5 Ways To Get Through A Waiting Season
So this is a post I’ve wanted to write for a while - partly as it’s something I feel like I wrestle with frequently.
At any given point in our lives, in one or various areas, there will always be a ‘waiting’ season we’re in. It could be waiting for a promotion, waiting to get a big idea we can turn into a business, waiting to meet a life partner, waiting for results, waiting for a health challenge of a loved one to pass and so on and so forth.
So, given waiting is an inescapable part of life, how can we wait well or get good at being in a waiting season?
Part of it I think is about perspective and having the right mindset. Although we’re often not in control of the outside factors or people who determine our waiting season, we do have control of our own minds and attitudes.
1. KNOW THAT WAITING DEVELOPS STRENGTH AND CHARACTER
Some of you might know that I run a platform for women called MAGNIFY. What might not be as well known is that it started almost 10 years ago. Over the last decade there have been so many times when I’ve been hustling, praying, and trying to get things to happen and so often it felt like I was literally running hard into brick walls.
The last 12 months behind the scenes, so much has started to happen - from TV appearances, to international opportunities and I can say this now hand on heart - I’d never change the journey of the last 10 years for anything.
I’m grateful for the times when it felt like nothing was happening, I’m grateful for the times I felt abandoned when the wait was too long for others. Because, it taught me perseverance. It taught me patience. It taught me to be resilient, and it showed me that pursuing my dream was what I wanted to invest in.
I believe we’re stronger than we think and sometimes we need to go through the waiting seasons and the hard times in life to become as strong as we need to for the next season of our lives.
2. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO ENCOURAGE YOU
When it’s all said and done, the community we journey through life with will either propel us forward or take us back. The times when I’ve felt discouraged and like nothing was happening it was my family and friends who supported me.
Whether it was Ayo, or my best friends, my parents or my extended family, having those people to encourage me when I felt like there was nothing to be encouraged about made these seasons better.
In a world where we are constantly told to put our best foot forward, it can be hard to show vulnerability. Or for some of us, it could be that having experienced past hurts or betrayals, we can put our walls up and feel like we can take on things on our own. For me I've learned that isolating ourselves only makes difficult seasons more painful.
The reality of life is that none of us are like a weighted clown that can bounce back up without the help of others and there is a specific passage in the Bible that I love in this regard:
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour. If either of them falls down,one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-11
3. BE THANKFUL FOR WHAT YOU DO HAVE
‘Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.’ The older I get, the more I realise it’s so important to not take anything for granted.
A few years ago (and for the majority of my adult life!) there was a season when I was single and during that there were times when I wasn't happy about it...at all! Although it’s a natural and healthy desire, the view of wanting to be in a committed relationship began to consume me.
Rather than be thankful for the amazing friends I had, the fact that I was healthy, the opportunities coming my way, my focus was on what I didn’t have and that was a recipe for being miserable!
Looking back, I wished I had embraced the season of opportunity more. The time to invest in myself, in my character, in my dreams and in enjoying life. Ultimately, when we shift our focus off of the thing we don’t have and onto enjoying the things we do have, it's amazing how time seems to pass so much quicker.
4. UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF TIME AND SEASONS IN LIFE
If we lived in a world where a waiting season wasn’t necessary then there would be no such thing as agriculture...crops would just emerge from nowhere.
Although I’m not an agricultural expert (!) the lesson I take from that is that if we want to realise great gain, there will always be a waiting season. We can’t have a season of harvest without a season of sowing.
Often the seasons of harvest are the most painful because they are hard work, they often come with no reward or recognition, they can feel uncertain and more than anything they can feel lonely.
We need wisdom to understand what season of life we are in and we need grace to enjoy it. If we’re always trying to fast forward and move on to the next, we miss out on enjoying one of life’s best gifts - the gift of growth.
5. WAITING DOESN’T MEAN BEING STATIONARY
One of my biggest fears in life is of not fulfilling my full potential. This has meant that in certain seasons, my life has looked like a flurry of activity trying to make sure I was doing everything in my power to achieve my destiny.
But I’ve come to realise that activity does not equate to productivity. We can be busy doing nothing. When I was single, I realised I expounded so much energy trying to meet, find, search, pursue ‘Mr Right’ as I couldn’t embrace the opportunity to be still and to be patient. That often would lead me into all kinds of wrong (wrong!) guys but I somehow felt that it was better to do something than to just do nothing.
The same thing has often been true in my professional life. There have been times when I’ve just said yes to doing everything, networking with everyone, straying away from things I knew deep down weren’t in line with my passions or purpose - but out of the fear of not doing enough and just being patient, I felt I had no choice.
ENJOY WHERE YOU ARE
If I could sum up all that I’ve learnt what would I say? Enjoy where you are. Enjoy the present. Enjoy the hardships, the struggles, the lack of support or vindication. Enjoy the times of seeming ‘lack’ for they will teach you to be more resourceful and creative than you could imagine. I truly believe that when we look back, we’ll see that some of our waiting seasons were some of the best seasons for they refined in us the character to become our greatest self.
DID YOU KNOW WE'RE ON YOUTUBE?