Hi ladies, my name is Angelina-not to be confused with Angela, although it frequently is! It’s okay though, I love Angela enough that I don’t mind being called by her name. Occasionally! 😉
As March’s theme is patience/waiting, Angela has asked me to write about how God has been faithful to me in the waiting. When I got the message from her asking me to write about this, my stomach dropped and I may have groaned out loud. Not because He has not been faithful, on the contrary He has been incredibly faithful, but because talking about His faithfulness in this area means being open and talking about things I tend to rarely talk about. I am a fairly private person and in general I don’t enjoy talking about my feelings, which means this is definitely out of my comfort zone, so please bear with me 🙂
My family moved to China in February of 1996 when I was 8 years old; I still live in China now with my husband and daughter, which is where I met Angela.
I am 30 years old. I have been married for 8 years to my high school sweetheart and our daughter is 7. On the surface, it doesn’t seem like I have really had to wait for much, at least not for the “major” things of life-I got married at 22, pregnant 4 weeks later, and our daughter was born 3 months after I turned 23. However, not having to wait for things changed in August of 2011. When our daughter was 10 months old, I had a miscarriage, and that was to be the first of four miscarriages, so far, which has meant 6 1/2 years of waiting. Waiting for God to once again open my womb and bless us with another baby. Waiting on Him to show us His plan, waiting on Him to show us what is wrong with my body, waiting for Him to just say yes or no. There have been so many times when I have thought that it would be so much easier if God would just tell me no. Am I the only one who feels like if I knew the answer was no it might make it just a tiny bit easier? If I knew the answer was no then I could grieve the losses and move on, and I wouldn’t have to keep hoping. Those of you who are waiting for something in your life, don’t you sometimes feel like hope is one of the hardest parts of the journey God has called you on? It is with good reason Proverbs 13:12 says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick…” There have been so many times when I have told the Lord, “I am just so tired of hoping and being disappointed!” I think wanting to give up and move on is a huge temptation in times of waiting. Maybe that means you decide that you heard God wrong, or feel like you never heard Him at all. Or maybe that means that you decide His way is too painful and you just don’t want to walk that path anymore. I have been there. The defeated feeling of saying “forget it, I am done hoping.” Oh friend, let me encourage you to look to God as your source of true hope. Let our hope be in Him, not in what He can give us! The Psalms repeatedly say that it is Him that we wait for and our hope is from Him. Psalms 62 says it twice! Verse 1 says “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.”
Verse 5 says “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.”
And Psalm 130:5 says “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I hope;”
Walking this out and figuring out what it looks like to wait for Him is a daily, minute by minute, struggle. There is nothing easy about deciding to choose Him over the gift we are asking for, but watching and feeling Him fill the hurting places is nothing less than incredible and awe-inspiring. He loves us so much that He wants to fill ALL the hurting places in our hearts and be enough for us regardless of our circumstances. He is faithful even in the greatest disappointments!
Back to Angela’s question to me: “how has God been faithful to you in the waiting?” There have been a hundred different ways, but if I was to be as concise as possible, I would simply say “through His Word.” Of course, He has brought friends to walk alongside us and pray with/for us, and He frequently uses music to minister to my heart, but the primary way He has shown His faithfulness to me is by comforting the hurting places inside me through His Word.
I was studying through the Gospel of John a while back and was in chapter 11, which is the chapter where Lazarus dies, when I noticed something that has stuck with me and anchored me for a long time now.
John 11:4-6 4 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
I want to show you something in the Strong’s Concordance. The word in verse 6 that is translated “stayed” is the Greek word “meno.” In the Greek that word “meno” also means “tarried.” So, what hit me that day as I studied this was that Jesus’ tarrying was connected to Him loving Martha, Mary and Lazarus! His choosing not to act yet was because He loved them and so that He might be glorified!! This is true for us too. God may be tarrying in our lives, but the God of the universe has a plan and has timing that He is working out because He loves us! Knowing that God was glorified in their pain comforts the deep places of my heart because, even though it hurts, my heart’s greatest desire is to honor God and bring glory to Him. I believe that the temporary pain Mary and Martha felt at the death of their brother was nothing compared to the joy they felt when Jesus raised him back to life and, even more importantly, their faith in Jesus must have increased beyond measure! I pray that He would increase our faith as well!
Please allow me to just encourage you with this: the Jesus who was deeply moved when He saw Mary weeping (John 11:33) and wept Himself (v. 35), is the very same Jesus who upholds us today! You are not alone in your time of waiting. He is there at the right hand of God interceding for us (Rom. 8:34)! Isaiah 53:4 says, “Surely He has borne our grief and carried our sorrows…” Friend, let us allow Him to carry our grief, our sorrows, and our times of waiting. We were not made to carry them alone!