It’s 7:57 a.m. and Connor is standing with his backpack on at the living room window watching for his school bus at the end of our driveway. Starting today, a new driver is taking over Connor’s route and this is the exact time he said he’d be here.
I peeked around the corner to make sure Connor was actually watching for the bus and not distracted with something else. Pleased to see my little man was in his spot, I headed back into the kitchen.
“My bus is here!” he shouted.
“Ho-ly smokes! That was quick! I just got back in the kitchen!” I said dramatically.
Connor cracked up, “I just teasing you, Mom! Him not here.”
Connor has adopted my joking, teasing personality and tries his hand at humor and teasing too. Its hilarious watching him crack himself up. And this, he nailed it… he totally got me. He knew he would get some kind of reaction out of me by saying this almost as soon as I left the room. So as he was delighting in his own prank, I went back to loading the dishwasher (and had to chuckle at his silliness).
8:00… “My bus is here!” Connor shouted.
“Ok,” I said putting a bowl back down on the countertop.
“I just teasing you again. It’s not here.”
I had to explain to Connor that while he got me once, it wasn’t funny this time. And I kept at my task.
8:02… “My bus is not here yet.”
8:04… “Mom, my bus is still not here.” His voice becoming a bit whiney.
“He’ll be here soon. Just keep watching.” I assured him.
8:06… “Mom,” Connor said with a voice mixed with agitation and worry. “Why is my bus not here?”
“I don’t know Connor. If it’s not here in 10 minutes, I’ll call and make sure he’s still coming. Just keep watching, buddy. Your bus will be here soon.”
8:09… “It’s here! My bus is here!” Connor excitedly hollered and I knew that it really was here this time.
There is just something magical about a school bus when you’re a kid. It’s more than the thrill of not showing up at school in mom’s minivan and having her kiss-all-over-your-face-telling-you-to-have-a-good-day-and-how-much-she’ll-miss-you in front of your friends. It’s a symbol of independence. It’s the small little green seats, sitting high above the other cars, and being surrounded by other anxious boys and girls your age. It’s the excitement of learning and going to school.
As a child, a 10-minute wait for that magical yellow transportation machine feels like an eternity.
But think about how you and I respond to waiting. Maybe not for the bus, but the bigger things in life… results from medical testing, wondering if you’re going to get that raise at work. Will my book get published? Will my child’s speech issues work themself out?
My reaction to waiting often mimics Connor’s. He went from waiting happily with anticipation to waiting anxiously to questioning to worrying.
Can you relate?
As we were prepared to move to the Chicagoland area for my husband’s job, we put an offer on a house in a southwest suburb that was a short sale. Putting the offer in was an exciting time. However, the month before we heard back from the seller’s bank seemed to drag on. I began to get anxious. I questioned. I worried.
“Brad, do you think they are going to accept our offer? Why is it taking so long?”
Every communication we received from the bank took at least a month and none of their responses were in our favor. During the first few months of this Iprocess, I was going through Connor’s reaction wheel. But it was wearing on me emotionally and physically. All we could do was wait and my fretting about it was not going to solve anything.
Then, I made a life and attitude altering decision. I turned my anxiety over to God. He is the ultimate author and creator. And I needed to learn to wait on Him and rest in His peace while we waited for this house deal to play out.
Four months after our offer was put in, we found out the seller had applied for the wrong type of short sale and our offer was void.
Having to wait, learning to wait was greatly rewarded. Had we agreed to the bank’s full price offer sooner, we may have actually gotten the short sale house. However, in waiting Brad got a raise and a promotion. And in turn, house hunting in our preferred suburb became an option.
We were able to purchase a bigger home only 3.5 miles away from Brad’s work, in a better school district, with a huge backyard full of big trees and lots of privacy. It took Brad’s commute time from the would-be-40-minute drive to or from work down to a mere 10-minute door-to-door drive which meant we would have more family time with him. AND… little did we know another little person would be added to our family so the extra bedroom and finished basement came in extremely useful.
This lesson in waiting, in learning to relax and rely on God, not carrying the burden of worry myself was freeing. For a high-strung control freak, learning to let go was huge. But I had done it. Insert double fist tap to the heart and finger point to the heavens. My home boy, the big G.O.D. upstairs, and I made a good team.
Yet isn’t it funny how quickly we forget the lesson we “learned”?
Just this week, with great antsy-ness, I probed Brad about a situation that I hoped would transpire quickly. His response, “It will happen, honey. Just give it time.”
Give it time. Ugh… that patience thing again.
When I was growing up and was irritated that things weren’t happening when I wanted them to, my mother would ask me, “What is the ‘P’ word?”
I freaking hated that ‘P’ word… PATIENCE.
I didn’t have time for patience. I wanted what I wanted and I wanted it now. After all, that is what society tells us we deserve, right?
So, in response to Brad’s reply to relax and let time take it’s course, I responded as maturely as I did as a kid. “I hope so. I don’t want to have to wait.”
Hmmmm…. I don’t WANT to wait. Immediate gradification. Control of the situation. Had I not learned anything?
There is value in the wait. No matter how big or small, some of our best growth comes in the wait, in having patience, in allowing God to work his mojo and actually trusting Him to do it.
So this morning as Connor anxiously fidgeted with the straps on his backpack, watching down the road for the little yellow bus to come rolling up, and as I heard the worry building in his voice each time he asked me for reassurance that he hadn’t been forgotten, it reminded me that we all need the same things…
- We need to learn to be still and watch. Is there something we should be learning during the wait? What events are playing out in our lives that may affect the situation we are waiting on? Look for the blessings.
- We need to know there is someone we can run to when we need assurance and strength. Our spouse, friends, parents, and ultimately God. He tells us to submit our prayers and petitions to Him. As a child goes to his earthly father, our Heavenly Father wants us to run into his arms. Just as he wants to hear the desires of our heart, he also wants us to listen to His voice and follow the steering of his hand. Sometimes, our scenario may not play out as we want or expect. Sometimes we’ll have unanswered questions, broken hearts, painful situations. But sometimes we’ll have better, our prayers answered and our hearts overjoyed. Since we cannot see the big picture of our life, we can’t see how intricately all the pieces of our life fit together. But God can see it. So even if you do not get what you expect, be encouraged that you can always expect the best from Him (you just may not understand it right now).
- We need to remember that the events we are yearning for will (by God’s grace) happen, not in our own timing, but in His perfect timing.
Friend, please know that when your little yellow bus rolls up to your house or whatever you are anxious for today comes to fruition, it will definitely be worth the wait.
What are you waiting for today?