I’m beginning to see the word wait as a four-letter curse word. When someone cuts me off in traffic I want to yell, “Learn how to drive! I don’t give a wait!” When I experience bad customer service I want to yell, “I will not put up with this wait from you!” But I don’t. Because no one would understand I was really using the word wait to cuss and because I have been faced with the weight of waiting so often in the last few months that I’m starting to wonder if I am Shug Avery and maybe God is trying to tell me something.
I have unanswered prayers. I have moments in life where I’ve done all I can do to fix, solve, numb, avoid, or control. God’s answer to my fix-it ways is more opportunities to wait.
I’m not a good waiter. I don’t sit patiently, trusting completely that God’s got everything under control. I worry, I obsess, I plan, I binge watch Netflix, I avoid praying in hopes that when God is on restriction from hearing my voice that He will more readily do things exactly as I say.
Lately, each way I turn I’m experiencing delay – at the doctor’s office, in traffic, waiting on a return phone call. Even when I finally get quiet and silent with God, one word comes to my mind. Wait.
Waiting is scary. I have no idea how my waiting will end. I have no idea if what I’m requesting, asking, begging, praying for is God’s best for me. Sometimes, waiting seems so shaky, uncertain, and unsure when I’m thinking I should be sure since the God I trust in is always sure.
So I’ve been praying that God would not just broaden my faith, but that He would broaden my trust. That He would help me to believe that His will, plans and love for me are better than what I could conceive or construct for myself. That faith is a constant journey into the unknown, while learning to trust, know and be known by a God who fully knows me and His plans for me.
In the meantime, you’ll find me taking in deep breaths, listening to India.Arie music and trying to Namaste my way through traffic. You’ll find me surrendering in every waiting room, each time I’m put on hold, and when I’m walking behind someone who’s taking their time in the airport. You’ll find me trying to keep my fingers from tapping impatiently by placing them over my heart and remembering all of the here and now things I have to be thankful for.
I’ll be here waiting until the word wait becomes an invitation to lean into God instead of a four-letter curse word.
As a poet, speaker, author, and event host, Amena Brown Owen was named one of Rejuvenate Magazine’s 2013 Top 40 under 40 Changemakers. She is the author of four spoken word CDs and non-fiction book Breaking Old Rhythms.
Find and follow Amena @amenabee