"Mom, don't you think it's time to quit? You've been working for two years to get these books and videos published. It's okay to let go and move on."
I laid my head on the desk, crying quietly.
"I wish I could, Noel. But there's a relentless nudging in my soul that tells me I can't quit.
"I believe this nudging is from Jesus."
"But don't you think Jesus sees how hard you have tried to complete this project?"
Praying silently, I implored the Lord: "I've tried hard, really hard, Lord! But I'm tired of waiting. Do you want this single-parent curriculum to be published or is it just my ambition?"
I felt like a nagging young child, pestering her parent with the same request over and over. I wanted to do God's will, but I was exhausted. And deep inside I wanted to quit. I progressed from pestering the Lord to a full-blown temper tantrum. Yet his grace provided me a spacious place at his throne where I could be real.
Several months later, on a blustery fall Sunday morning, I arrived late for church. Everyone was standing to sing "I Have Come to Praise the Lord," but I barely could sing. I was about to lose it when I heard the still small voice say, "Come away with me, Barbara."
I left the sanctuary and drove to my favorite park, where I walked to "my" bench and opened my Bible. The wind flipped the pages, but when it stopped, I looked down and saw Isaiah 66:9: "'Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?' says the Lord." My tears began to flow. God understood that the work I had done on my curriculum for single parents was like carrying a baby to term and then not being able to give birth. I realized at that moment that somehow the Lord was going to bring it to delivery. Still, the waiting was not easy.
What are you waiting for God to do? Provide the money to pay an outstanding bill? Wisdom in parenting your children? Help in overcoming a character flaw? Or is it the courage to break off a relationship with someone you are dating?
Waiting on God is intricately linked with trusting that he alone knows what is best for us. It means trusting that he alone can heal our emotional and physical pain, trusting that he alone can grant perfect timing to the events of our lives.
I am convinced that the meaning of my single-parent journey is not in receiving answers but in knowing the Lord. "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings. ? Not that I have already obtained all this, ? but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me" (Phil. 3:10, 12).
I walked back to my car that Sunday morning feeling intimately nurtured by my heavenly Father. At that moment, though, I had no idea how much I would continue to need his touch of tenderness. My church curriculum for single parents, Just Me & the Kids, was delayed eight more months?almost three years from contract to publication.
As I look ahead to the new year, I see more areas in my life, and my children's, where I need answers. But few answers have come. It has been hard waiting, but I know that growing to know the Lord is much more important. There will always be something to wait for.
1998 by the author or Christianity Today/Christian Parenting Today magazine.
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