It seems like a lot of life is spent waiting, don't you think? Waiting in traffic, in line, for the end of the commercial break…to graduate, to get married, to have kids and then grandkids…to feel well, for some peace, for a moment of rest. Waiting, waiting, waiting. The truth is, contentment will always seem just out of our grasp if we're not careful. As my pastor put it last Sunday, it's a moving target. While I can't pretend to have all the answers on this very deep, very complicated, very serious-for-a-design-blog topic, I do have a few thoughts weighing on my heart…hope they resonate with you.
(Image via Vintag)
1. Let yourself grieve. Waiting is hard, being told "no" is hard, life is- sometimes- really, really hard. In my experience, perspective is an important part of the whole picture but it's not necessarily the best place to start. Yes, you are exceptionally fortunate compared to the rest of the world, your problem may be trivial compared to such and such, you have air in your lungs and shoes on your feet…all those things are true and good. But if you start there you'll probably just end up feeling discontented and guilty. That's not progress. Sometimes you just need to take the time to be upset in a healthy way…not by obsessing or lashing out but by recognizing that you're frustrated because it's frustrating, it doesn't feel fair because it's not fair. It's an important first step.
2. Talk to a mature person you trust…someone who cares enough about you to be kind and honest, who has the wisdom to know when to talk and when to listen, who won't minimize how you're feeling but won't magnify it into something worse either, someone to help you strategize what's next without missing what this moment has to offer and someone willing to walk with you as you settle into that all important perspective we discussed earlier. Talk to someone who is for you, tell them the truth and then listen to what they have to say.
3. Be open to hope. This does not mean be instantly happy, you get to decide how you respond but you don't get to control how you feel. It doesn't mean be positive that things will work out exactly the way you want them to, because- unfortunately- it's possible that won't be the case. I know everyone who reads this believes something different, but can I just tell you what I believe? I believe the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy but I also believe Romans 8:28 that says God works all things for good. I believe Isaiah 41:10 that says "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." and I believe, as it was so eloquently put by an acquaintance from college, in the God that gives, and takes away…and then gives again.