There’s a line in the movie ELF where Buddy says, “I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite.” Not only do I find the line hilarious, but I totally relate. Smiling’s my favorite too. I believe in the power of a smile. In general, I’m a super positive person. It takes a lot to get me down. I’m pretty scrappy. I’ll pull myself out of any bad situation and search for that sliver of hope, no matter how tiny.
But sometimes life is hard. Like legit hard. And that sliver of hope becomes almost impossible to see. That’s the season I’m in. And I’ve been in it for around 2 years. Most days, I hold tightly to whatever scrap of hope I can wrap my fingers around, and I cling to it like a lifeline. But days like today, I feel only air. Weightless. Empty. Nothing to grasp onto.
My family is in a season of waiting. A weird in-between place. A place not unlike the waiting room at a hospital. We’re confused at what’s taking so long, and we’re frustrated that the nurse won’t call us back. Doesn’t she see us suffering? Doesn’t she think we’re an important case? Doesn’t she sense our desperation?
If this was the first time my family had experienced this awful waiting period, that would be one thing. But for us this has been some bizarre cycle. We have a few bad years, a couple good years, and then we’re back here again. Often, I wonder what I’m missing. What lesson I’m not learning that I need to.
I trust God. I believe in his promises. I know the things he’s spoken over my family. I know the dreams he’s planted in our hearts. But I have no idea when I’ll see them. And the waiting period sucks. This in- between period of praying and seeking and crying out is exhausting.
And I’m not saying any of this for pity. If you know me at all, you know this is how I process. Getting this on paper gets it out of my head. It helps me move forward. Same way I quiet my characters when they won’t shut up.
Also, I’m betting some of you are in this season. Waiting on something that isn’t happening.
Truth is, I don’t know what to say to help you. I want to have some super insightful, profound nugget of wisdom to hand you. But my palms are empty. My mind is a swirling mess of tangles and knots. I got nothin’.
Except this….You’re not alone. I’m in this waiting period with you. And I’ll do my best to make the waiting bearable. We can read magazines and tell stories to distract one another. Even when I’m sad, I’ll tell you jokes and I promise you that you’ll laugh, if only because I will and my laugh is contagious. Also, it’s loud. Maybe too loud. Ha! But who likes a quiet waiting room, right?
There’s a song called TRAINWRECK by James Arthur, and it speaks to my soul.
In the chorus he says,
Unbreak the broken
Unsay these spoken words
Find hope in the hopeless
Pull me out of the trainwreck
Unburn the ashes
Unchain the reactions
I’m not ready to die, not yet
Pull me out of the trainwreck
Pull me out, pull me out, pull me out
This is the cry of my heart. That God will pull me out. That he’ll pull you out.
In this waiting room, I’ll stare at that door with you, anxious and hopeful that it will open. And it will. It has to.
When it does, I’ll hold your hand. And we’ll walk through together. We’ll be braver. Stronger. Prepared. Ready.