Reading a great book right now written by a dear friend of mine. It’s a book about “waiting”. Honestly, I started reading it because I miss her, NOT because I feel like I am waiting. I have DEFINITELY had seasons of waiting, but right now I feel like I’m in a, “Hey wait, slow down…let me catch up with this crazy adventure!!” kind of stage!
But as I started reading, I began to remember that I am waiting. I am waiting on so many things. I am waiting on my children to grow and develop, to see the outcome of their life. I am waiting for the storms that I know are coming in our family’s life. I am waiting to see how we are going to handle them. I am waiting for those I love to find peace and freedom. I am still waiting on so many of God’s promises.
I am waiting for my own character to change. I am waiting to understand my depression better. I am waiting to be stronger, wiser, lighter, more faithful, more disciplined.
I read a part this morning that really struck me. It is in regards to the pain we can feel while waiting, but I think it applies to all suffering. The author discussed how we all suffer and wait in different ways for different things. Some suffering is mind-numbing, heart-breaking, breath-stealing, while other suffering is a low buzz in the back of our brains (and hearts) stealing our happiness and sapping our strength.
It is tempting to compare our pain to others. I have seen those who minimize their pain because it is not as bad as someone else’s. I have also seen those who minimize other’s pain because they view their own pain as so much worse. This comparison of pain has been heavier on my heart since moving here. I see incredible suffering, and then walk away feeling guilty that I hurt over anything in my easy life!
I love what Elizabeth shares here, though:
“No matter what kind of wait you are enduring today, be it the soul-killing kind of wait or the daily-joy-stealing kind of wait, hear this, know this: your pain, your doubt, your struggles, your feelings are real. Valid. You have a wound that needs tending. Even small cuts can turn septic and poison the whole body.”*
Even small cuts can turn septic and poison the whole body. That is such a true statement. We can’t ignore even our small cuts. We need to clean them, tend to them…and then once they are healed, forget them. Kayli came to me yesterday with a small burn on her finger that was just starting to get infected. We put ointment on it and then covered it. I didn’t scold her because there were people in the world with worse wounds. However, I would be concerned if she was remembering the pain of this particular wound years from now. This wound will heal completely and then I hope she forgets the pain. Unfortunately, in her life, she might gain other wounds that won’t heal as well, or will leave permanent scars. I hope that we will have the wisdom to deal with each wound individually.
I am grateful for both the permission to deal with pain, no matter how small, and also for the opportunity to heal and grow past the pain. And I am grateful for friends like Elizabeth who say even the little cuts matter. Like ointment and a bandaid, I’m sure that kind of understanding helps the healing happen so much faster!
*Thompson, Elizabeth Laing. When God Says “Wait”: navigating life’s detours and delays without losing your faith, your friends, or your mind (Kindle Locations 378-380). Barbour Publishing, Inc.. Kindle Edition.