As I write this, I’m sitting in bed with a sleepy husband dozing beside me. I know I should be sleeping too but, as a creative and an internal processor, you just can’t predict when the call to write is going to sneak up on you. I’ve learned by now when you feel the urge to write, you don’t ask questions. You stop whatever you’re doing and write.
In less than two weeks, our lives have completely changed. Niko interviewed for a couple of jobs, accepted an offer, and graduated. We found a new home. We packed up all our things and moved. I’ve also been traveling, shooting full time, and editing every spare second to get caught up during the craziness of this transition.
Let me be real with you. I don’t enjoy moving heavy furniture in the rain. I don’t love eating take out for most meals in the back of a U-Haul. Spending nights on a twin-size air mattress rarely makes for a good night’s rest, but I know not to complain. Here’s why…
Niko and I have been waiting for this moment for three years. When Niko started grad school, he thought he would finish the program in a year (a year and a half, tops). We were newly married. We were living on a new business and student salary. We were both working too much and spending too little time together. We were willing to do it because we understood grad school was a great opportunity, but the newness wore off as semester after semester rolled past. Nothing went as planned. Our little one year transition period turned into three years.
We felt out of control. We were exhausted trying to keep up with the demands of school and a new business. Our marriage often took the brunt of our stress. At times, it looked like the finish line was getting farther and farther away. We felt stuck, like we were underwater – moving 10x slower than everyone else around us – and there was nothing we could do. There were so many nights I cried out to God. I felt lonely. I felt like a failure. I felt hopeless. I asked God over and over when this season would end. I told Him we couldn’t do it much longer. I told Him we didn’t have the resources or energy to continue life like this. I told Him we were getting desperate. He told me to wait.
“That’s ridiculous,” I thought, “I am waiting.” He told me to wait well. That’s when I learned there is a difference between waiting and waiting well.
Waiting well requires trust. It means remaining hopeful when everything inside you wants you to give up. Waiting well is rejoicing in hardship and delighting in the goodness of God. It’s looking at the people around you and using the limited time you have to truly invest in them.
I know there are going to be plenty of seasons of waiting in my life. I hope I’ve learned not to spend them complaining, and instead, look for beauty in those moments of uncertainty. If I am confident of anything it’s that even in seasons of uncertainty, God’s character is certain and unchanging.
A few nights ago, Niko and I were packing and forgot to eat lunch or dinner. It was past dark. We ordered a pizza. We pulled the ramp out of the U-Haul to create a table top for two chairs we hadn’t loaded yet. While Norah Jones played in the background, we ate our pizza (with hot sauce, of course) by the glow of the U-Haul light. We were totally overwhelmed and exhausted, but as long as I live I’ll remember, in that moment, I was reminded that God doesn’t leave us in hopeless situations. God sees our needs, He hears our cries for help, and He is faithful even when we aren’t.