Lessons from the Waiting Room

I feel like the 15 year old who has a ton of homework but instead decided to watch TV and now she’s panicking because the homework is due and there’s no time left. Why? A couple of reasons.  First of all, I’ve been wanting to post about WAITING for a long , long time but I keep WAITING for the inspiration to hit me and as I WAIT, nothing happens.  I look at this blank page and I got nothin’.  Maybe I’m supposed to WAIT? I don’t know anymore.  WAITING sucks~ let’s just get that out there right now.

The second reason for my panic is that I am embarking on a 31 Day Challenge with some other bloggers. You can read all about it here.  I have also linked up the 8 original bloggers’ sites on the sidebar for easier navigating.  Starting tomorrow, I will be posting about 31 Days to Putting Family First.  I could have done 31 Days of How to Wait More Patiently.  That might have been good for me actually.  Or perhaps a  more fun topic like 31 Days of Buntings(Because they’re my new guilty pleasure).  Or even 31 Days to Pack a House! Oh yes! That’s definitely something I could get on board with!  But no, I feel compelled..well, some would say convicted  to put all of MY wants and needs aside and instead focus on my family who currently is spread out over 3 different households.  **sigh** This is tough.  I am actually hoping that inspiration will strike early in the day each day so that I have something profound and tangible to pass on , but truthfully, right now I feel like I am failing miserably and I haven’t even started~ this should be interesting!

So, for now, let’s put 31Days on the backburner and turn back to the topic at hand: Waiting.


“I’m still waiting for my miracle, God.”  At least, this is what I’m telling Him.  (Did you know that you can TELL God stuff?)   It is September 30 and I am no closer to moving my family to Regina than I was on Sept.1.  Some days it just feels like no One is really listening.  **Ahem**

~Waiting~    It’s all I do. I wait for the phone to ring, for an e-mail. An update , please? A sign? Something.  I wait.

Not unlike the varied characters of a hospital waiting room~ I find myself expressing attitudes and emotions from one extreme to the next.  Given my mood, my hormone levels and my impatience, I have turned into one of THOSE people. You know, the ones in the waiting room you pull your child away from. The one who is too loud, sighing too often, fidgeting, pacing, arguing with the desk clerk.

Waiting rooms are great petri dishes to analyze and observe the human condition.  Most of us have been and will be in a waiting room at some time in our lives. We are there for ourselves, for our kids, for our spouse, our parents or a friend.  If you’re there for yourself, you may be too distracted by pain or illness to notice the other passengers on the  wait-train but if you have a chance, the next time~ check them out.  You’ll see mothers holding their babies, worried and tired from lack of sleep.  Husbands with wives, impatient and annoyed with no sports playing on the TV.  You may see adult children with aging parents looking worn and forlorn.  Frustration, fatigue, anger.  All common in a waiting room.

This past month as I have been in my own waiting room, I have been inundated with books, verses, songs and comments about waiting.  Is it a conspiracy? Because I’m starting to get a complex about this!  There is no option in the waiting room. If you want to see the Physician you have to wait.  You can leave, but the problem won’t leave you, so you return and sit.  And sit.  And wait..again.

As I look back on all of my waiting room experiences, I am thankful that not all of them were negative.  Oh yes, I was in the Calgary hospital with my friend sick with fever from West-Nile Virus for hours as she fevered and passed out~ angry with nurses who were too apathetic to care.  I have paced and cried in an ICU waiting room by myself as my husband was whisked away to life-saving surgery at 5 in the morning.  I have carried my injured child through emergency doors, only to be told that we would have to sit…and wait.  But I have had more positive experiences than negative: The day I went to the walk-in clinic in 1994, scared, alone and full of anticipation…the nurse returning to me with “it’s positive”! My heart in my throat and the joy in my tears! After a pregnancy that never happened, this was a well-spring of living water to my soul.

Or the joys of newborn visits to the doc.  The waiting room was just another opportunity to show off my big, healthy cute bundle of red-headed joy! I didn’t mind waiting~ the nurses would coo, the older folks would chat, the other moms waiting with bellies full would smile.  These were the good waits. The waits that don’t drag you down and suck the joy out of your existence.

In the years after , there were more waiting room visits. More smiling nurses, friendly doctors, good news reports and gleeful fits of anticipation.

My daughter and I have been reading this book and she asked me one night about the line that talks of the “ticking of the waiting room in a pregnant pause”…..hmmmm. I had to think of that for a minute.  How do you explain a pregnant pause to a child?   In the book, the waiting in that particular case was heart-wrenching and full of God-pleading cries. But at the same time, there was hope.  That is what a pregnant pause is all about. I always tell new/young moms, “you can’t be pregnant forever! That baby WILL come out!” And it’s so true. Being pregnant 4 times, I can tell you that there are days when you feel like it’s never going to end!! You just want to get on with it already! You’re tired, you’re grumpy, you’re lumpy and frumpy too.  Your clothes are tight, your bra’s too small, your feet swell and you have to pee every 20 minutes! It’s tough! You can’t get comfortable at night, your back hurts and you have someone kneeing you in the ribs.   But it will end.  That is beauty in the midst of the waiting. IT. WILL. END.

I keep telling myself that we won’t be in limbo forever. I feel like this past year has been one long visit to the Waiting Room of Life.  I feel suspended in time. I can’t go back because the problem isn’t fixed. I have to wait and get the answers from the Physician.  But for now, it seems that He’s got other people who are sicker(bear with me here. I know God has time for me and all my issues and that He can sill heal the sick, feed the hungry and sort out the finances of the free world, but it just appears like He’s put me in the corner with the outdated magazine pile).

This waiting room experience is going to come to an end and what will I have learned?

~ maybe that my problems are small compared to the mother with cancer?

~ maybe that getting angry just makes the nurse grouchy and she’s more likely to stick the needle in harder?

~ maybe that a smile goes a long way to the person sitting beside you in the waiting room and they’re wanting answers too, so don’t be so demanding

Maybe the waiting room is not about what happens next but more about how you act while you’re there. After all, there’s people watching you.

I read a blog this week which is fast becoming one of my favourites. You should check it out here.

In it, the daughter of the blogger(I have no idea how old she is but she is wiser than I) said this to her mom:

“Mama? Sometimes we have to walk to our future even when it feels like we want to run.”

I didn’t even know what to do with that. I had to read it over several times. It hit me like a ton of bricks. She’s right.  I want to run so fast into the future but that is not the way that God has purposed for me to go.  I must walk. I must wait.

Isaiah 30:18   Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
 Blessed are all who wait for him!

Isaiah 64:4    Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.

Romans 8:25   But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.


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