightly to Scripture and to think on God’s words day and night (Joshua 1:1-9).
I’ve read through those verses to be “strong and courageous” many times in the past, and maybe you have too. But this time I realized before we can be “strong and courageous” the Lord invites us to “come and listen.”
God has something important for you and me in seasons of big transitions. We’re not to wait in boredom or to jump ahead. We have something so much better! When the Lord allows a pause on your dreams or desires, he also grants you precious space to come near and know him better. Look away from roadblocks of uncertainty and rejection and focus attention on Jesus. Fill up on his Word through Scripture and remember his faithfulness.
He has a good plan. But he may also have planned a good pause for you to spend some time with him.
Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and help them grow faithfully, mom gracefully, and live courageously with Jesus. She’s a Midwest mom of three, wife of a sportswriter, and is happiest outside in the sunshine. She writes for www.glory-be.org and Our Daily Bread Ministries. But mostly she cares about YOU and hopes you’ll feel seen and encouraged when you visit her on Instagram and Facebook.