• Kara Abernathy

We Are All Waiting

We are all waiting. Waiting for the perfect job, waiting to meet our spouse, waiting for a baby, waiting in line at the coffee shop. We sit and wait. We walk and wait. We move in and out of seasons and wait.

You’d think we’d handle waiting better as humans, considering how much time we spend waiting on something or someone.

We might be prone to waiting, but that doesn’t mean we are skilled at it.

As I write this, I’m sitting on an airplane waiting at the gate due to a maintenance issue. While these types of unexpected inconveniences are frustrating, the prolonged seasons of waiting are much more taxing on our hearts.

I spent three years of prolonged singleness waiting to meet my spouse. In those years of waiting, God challenged me to draw closer to Him more than I ever realized at the time.

If I’m honest, I hated the stage when I was in it. I was lonely. I desired companionship. It was hard to watch the very thing I really wanted happening all around me.

I anticipated what life would be like. I longed for Friday nights of cuddling & Netflix binging over the going out scene.

If I’m 100% transparent here, I believed marriage would satisfy my lonely soul.

I would have never admitted that.

I would have rattled off the good Christian girl answer that I recognized only God could satisfy my soul, but still, marriage had to be great, right?

I’m almost one year into marriage and I’ll tell you, it is great! Don’t believe the lies that marriage has too many troubles to look forward to with eager expectation.

Marriage is challenging and comforting. It’s holding each other accountable and holding each other’s hands in solidarity.

However, it wasn’t until I was married for about six months that I realized the reason why marriage doesn’t satisfy (even though it is oh so great).

Marriage can actually cause more desire for Jesus.

The imperfections of marriage cause us to see even more clearly how much we long for eternity. Even our deepest, most intimate human relationships are just a small speck of how much our Father loves us.

I had promised myself I wouldn’t get wrapped up in the newlywed stage and put my marriage on a pedestal, but here I had done just that.

My husband Josh was working a trail of 12 straight days of 10-12 hour shifts. He was exhausted physically, emotionally, and mentally.

The sump pump in our house wasn’t working correctly, and it seemed like there were a million things on our to-do list. I wanted Josh to prioritize a few of our tasks at home, but he needed a break.

He would come home from work and immediately eat then fall asleep. He really didn’t have any energy left to spend on me, let alone energy to help around the house.

I lost my temper when I longed for some quality time with him. I understood he needed to rest, but I just wanted to control our daily actions to the point that we could accomplish more and check off each task on the to-do list.

I failed to meet Josh in his busy season of work with patience. Once again, I failed in the waiting.

“Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5:7-8).

We are called to patience. It’s even one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. But in a culture of instant gratification, patience is a virtue that is easily rejected. We long for individual happiness and high achievements.

I needed to think like a farmer. Some things in my own life, like weather needed to produce fruitful crops, are out of my control. The farmer can’t manipulate God’s timing and produce rain, and neither can I. Only the Lord is in control of our waiting.

Increased productivity was the last thing Josh needed during that harsh month of residency. He needed me to patiently wait until the season passed. If I could only see residency in light of eternity, I would understand that it’s so temporary. Instead, I wanted to demand changed action now.

We were at odds with one another, and it left me feeling bitter and lonely.

Desiring to make temporary circumstances different reminded me of how I felt in singleness. Once again, I longed to be out of one season and on to the next.

Even though I am no longer waiting to meet my spouse and that particular area feels more settled, it just introduces new areas of uncertainty.

Marriage can never fully satisfy because there are still moments that are lonely. Just like singleness, we long for a greater love. We long for Jesus to return.

Whether I’m single or married, I’m still waiting. I’m waiting for eternity when all will be made right. Each new life phase is filled with uncertainty, and it leaves us longing for something more.

  1. I long for Christ when my marriage reminds me of my sin and need for grace.

  2. I long for Christ when I grow impatient with the temporary circumstances and my flesh wants me to control people’s actions around me.

  3. I long for Christ when I’m waiting for all to be made right.

I pray that you long for Christ because only He is what we should truly long for.

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© 2019 Kara Abernathy

Disclaimer: my thoughts do not necessarily reflect the thoughts of my employer.