The waiting period
Hi guys! I hope you've all been having a good and fulfilling week! So today, I figured I'd talk about the waiting period. The waiting period could mean anything to be honest. It could be the period that you've had to wait for a job, the period you've had to wait for admission into a programme, the period of waiting to meet a life partner, the period of waiting for a problem to end or for a new wonderful beginning.
The waiting period is that time where you've completed or achieved something and you're waiting for the next step to happen. The scary thing about this waiting period is that most times, it's out of your control. Most times, you're waiting because you can't make the next thing happen yourself. The next step is dependent on something or someone else.
For instance, if you've finished university, the next step is getting a job. Now that's when you jump into the application period and start applying for different jobs, while hoping and praying that one day you'll get that call, email or letter informing you that you've been hired.
I believe there's always a waiting period. I remember when I did my GCSE's and I was so nervous about my results. The very night that it was supposed to come out, I woke up super early in the morning around 4:00 am anticipating and fearing the results. That was a waiting period. Or should I talk about when I was waiting for my uni final results or even my law school results. Guys! I was terrified, I didn't want to fail but there was nothing I could do to change what I'd done in my exams. I had to wait to see what the results would be.
My current waiting period is the one I don't really like talking about. It feels weird and awkward even talking about it, but it's the period where I'm waiting for my life partner. I've got a job and everything is falling into place, but the next step in my mind and as dictated by culture and life is marriage. There's always a waiting period. You may not have had to experience a waiting period when moving from uni to employment, or in finding a partner, but I believe that everyone has had a period where they've had to wait for something. Where they've built anticipation, sometimes worry and where they've had to work on their patience and faith.
Be it in working to get a promotion , or waiting for your business or ministry to grow and make the impact that you've envisioned. There's always a period of either anticipation or dread (whatever way you want to look at it). And the annoying thing about this waiting period is the fact that it occurs more than once. Each time you've had to wait has probably tried to teach you patience, perseverance etc.
So since the waiting period is so consistent in its appearance, what do we do in that time? When the waiting period appears, what do we do with ourselves?
I've seen different reactions to the waiting period from different types of people. Some sad, some normal and some just plain amazing to see.
What have I seen?
I've seen fear. I've seen people live in absolute fear of what's going to happen and how things are going to pan out. I've seen people shake in trepidation of the outcome of their expectations. I've actually experienced this myself. Like I mentioned above, waiting for my exam results was super scary. I remember when I was in law school and the results of those the year above us came out. The statistics were one of the most frightening things I'd ever seen. My chest felt cold and I started shaking. At this time, my year mates and I were also waiting for our results.
The exam period had been tough for me at the time because I was also writing the dissertation for my masters while the rest of my mates were studying for the exams. Guys, when I tell you that I couldn't sleep that night after seeing the results of those above us, I kid you not. I was so scared that if people who had been focussing on just their exams could fail so miserably, it would be almost impossible to pass. At the time everyone knew that law school exams were scary. So I was terrified. Guess what, the fear didn't do one bit to help me. It simply made me feel horrible. P.S I passed!!!! loool.
Another reaction to the waiting time that I've seen is people becoming incapacitated by negativity. They become so overwhelmed with the fact that they're waiting and that nothing is happening, that they become absolutely empty of hope. It's like they don't see the possibilities anymore, and so while they're in their waiting period, they lose all hope and feel dejected. Eventually they either start to retreat from the world or become angry and antagonistic.
So it becomes difficult being around them, or your heart just breaks for them because as much as you believe that it will all pan out, they can't see the possibilities. So other people's successes either grates at them or further depresses them. It's not even intentional, or done out of wickedness, it's just that they can't see the light ahead of them.
Now my usual reaction in the past was pretence. I used to pretend that I wasn't waiting for something. Like whenever I was waiting for my exam results, I used to try to make myself forget that I was waiting for the results until the day of. It didn't always work, but it worked a lot of times. Then I'd have bouts of fear, or worry because I was pretending and not really acknowledging the reality of things. This works sometimes, but it's not the best. It allowed me to be happy and playful, but in the moments when I remembered, my mood would be affected. Why? Because the fact that I was pretending not to remember meant that I was low-key afraid and worried. So instead of acknowledging my feelings, I was burying them.
Now, I'm certain that there are many more reactions to the waiting period. But the last one I'll be mentioning is personal development. I've found that the best thing to do in the waiting period is to work on myself. I recently just learnt this and it's helped a lot. It gives me a sense of purpose because I know that a new season will always start, so I just need to prepare myself for the next season.
So while in the waiting period, I've found it's the best time to develop myself and work on me. I've been trying to use the time to make sure I'm ready for what's coming next. I'm building and working on being patient, while also working on really being reliant on God.
While I was trying to pretend that I wasn't worried, I filled my time with things that didn't really make a difference. But with my new mindset on developing and improving myself and my life while waiting, the waiting period feels more purposeful. It doesn't seem as long or as stressful as it used to and I actually achieve more. I also don't feel as fearful as I used to and it's made it a lot easier for me to understand and respect the waiting period. So I don't feel as out of control, instead, I feel like I'm part of the waiting period and I'm building up to the next period.
You see, the waiting period isn't just so we can jump to the next thing. It actually prepares us and strengthens us, that is if we utilise it well. I'm so sure that if I'd gotten married a year ago, I wouldn't have been ready for it. My character, my spirit and my soul wouldn't have been properly prepped for it, but at the time I thought I was. However, in this past year, I've learnt so much about myself and the areas that I need to grow and this has helped me see that just because what I want now isn't here right now, it doesn't mean it won't come.
It just means that it's being prepared or I'm being prepared for it. And I believe that this applies to everyone. When I was younger, my mum used to ask me to read for the next year whenever exams were done, so that I'd be better prepared for the next level. So while the teacher was marking my exams, I could've used that time to prepare for a greater next year. Why? Because the next stage always came.
No matter how long you have to wait, no matter how many times you get afraid or get disappointed, the next stage will always come. Regardless of the fear, apprehension or incapacitation that you feel in the moment, the next stage will always come. The only difference is how you approach the waiting time. When you see the waiting time in a positive light, it becomes a gestational period which will definitely bring forth. It just means you're metamorphosing into a better time and better you.
Our mindset should always be to enjoy the period that we're in. Why? Because we'll never get that time again. We can't go back in time, but we can take full advantage of the time that we presently have. So please snap out of the fear and the negativity and take full hold of your time of waiting.
If it's really hard for you, just ask God (the Holy Spirit) to help you. He answers guys, He'll use the time to teach and prepare you while filling you with a peace that you never knew was possible. Don't get me wrong, I sometimes get emotional because I want the next stage to happen now, then I remember God's word and that He's brought me this far and so will definitely take me to where I need to get to. So this gestational period allows me to grow so that I'm ready for what's about to come.
And I'm not gonna lie guys, I'm super excited for it! I'm expectant and excited. I hope when the time comes for the next stage I'm prepared so I don't destroy it instead of building it and progressing to the stage after that.
Once again, I love you guys and God loves you!!!!