One thing I hear quite often as a single woman is, “how are you doing in your time of waiting?”
The initial sarcastic thought that comes to my mind is, “Well, it’s 3pm so I’m just waiting for supper…which is PRETTY ROUGH. I’m not doing well. Seriously.”
But what people are really asking about is, how am I handling waiting for my husband. I know the people that have asked me this question are well meaning. I know that they truly care about the state of my heart and how I’m handling being single. They love me enough to ask how my heart is, and whether or not I’m letting relationship status become an idol. Because I’ve let it become that in the past.
They don’t want me to “waste my waiting.” They don’t want to see me wallow in self-pity, wasting away time I could be using to serve and love those around me.
However, I really don’t like that phrasing, and here’s why: it implies that my life isn’t complete until the next season comes around (which is something I wrote about here). It implies that I’m waiting on something other than God.
Now, hear me out. I’m NOT saying that this type of phrasing is totally wrong. And I’m not saying others should stop asking the question. I need those questions asked of me. I need deep, Christ-centered fellowship in my life to rejoice with me when I rejoice, and weep with me when I weep (Romans 12:15).
As I’ve written previously, I think waiting is ingrained in who we are. We long for the next big thing. We desire the next step up whatever ladder we’re climbing.
What’s wrong is when I hear that phrase or question and fall back into that mindset of marriage being the ultimate end-goal. What’s wrong is when I ask someone that question and lead them to believe that something other than God is better than God.
A few verses before (what I’m assuming is) the most famous verse on “waiting”, Isaiah writes:
To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. (40:25)
This is in a section of scripture speaking to the greatness of God. The Holy One Himself is asking, “who is better? Where can you go to find something that comes close to me?”
My season of waiting will last for the rest of my earthly life. I can go nowhere to find something or someone to fill the void of desire that only Christ can. My heart longs for the day to be united with Christ in His presence.
But for now, I’m going to try to not waste my waiting. I’m going to keep my eyes fixed on the prize and purpose of my waiting: Jesus.
And if I get married, we’ll continue to wait together for the glorious day when our Bridegroom brings us home.