I’ve been reading a lot about selecting a “word of the year.” For some, it is seen as a divinely-given word that will help focus their heart and mind on where God is leading. For others, the word is carefully selected as a symbol of their focused dreams, desires, or wishes.
And even while I admired the word choices of others, I honestly didn’t feel a desire to pen one of my own. After all, how could I put my current, mostly muddled feelings into one single word?
But one afternoon, while driving back from Lowe's, I tried to express my current state of mind to my husband. Earlier that morning, in one of those pop-up Facebook memories (which are quite helpful for a woman of my age), it said that four years ago, I had published my first (and only) book.
I was shocked to realize how time had sped by. In these four years, I’ve often been asked – what is next? My answer continues to be: I have no idea.
There’s plenty of reasons why. Life has been busy. I uprooted my family and moved hundreds of miles to a new home. I’ve switched jobs, said goodbye to old friends, and tentatively started to open my heart to a few new ones. My husband and I have watched our only child graduate high school and begin college. And (the reason for another trip to the hardware store) we’ve been painting and rebuilding and cleaning our beloved 1960s beach house.
So while the past four years may not look super productive on my writing resume, I’ve put mile upon mile on this weary soul of mine. Maybe this is why, as I began this January, I sensed a word quietly resonating in my soul.
The word “wait” can have many meanings. To “lie in wait” means you are going to ambush the enemy. And then there is the type of waiting that anticipates a very specific event: “I can’t wait until Friday” or “I’m waiting for my package to arrive from Amazon.”
But that isn’t the type of waiting I mean.
I was thinking about the unique way the word “wait” is used in Scripture – to “wait upon the Lord.” It means to have an attitude of your soul that points God-ward. As one writer explains, “It implies the listening ear, a heart responsive to the wooing of God, a concentration of the spiritual faculties upon heavenly things, the patience of faith.”
This type of faith contains anticipation, but not merely of something happening to me – personally, more of an expectant interaction with the Almighty.
As the Psalmist says, “My soul, wait thou . . . for God only” (69:5).
Rather than feeling guilty about not writing, not doing, not achieving. Rather than seeking out the next project or looking for a new challenge, I am going to sit back and wait.
And, let’s be honest, this type of waiting doesn’t come naturally, especially for me. I like to do. I like to plan. I like to dream. So waiting can feel a whole lot like giving up. It can even feel like failure or laziness. But, this year that word keeps whispering into my heart.
“Wait. Wait on everything. Wait on me.”
And so I will.
Friend, I have to tell you – this might be the best New Year’s resolution I’ve ever made. It feels good. It feels right. Even as it rolls off my tongue, I can feel the tension in my shoulders release, as I breathe a sigh of relief. I can wait.
I can put off deciding anything and everything in a God-ordained kind of way. I don’t have to have it all figured out. I don’t have to worry that I’m not doing enough. I can know for certain that this is the place I’m meant to be right now.
I’m going to sit in this moment.
I’m going to rest in His peace.
I’m going to push aside the niggling self-induced guilt.
I’m going to enjoy waiting on the Lord with that beautiful song by Mumford & Sons softly playing as a repeat song track in the background.
When He moves, I will follow.
Until then, I will wait. Lord, let me wait . . . resting my soul in Thee.