On the heels of some not quite what I’d hoped for medical results, a friend emailed, “Oh! It must be so hard to wait.” My answer surprised me. But it’s not, I thought. I prefer the waiting to the knowing.
Why? I wondered. Why don’t I want any of the details? Why did I purposely avoid the earliest possible – and strongly recommended – appointment for further testing? Why don’t I care what they found or what that means or what the possible treatment options are? Last time I’d wanted every detail. I’d asked to have the initial report read and re-read to me over the phone until I fully understood. I’d asked a dozen questions and pored over information sources on the web, wanting to learn all I could so I’d be able to make smart, informed decisions. This time it’s different. This time I’m not the least bit curious and not the least bit anxious, and I find that odd.
This time my mind is quiet, my heart settled, and my soul at peace, and while I don’t understand why, I know it’s different, because instead of seeming like an agonizing, interminable wait, these five days seem like a gift – an unexpected respite from my “to do” list, a pause in the busyness of life, a realigning of priorities, and a chance to simply be present in the moment – the opportunity to spend five normal days with my kids and our brand new puppies, a week to love on my husband and enjoy the gorgeous autumn weather, a week to rest in God’s Presence and seek His Holy Face – an unexpected, yet surprisingly welcome gift.
But what’s the difference? I keep asking myself. Life hasn’t changed in the waiting, and yet it has. I’m different this time, unhurried, calm, peaceful and engaged. I actually poured a fresh cup of tea and sat down when a friend called, simply enjoying our conversation instead of simultaneously folding laundry or making dinner or cleaning countertops or sweeping the garage.
Mid-afternoon, instead of running the puppies out for a quick potty break, I lingered in the yard laughing as they tumbled, rolled, chased, and wrestled with each other through the last few autumn leaves – adorable and comical and so worth the extra time.
Then at 2am, I sat down at the edge of the deck, snuggled in my jacket to wait for the pups, drinking in the clear November sky – a vast sea of stars and just the barest breath of moon, and God’s still small voice whispered to my soul, “It’s hope that makes this waiting different – hope in Me, the One who will never leave you or forsake you, the One who created you with hope and a future, promising to work all things for good, because you believe and are called according to My purpose. In Me, your yoke is easy and your burden light. In Me, is the fullness of hope, eternal and everlasting – hope in the waiting, hope in the answers, hope for every single step along the way.”
Oh, Lord, it is a gift – a beautiful, precious gift – hope in the waiting, hope in the knowing, hope and promise in You!