bulky tomes, calmness settled
beguile tedious hours
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What is wrong with me? When my husband was here, I am forcing him to leave and start his job in Montalban right away. It’s just that I am afraid he will miss the opportunity and leave us no financial source at all.
But now that he’s there, I am tired of waiting when he will come back. This time, it is because I am afraid again… afraid for having no control of the situation. Afraid the what ifs—what if he didn’t return? What if he completely leaves us here in the midst of a very expensive city where I do not know where to go or who to call to in times of crisis?
I noticed, like many others I have a problem with waiting (and perhaps with sanity).
Waiting for the package to come. Waiting for the graduation to start. Waiting in the bank to be called. Waiting for my husband’s salary and a lot more! These made me crazy. Really, really crazy.
Because I know that I am not alone in this situation (and of course to comfort me), I have gathered some practical tips to overcome waiting dilemma. Here are they:
I am referring here to the kind of waiting for those things we really do not have idea about or those far beyond our control (like in my situation, medical results, exam results) and ordinary waiting (like waiting in traffic, bank, doctor’s office, school, etc.). I’ve got you all covered!
#1. Keep yourself busy.
I received messages from my husband only two times since he left on Thursday. There is maybe no signal in the place of mining so he cannot communicate. That intensifies my fears and made waiting all the more worrisome.
In that sense, I did not allow that kind of thinking to defeat me. I know God will take good care of Him for He knows that we need him. So what I did was started cleaning the house one zone at a time and manage my time wisely. For the past days, I am able to finish cleaning and organizing our kitchen, our bedrooms and our closets while also able to blog and tutor my children in the afternoon.
Jim Elliott said, “Let not your longing destroy the appetite of living.” That has become my mantra ever since I read that and now it serves it purpose once again.
Not because we are waiting for someone or for something to happen, we will stop doing what is necessary every day. Let us think about this, “Can we stop eating simply because we’re in the process of waiting? Shall we allow our lives to stop revolving ? Shall we stop doing our responsibilities with our children? In the house? With God? Will allowing your life to stop because you are waiting for someone or something change the situation and contribute to the betterment of your life? Taking action is better than sulking. Keeping ourselves busy will take our minds away from waiting.
When my children lost patience in waiting for their grandmother’s package, I told them to not wait at all. If you are waiting, don’t wait at all! Counter intuitive, right? But it has to be. You have to forget that you are waiting or at least do something not to focus on it so that you are able to stay in the present and give room for surprises. Actually, we are ruined by false expectations even before we are ruined by the results.
Waiting is the best time not only to clean your house but also the best time to plan your life, to reflect, to read books, to have new friends and to think of ways to earn additional income. Use this time to your advantage. Cross the bridge when you get there!
#2. Be prepared for what might happen.
When you are waiting for medical or exam results, prepare yourself for the negative things that your might know. This sounds crazy but we, Christians are good at that, right? We know that our lives here are not only for good things. Sometimes, we received bad news. Sometimes, bad things happen to good people, too. If you do not believe that, read your Bible. Accounts after accounts will prove that the life of the righteous people was sizzled with bad things happening to them.
What makes us different is that we are always spiritually prepared, for we know that all things work together for our own good.
Remember, nothing will surprise God. He knows everything from the beginning to the end. Rest assured that He will be there always to show us the next step.
Amy Carmichael said, “In acceptance there is peace.”
It’s better that we accept and then plan about the “what-ifs.” That way, nothing can surprise us as well. An honest prayer of guidance from God is essential at this point.
#3. Be at the moment.
After preparing yourself for the worse, there is no reason to dwell in it. There is no reason to fear because you have looked fear in the eyes. All that remain is peace to live today.
The problem with being anxious about tomorrow is that we forget to even give thanks that you are still alive today. You forget to appreciate your breathing, the sun that shines outside, your children, the money you still have that’s still sufficient, the neighbors out there and you very precious health that never fails you.
The Bible said, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
Look around you. Notice the beauty where you are. Why overlook them in the first place just to think of the unknown future? What we have is today. Tomorrow is best left to God who knows it pretty well.
#4. Let go of being in control.
God is the only one who’s in total control of everything. Our part is to trust Him and ask guidance for the things that we have control with or those questions we know the answers.
No matter what we do, we cannot avoid waiting. We cannot force someone to give us the results we want or expected. We do not hold the mind of others neither their hearts, only God can fathom that. We cannot let them do something we’d like them to do.
The truth is, when theirs is nothing left to do but wait, you need to wait patiently. That is one of the true test of character and test of faith to the One who have full control of everything.
The Bible said, “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” He will give it, “In His time.”
When my kids and I was in BPI waiting for our turn to open an account, they became agitated. Hywell asked, “Why is there a need to wait 1000 years here?” Hans and I laughed. The aircon was too cold for someone who’s waiting three hours in line so Hans trembled while sitting on the couch side by side with a 30 something woman. All of a sudden, that woman, who’s also annoyed for the long wait bawled at him saying, “Stop moving! You should not be that naughty here. You are in the bank. You take care of your movement or the security will catch you.” I was insulted as her mom.
Well, he had to move that way because he’s trembling. Movement was his way to warm himself considering he has asthma. I almost lost my patience that time. At the back of my mind scenes of revenge was playing like I am spanking her, pulling out her tongue out and roll it over her neck. Thanks God, I managed to stay calm.
You see, we have no control over the attitude of others! Don’t fret over those things that you have no control with. Have total faith in God, okay? ANSWER ME YOU #&%@$%!!!!
#5. Take down your expectations.
Expectations are simply that, expectations. It might or might not come true. Again, our expectations must only come from God alone.
While we are waiting, we’d rather have something to occupy our minds. We can read a book (I love devotional which I carried with me), answer our emails through cellphone, play games, message someone or talk to your seatmate, draw doodles (my favorite pastime and yes I use micron pens. I always bring one together with my drawing notebook.
You can also think of the reasons why someone you are waiting for is not yet texting or coming along. Reasons like maybe he has no load, in the middle of traffic, or in an emergency situation. Just don’t let your imagination gone wild like maybe, Mr. X have encountered an accident now, struggling for life and is in worse situation so he can’t make it to come where you are. Or maybe, if he can, he’s already a ghost! This will make you more anxious and have a heart attack right before the person you are waiting for finally arrive. Okay, okay just don’t touch him as if you actually see a ghost and you are just testing if your hand will push though his body.
Instead of expectation, have compassion. As you think of the person you are waiting, whisper a simple prayer that God would take care of him.
#6. Handle it with humor.
Have someone to talk to and laugh. There’s nothing that can make waiting lighter than by talking humorous stories. For me, this is my medicine to all kinds of loneliness in life.
I usually crack jokes about the present situation or say some self-deprecating humor. My kids would usually burst out, “2000 years later!” after two hours or waiting and so forth as the hours of waiting progresses. They, too are learning the art of humor.
Hywell, when he’s two years old and we got stuck in traffic for 12 hours when we visit his Dad in his work sang “Twinkle-twinkle little star” so loud and repeat it over and over that all passengers in the bus were entertained.
#7. Be aware of the trigger.
Before you even lost your temper or perhaps you sanity, pay attention to what triggers it in the first place. Once you recognize the trigger, you are able to counteract it with something that can distract your mind.
Sometimes, waiting can lead to hopelessness. Hopeless that he will never contact you again. Hopeless that he will not come at all. Hopeless that you will not pass the exam. Hopeless that you will ever arrive on time. Hopeless that there is still hope in the present situation.
Those kinds of thoughts usually sink in after several hours or days of waiting without specific duration. Pay attention to these hopeless feelings. This is the time when there is something in your heart that grows heavier as time went by that can also be attributed to depression.
Counteract this by relaxing and deep breathing. Count your breath until your mind becomes totally empty of those thoughts. This is meditation. Then, remind yourself that we have hope in God. We will never runs out of hope. In quietness and in peace is our strength.
“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him…therefore be still and know that he is God.” – Psalm 62:5
You, what did you do when you wait? Can you add one to this list in the comment? I love to hear from you.