Listening to John Waller’s “While I’m Waiting” [song below]. Offering my weariness and wonder and amazement of the grace at work in my life.
I listen to these words, though, and it strikes me how often, maybe even now, I am not truly and fully waiting for God, but waiting for what I want. He is more waiting on me, waiting for me to see something He already knows. He moves me in these very moments.
I must be open. I must be willing. I must be His and not my own.
When I was a child, I often talked with God, wrote to him in diaries, closed my eyes and asked him to hold me as I would curl up under my bed or in my closet or whisper to Him from a tree I had climbed. I questioned. I believed. Each time I wondered how He would see me through.
I was confused by what I felt were unanswered prayers when I knew He loved me. I thought it was a weakness in my faith, that I did not believe purely enough. I committed to making my faith without the doubt that must be the difference between getting requests. Ah, that sensitive and scared little girl, me. She was searching for something to make hurt make sense.
I spent time asking God to guide me, to help me have a better faith, against the backdrop of turmoil. It would be my refuge.
And when I felt I was ready, I stood on the road near my house, in the mountain air. Quietness of trees. I looked at the sky. I wanted a pet chimpanzee. I wanted one that would hug me, that would play with me through the mountain forest and ease my challenges. I was ready. I was excited that in the moment I asked it of God and believed it would be mine, it would be.
Face turned to the sky. Hands clutched in anticipation and determination that I not falter in my belief. There was only the sound of a birds. No voices. No cars. No one to see me as I stood there, small and faithful. And I asked. I asked for the chimpanzee and then awaited its leap to me from the tree tops. Ready for how we would explain it was meant to be mine and it would be. I waited. Quietly. Earnestly. Shaking a little at first in the excitement, then in disappointment in myself, feeling silly and finally wondering if there either was no God or if He did not want me to have what I asked for. Or was my faith not strong enough? I waited.
Then, as now, though, it was God waiting too. He was waiting for me to understand His love beyond the answer to a child’s chimpanzee prayer.
I think looking back, of the things I’d asked for that were harder and seemed more out of reach, family healing, a feeling of calm…. Yet, at that moment because it was the request of an instant, I was seeing right then that I could not affect the delivery of what I wanted.
There would be so many trials still to come for that little girl, hard, scarring lessons through childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. God ever waiting for me to make peace each time with it being less about what would or would not be answered and more about how I would turn to Him through each seeming broken prayer.
I would never grow out of that fragileness.
The older me seeks to protect her, to remind her that those expectant, hopeful glances to the sky do not need to be cast aside to trust in God, but be spoken with openness, to be able to leap from the trees into God’s waiting arms.
I stand in my yard, voices and cars in the distance and birds still too and welcome the breeze against my soul, feel God decorate my memory.
If I hold the aching just so, I can touch the changes coming, the shaping growth of walking home.
“While I’m Waiting” – John Waller, originally on John Waller’s album The Blesssing (Reunion Records) – March 6, 2007.
Featured in Fireproof (Sherwood Records) – September 26, 2008. DVD released – January 27, 2009. Fireproof Soundtrack (Reunion Records) – July 14, 2009.