Waiting is hard. No matter who you are or what you’re waiting for, it’s hard. Just ask any kid on a road trip how they feel about not being there yet. Or, if we’re honest, ask any adult how they feel about waiting in the grocery line, waiting for the weekend, waiting for vacation, waiting for a promotion, or waiting for retirement—waiting is hard.
No matter our circumstances, we are all waiting for something. I’ve been waiting since I became a mom for my kids to go to school. Don’t judge me—I know it sounds horrible, but it’s an honest confession.
Yet, I also remember back to pregnancy and how excruciating the waiting felt as I longed to meet each of my children, both entering the world comfortably past their due dates. And now as I parent two preschoolers, depending on God’s grace most days to enjoy the beautiful gift of this exhausting season, the approaching fall beckons me with new hope as my kids (and I) joyfully anticipate preschool and kindergarten.
We are all waiting.
Regardless of what we are waiting for, there is always something ahead that promises greater fulfillment. We somehow believe that when the next thing comes, then we will finally be content. But the truth is, even when we finally receive the thing we await, waiting begins again for a new “next thing.” Whatever season of waiting we are in, our lack of control will either drive us to despair or invite us into dependence on God’s grace.
During the past several years I’ve spent as a stay at home mom, I’ve discovered the joy of pouring my heart onto a page through writing. I don’t know if I would have ever discovered the gift of purposeful reflection writing affords if I hadn’t been thrust headfirst into this slower-paced life with babies. Needing a place to use my brain and process what was happening within my heart, writing has become a creative outlet that both keeps me sane and fills my soul.
As I searched for ways to improve my craft, another writer suggested an online course called Writing with Grace with Ann Swindell. My entire approach to writing has been transformed by her powerful teaching, which has given my words new purpose and freedom. (Unsolicited advice: Anyone who wants to grow in their ability to use writing to bring life to others should check out this incredible class!)
Because of my deep respect for Ann’s teaching, I jumped at the invitation to participate on the launch team for her new book, Still Waiting: Hope for When God Doesn’t Give You What You Want, releasing on April 4th. This book is for anyone who has waited, is waiting, or will wait—in short, this book is for everyone.
Ann artfully weaves together my very favorite story in the whole Bible—the story of an unidentified woman who suffered from bleeding for twelve years despite giving all she had to doctors who couldn’t heal her—with her own story of waiting to be healed. Ann’s writing is vulnerable and courageous, revealing the raw places in her own heart where waiting has cost her dearly. This book reminds us all that hope is real, hope can’t be taken away, and hope is worth waiting for.
Ann invites others to experience the fullness of God’s grace in the midst of their waiting. She honestly explains, “Waiting is hard because it thwacks against our hope and makes us wonder if the promises of Christ are real. It makes us wonder if Jesus is really good…In all of those places, waiting asks us if God is still good and if he really sees and loves us.”[i]
But there is hope for those who are willing to bring their desires and struggles to the One who made us and knows us and loves us more than we could ever dream. Because “hope is the antidote to despair, and it’s the only way to live through prolonged seasons of waiting without losing our faith or our sanity.”[ii] As someone who has felt a bit crazy during periods of extended hopelessness, I can testify with assurance that hope is indeed worth fighting for.
Nothing thrills my heart more than helping others find a place to experience the grace of God for themselves. This book is one of those places. Still Waiting: Hope for When God Doesn’t Give You What You Want is a story for all of us, because each one of us is waiting for something.
And the best part? If you order a copy (or two or three) by April 3rd, you can get some amazing pre-order goodies for free! So go ahead, give a copy to the ones you know who need it most. You don’t have to wait to share hope today.
[i] Ann Swindell, Still Waiting: Hope for When God Doesn’t Give You What You Want, 212.
[ii] Swindell, Still Waiting, 212.