in the waiting season

i hate standing in lines. absolutely hate standing in lines. i’m a natural mover…i want to be going somewhere, doing something, talking to someone…so staying still in a sea of other people staying still moving forward only every few minutes feels like a cruel joke to me. i definitely wouldn’t place patience at the top of my list of “positive traits”, but hey…at least i’m self-aware?

this feeling of not wanting to be stuck in a line gets escalated by roughly 80% when it comes to life. there are seasons in life where we find ourselves in the gap between where we are and where we want to be. for some of us, it feels like this season never ends (where all my fellow enneagram 3s at? lol) and it can take a toll on my creativity and productivity. i’ve been in the process of learning to accept these times as seasons of growth and challenge myself to keep moving forward, regardless of the results i’m seeing.

quick disclaimer: as a man of faith, i do believe that God wants us to rest and enjoy periods of time where we aren’t constantly going-going-going. if you feel burnt out and have been striving, know that Jesus loves you and desires you to feel rest in His presence. this post is directed more towards those who are READY to work and READY for expansion yet it feels as though nothing is happening in their efforts.

life is fun when things are succeeding. but what happens when the momentum slows? when the bank account starts to drop? when you find yourself eating thai food alone on your floor at 11:30pm with zero invites to hang out? (pulling from personal experience here)

it’s as if nothing seemed to change except the results of your efforts. you’re working the same amount, yet feeling stuck in your career. you go to social functions, yet find yourself more isolated than before. how do we handle these seasons of waiting for the tide to turn?

friends, if i had a one-size-fits-all answer i would tell you. but i don’t. i don’t think any of us do.

however, i have gathered some important tips you can implement into your life when you hit these pockets in your life:

  1. recognize the season for what it is

denial gets us nowhere fast. acting like everything is okay when everything is definitely not okay is not productive for anyone, especially you. it’s important to recognize where you’re at so then you can develop an action plan on how you’re going to navigate it. the “map” of your brain needs access to see your current location in order to provide recommendations nearby. you feel me?

2. take care of your body + mind + spirit

eating spinach and going through breathing exercises might not change your circumstances, but they just might make you feel better in the waiting. if you hit a season of uncertainty, change, or slowed momentum NOW IS THE TIME TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF YOURSELF THAN EVER BEFORE. write your thoughts in a journal, go on a walk, attend a healthy Bible study, ditch the junk food and start eating nutrient dense foods, etc. there’s so many ways to take care of yourself. so please: take care of yourself! you’re worth the investment.

3. continue to show up for others

this one is going to sting. personally, when i find myself in the “in-between” seasons of goal and accomplishment, it’s tough to think outside of myself. but it’s important to remember that the law of sowing and reaping is still in effect no matter where we’re at in our journey. there’s something immensely (hi, i love adverbs) powerful about helping someone else establish order in the midst of your own chaos. feeding someone who needs food. offering your skills to someone who has nothing to offer you in return except a “thank you”. these things feel counterproductive to our personal goals, but in reality, this is the perfect time to extend a hand to others. helping others thrive is time well spent.

4. trust your Creator

while i’m all about taking personal responsibility for your life, i want to share something that i hope encourages you to take a deep breath and let go of perfectionism. i think the biggest part of getting through a difficult season is trusting that God has everything under control and releasing your burdens at the foot of the cross. Jesus knows you, hears you, and will work on your behalf. getting closer to Jesus roots you deeper in your identity and you learn how God is providing for you every single day. at the same time, i know that God gives us passions, skills, talents, and gifts to be used for His glory and He welcomes us to play a part in His plans for us. this season of waiting is only temporary, but the lessons we can learn in the process can be eternal.

wherever you find yourself, i’m rooting for you. i hope reading this made you feel hopeful and excited for your life because YOU, my friend, are valuable and highly influential. i know sometimes it feels like nothing is happening and everything feels mundane, but don’t forget: you are a powerhouse. your decisions affect those around you. don’t lose hope. keep your eyes on what matters most. you’re awesome.

be well,

david

David Elm