Waiting. Oh, sweet anticipation. How we loathe thee. It's true that there are few among us who find any pleasure in the act of waiting for something -- for something to come in the mail, for someone to come home, for God to answer a prayer, and in my case, for a baby to be born. No, waiting in and of itself is a rather unenjoyable activity, and I'm sure most people would agree with that.
It gets me thinking though... about all the waiting we do in our lives. It's something we spend so much time doing that it must have a purpose. It also gets me thinking about all the things we spend our energy waiting for, at times even becoming obsessive in our anticipation. Of course for me right now, I'm very much in one of these obsessive states of anticipation. My baby was due to be born six days ago and she is still frustratingly hanging out inside her mama. It's a serious accomplishment for me if I can make it two or three minutes without thinking about this baby and wondering when she is ever going to arrive!
And of course, Rocky and I are not the only people who are waiting for her.... she's the first grandchild on both sides, first niece to our siblings, first "niece" to quite a few of our very close friends, etc. etc. so naturally everyone keeps checking up on my status. They can't be blamed -- this is an amazingly exciting event we're all preparing for! I must get roughly fifteen calls and texts each day from very loving and very well-intentioned friends and family members asking me for updates. I hate to even say anything negative about this, because I am truly so so grateful for all the love and support but at the same time, it makes my waiting 100 times more painful! Every minute of every day, I'm coping with the maddening amounts of thumb twiddling I am forced to do, and to top it off, I get the pleasure of continually replying to the aforementioned inquiries with a big whopping "nothing new here." I feel guilty for all the disppointment I'm causing these poor people! I wish more than anything I could just say, "I'm in labor!" or "I started having contractions last night!" or even "I feel like she's coming today."
But I can't say any of those things. Simply put, I got nothin'. So who can I blame for my being in this situation? Who am I allowed to get mad at? Whose incompetence can I complain about?? These are the burning questions people!! The burning questions with a big ole wet towel of an answer: no one. How unjust!! How can the world be so cruel to put a woman through so much turmoil and leave her no one to cast her anger towards?
All joking aside, I'm realizing that it IS very natural to want to blame someone or something when things don't go our way. This is such a human tendency. I'm no psychologist so I don't know why people always want to blame and complain but we just do. However (**warning: cliche fast approaching**), it does us no good. All our griping and feet stamping will not bring us our desired results any more quickly or more effectively. Patience wouldn't be a virtue if it were easy. And patience isn't just making it through the waiting period, because let's be honest, we ALL make it through the waiting period. Time does continue to tick and tock and eventually we all make it. Patience is making it through the waiting period gracefully. And this, my friends, is not an easy feat. Especially when you have an ever-growing squirmer kicking at your ribs and keeping you up at night, incessantly reminding you of the fact that SHE IS STILL IN THERE!
Ahem. Through all of the ups and mostly downs of the past six post-due-date days, I have slowly started to form one small useful musing in my mind. I have been chafing at the bit to hold my baby in my arms. Rocky has been the same - restless, eager to meet his baby girl. Our families and friends are all on high alert, poised in their assorted standby stances. Everyone is waiting, waiting... I get this image of people frantically pacing, others quietly tapping fingers and toes on various surfaces, others biting their nails, most people hardly breathing, everyone trying to conceal huge smiles until we're sure that all is well.
I saw this picture in my mind the other day and I thought "If only we waited with that kind of zeal for the Lord..." And we should. We should be in an even more excited state of anticipation for Jesus; our joy, our desire, our need to be with the Lord should be uncontrollable! It should be bursting out of us at every moment! We should be sprinting to the Adorable chapel, dancing up the aisle to recieve Jesus in the Eucharist, flying towards our bookshelves to open up the Word and hear what God has to say to us today! If only we waited for our Lord in this way, I think our waiting on other things in life would be much easier, because God satisfies our waiting so tenderly, so perfectly. He never lets us down when we long for Him. He is the one reward that consistently delivers. We're hungry, and he feeds us at the altar. We're lonely, and he comforts us in his presence. We need direction, and he speaks to us in his Word. We miss him, and just like that, he's there.
I think if we could ever truly get accustomed to this reality - the reality that God really DOES satisfy our needs - then at least the mystery part of our everyday waiting periods would be lifted. While we're waiting for something, part of us is always just a little unsure if this event is really going to occur. When you were a little kid and you had a birthday party to go to, waiting for it was torturous because you were secretly wondering if it was really going to happen. It wasn't until you were actually there, stuffing your face with pizza and candy, jumping on the trampoline with your friends that you could truly believe in the birthday party. With God, we don't have to wonder. He WILL be there when the waiting is over. We should get used to this feeling, that way when we're waiting for something else to happen, we can just rest assured knowing that yes, it will eventually come to pass.
Our faith requires that we believe in the Lord and the promises he has made us. So as we wait for him, we learn what it means to make it through a waiting period gracefully, what it means to have patience. We wait, but not with anxiety or doubts in our hearts. We wait with joy and freedom, because we believe with all our hearts that when the waiting is done, he will be there, he will answer us, he will keep his promise to us.
So all there is left for me to do I suppose is to listen to my own advice there. Trust in the Lord and try my best to wait with joy and grace. And maybe eating a jalepeno pepper after a lively skip around the block wouldn't hurt either! ;)
Thank you for all your prayers!! I love you all.