Notes from the Waiting Room

waiting room

Courtesy of unsplash.com and Glen Noble

My husband loves me well. I travel a lot but he will go out of his way to pick me up at the airport, more often than not with a bouquet of flowers in his hands. He lately has gotten in the habit of surprising me with special dinners. He is kind and patient with me, even when I grow tired, impatient or overly emotional about things.

That is why when a recent job opportunity emerged for him on the West Coast at a great company, someone said to me “don’t hold your husband back.” Though it sounds crazy to move cross-country, my heart longs to honor and support him.

He is currently on a call for his second interview and I find myself praying over myself more than him.  As much as I feel like God is in this, I am anxious and unsure about what to do while we wait for the outcome of this interview.  Especially since a cross-country move involves so much!  The Martha in me wants to start preparing, making plans, looking at neighborhoods, etc. Even though I could, I can feel God’s gentle encouragement to wait.  

My heart sinks when I hear God say wait. I long to go, to do, and I just am never sure what wait means. Does it mean to do nothing? Does it mean stop praying? Does it mean then…that the answer is no?  

Psalm 27:14 says to wait…and he shall strengthen thine heart. I don’t feel strengthened right now, so what am I doing wrong?

If I’m honest with myself, I think it has something to do with trusting God. If I fully gave my heart over to God, my waiting would be much easier, calmer, less frenzied. Yet my anxiety rises because I find it hard to believe God is with me, for me and not against me.  It does not matter how long I’ve been a Christian, these thoughts and feelings invade my heart and deafen my spirit to his gentle love.

The Lord is my shepherd and I shall not want…

And there they are…God’s help to me in the midst of my fears. These simple ancient words from Psalm 23 never fail to still my soul. I long to see my shepherd, to have him rein my heart in, to put his gentle arm around me.

He makes me lie down on green pastures, He leads me besides still waters…

In this busy world, slowing down is often an inconvenience. Even now, I write from an airport as my flight is delayed. I’ve read my emails, made my phone calls, and after much grumbling at my waiting, I finally just sat down to write. Maybe God does make me lie down in the least expected ways.

He restores my soul…

Selah. My heart yearns to respond in prayer asking my Father to restore, replenish the driest parts of my soul. Particularly the parts that forget how to love him, lean upon him, believe in his Holy name and character.

He leads me on paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

If these words are true, then I have nothing to worry as my husband and I are exactly where we need to be. And the outcome will always glorify his name.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me.

How blessed I am for am not in the valley of death. How grateful I should be for the peace and security I live in every day. That even if my husband does not get this job, that we will be ok for God is with us.

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

I don’t see his rod and staff, but something keeps me in line. When I start straying too much, fearing too much, something always tries to draw me in. Even remembering these verses came from him, to calm my anxious heart.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.

How often I have seen man want us to fail, only to see God show up and make a way for us to win. This undeserved love feels like we are being anointed with oil to the point where our hearts overflow with gratitude and humility.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

I’m still waiting to hear how things went for my husband but I know this: God’s word is not only true and infallible, it can calm my heart, remind me of his love, and change my life for good. So regardless if my husband and I are called to move or not, I am grateful for this opportunity to stretch my faith, to live out my life through his word to witness his goodness and mercy in my ability to wait to see God glorify himself in my circumstances and in this world.  

Written by Ana Lopez Van Balen

Ana Lopez Van Balen

Ana Lopez van Balen is a social worker by training who has spent the last fifteen years focused on supporting the healthy development of individuals, families & communities. She currently is the National Director of Community Development at Urban Strategies-a national faith-based organization working to tool, connect, and resource grassroots organizations to serve children and families in need. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband, both of which are big believers in living locally–knowing your neighbors, supporting your local community and doing everything you can to help make it better place for all. This means opening up their home to friends and neighbors, participating in the local food-coop and serving on the advisory council of a great local organization called Food For Life!​

About Ana Lopez Van Balen

Ana Lopez van Balen is a social worker by training who has spent the last fifteen years focused on supporting the healthy development of individuals, families & communities. She currently is the National Director of Community Development at Urban Strategies-a national faith-based organization working to tool, connect, and resource grassroots organizations to serve children and families in need. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband, both of which are big believers in living locally–knowing your neighbors, supporting your local community and doing everything you can to help make it better place for all. This means opening up their home to friends and neighbors, participating in the local food-coop and serving on the advisory council of a great local organization called Food For Life!​

Comments are closed