Do you know what it’s like to wait for something? My friend, Author Janet Thompson, lends some encouragement that will help you be brave during the waiting. And if you leave a comment at the end of her blog post, along with the U.S. state in which you live, you could win a copy of her newest book, Everyday Brave: Living Courageously as a Woman of Faith. (U.S. mailing addresses or APO Boxes only please).
Here’s Janet with how you can be everyday brave:
It’s difficult waiting for anything—a medical test result, school grades, an acceptance letter, a prodigal returning, the sale of a home, a move, a job offer, a baby, family arriving safely on a wintery night, a phone call, a predicted storm, restored health, Christmas, or a birthday. I know you can think of more waits that are difficult. I’ve had them too.
When I was writing Everyday Brave and asked women to share the bravest thing God ever asked them to do, many answered “wait” and “trust God.” Who hasn’t waited and trusted God to answer a prayer request, but how many of us considered waiting as brave or courageous, even though there are many verses like,“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be braveand courageous” (Ps. 27:14, NLT).
We’ve all experienced times in our lives when it took sheer grit to wait on the Lord patiently, without impatiently taking matters into our own hands. Some women mentioned surrendering their will to God’s will as the bravest thing God ever asked them to do.
Waiting on God’s Timing
When we put our concerns and requests before God, we never know for sure how or when He is going to answer. It’s easy to say, “Trust in the Lord,” but when you’re on the waiting side of things it’s not so easy. Waiting requires stalwart courage and bravery to trust in the Lord’s perfect timing.
Waiting can fill us with anxiety, apprehension, angst, anger, and worry—or anticipation, awe, expectation, eagerness, hope, and trust. Depending on our personality, we might experience a combination of those emotions. I know I do. I don’t like waiting. I want answers now. The only way I calm my anxious heart is to pray about the situation, and then go about daily activities keeping my mind focused on other things, trying not to dwell on the looming object of my wait.
Don’t get me wrong, calm doesn’t come easy for me. I actually chose “calm” as my word to focus on one year. My husband laughed when I told him my annual word because I’m not naturally a calm person. Descriptions more appropriate of my personality are excitable, energetic, eager, and enthusiastic—anything but calm!
Trusting God with the Wait
It’s hard to trust God to take care of everything for us while we wait, even though Jesus reminds us: “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes”(Matt. 6:34, The Message).
Elisabeth Elliot wrote about brave waiting in her book, Passion and Purity: “I do know that waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts.”
Still, we’ve all been there. Sometimes we feel brave and courageous and can flow with whatever the future brings. Other times, we feel weak and weepy like Hannah in the Bible when she waited to have a child. But when we read Hannah’s story, we see she was distraught before she gave her burden to God, and then she seemed willing to bravely accept whatever He decided was best for her, whether it was a child or not. She became peaceful and content in God’s waiting room. (1 Samuel 1:1-2:11)
Hannah trusted God and waited on Him to decide whether she would become a mother.
We’re all waiting for something every day.
When you prayerfully and patiently wait on God, you’re braver than you know.
What helps you be brave in times of waiting? Let us know in the comment section below (and also indicate the U.S. state where you live) and we will choose one winner to receive a free copy of Janet’s new book, Everyday Brave, compliments of Leafwood Publishers.
Janet Thompson is an international speaker, freelance editor, and award-winning author of 20 books including her newest, Everyday Brave: Living Courageously as a Woman of Faith. Her passion is mentoring women in sharing their life experiences and God’s faithfulness. Visit Janet and sign up for her weekly blog and free online newsletter at womantowomanmentoring.com.
My niece Brooke lives bravely everyday. Her second child, Samuel has been diagnosed with Autism. Only with God’s strength, provision and love has she been able to be the best person, wife, mother of two kids and advocator for Samuel. Samuel is 6 yrs. old. He communicates via computer. Brooke trusts and waits on God for the day Samuel will speak the words that every mother longs to hear, “I love you mom!”
That is such a touching story, Donna. Truly a story of bravery in the waiting. Thank you for sharing it with us. Please let us know which U.S. state you live in so you can be eligible to win the free copy of Janet’s book.
Donna your niece will appreciate the story in Chapter 24 “Brave in Illness” in Everyday Brave where courageous 10 year-old Chloe and her mother Sara share the story of Chloe’s struggle with selective mutism. Such a difficult journey for a mother and child. Thank you for sharing your niece and her son’s story.
To be brave I listen to Fear is a Liar by Zach Williams in the mornings while I’m getting ready. Especially when I’m having a struggle or need courage.
Cindy I actually refer to that song in Everyday Brave! It’s right on.
LOVED this post thank you!!!! It is SOOOO hard to be brave and to trust in the wait! I try to really renew my mind during such times and I start recalling out all the times that God has been SO abundantly faithful is seeing me through. Again, it is tough! My flesh is terrible and my patience is thin at times, but I know I know I know that God is good and so worth the wait!
Thank you, Nicci, and thank you for letting us know you are in Georgia, too. 🙂
You’re right Nicci that remembering God’s goodness in the past helps us trust that He’ll always be there for us in the future.
Yes… waiting is the hardest thing in life to do……i am still waiting to see how God will heal my broken heart after the death of our youngest daughter from a horrific battle with brain cancer….She left a husband and two young children…..only 42 years old…..What God has shown me though is to be grateful for all my other blessings …other children, grandchildren and great grandchildren……her children are doing better as is her husband….HE HAS SHOWN ME THIS IS NOT OUR HOME AND WE WILL BE RE-UNITED SOME GLORIOUS DAY!…..
Thank you, Barbara, for your comment. God will give you courage as you wait for His healing. I’m certain of it. Also, please let me know which U.S. state you live in, so you can be in the running to win a free copy of Janet’s book. Thank you. 🙂
I’m 62 yrs old and still learning how to be still and wait and know He is my God and in complete control.
I try to remember that God is in control and loves my grandson from whom I am being alienated more than I can imagine. His father died in 2016 and mother is addict with mental health issues who has never been consistent in his life, court ordered he change schools and spend more time with me but she and her family have been getting him to hate me since his death. I was always there for him and involved in his schooling since preschool- now unable to get much information on things. It is very hurtful and heartbreaking.
I’m so sorry at what you are experiencing, Melanie. Yet, God is the restorer of all things. He knows your heart’s desire and your longing for a relationship with your grandson. Thank you for your comment and please let us know if you live in the U.S.
My husband and I are recently retired and waiting on the sale of our home in Texas to move forward with our plans for downsizing in our home state (5 months). Having more time for prayer and reflection in God’s Word is teaching me how to rely on Him patiently (sometimes hard). But, I know that my faith is growing stronger and His Timing will bring us a blessing. Thanks for this message of encouragement!
Janet, thank you for this book that I know will be such a faith builder and encouragement to those of us who are waiting on God. I’m looking forward to reading Everyday Brave.
I’m waiting on God for good things since my husband of 15 years cheated, filed for divorce and left me and our three children. I’m waiting on Gods promises to carry us out of this very painful time.
Prayerfully waiting on God gives me the strength to carry on with life situations, keeps me focused on the more important things. God is love, He cares for us if only we would ask for help. I receive the help I need through His Holy Spirit. I feel the love of God. God bless you for the contribution you are making in building a better world for Christians.
Thank you, Jacqueline, and we appreciate you responding all the way from the United Kingdom.
My wife left me this past december and i am trying to wait and trust God through this trial. It is most definitely the hardest thing i have ever faced in my 50 years on this earth. I lost my first wife and mother of my 2 children in a boating accident and never thought i would face anything even close to that hard again in my life but i was wrong! Of course i loved the mother of my children, but the depth of the love i felt for my second wife was even deeper. I loved her with all my heart and loosing her crushed me, i feel so broken. I have made some mistakes through this trial that i wish i hadnt made but i have also become closer to God than ever before. I know He will restore me and make me strong firm and steadfast once again. I know He will heal my broken heart and bind up my gaping wound. He will save my crushed spirit but i need prayer, please pray for me everyone. My heart is so broken at this time. Please pray for His divine power to fill me to truly and completely trust Him, to know his grace is sufficient.
I’m sorry, Robert, for your intense heartache. We were never meant to have to deal with the ravages of death or divorce. We are praying for your strength in the Lord, that you will sense His comfort, and that He will give you His peace.
Praising God fills my soul with such joy and love, that anything that causes me anxiety or fear fades away.
I had to move suddenly away from my state that I’ve lived in all my life. I’m 60, and although I moved very close to my daughter and her husband, I’m living alone for the first time. I get up in the morning and sit on my deck and pray and try to give my anxiety to the Lord. I know He will have an answer some day.
Trusting God is easy, however, waiting on his promises during difficult times is not always easy. We are believing God through difficult times with my husband being hospitalized due to a blood clot and recent job lost.
We are trusting him for our financial needs to be met, and my husband to get a new job. God has healed and blessed him for a good recovery.
In my attempt to wait on the Lord, focusing on helping others allows me to keep my thoughts off myself and what I’m waiting for. – Massachusetts
How do you know if you are getting in the way of God’s plan? I moved to a new city and could not find a job for four months. I prayed and cried, cried and prayed. Finally, an opportunity came and I am about to start a job, but it is at a considerably lower salary than I needed and I am now looking for a second job. My savings are all gone. My bills are piling up and I’m honestly quite anxious. I’m looking into signing up as a ridesharing driver to help me make ends meet. Am I getting in the way or am I supposed to wait for another answer?
For the Lord Almighty has purposed and who can thwart Him?His hand is stretched out and who can turn it back?
The Lord foils the plans of nations, He thwarts the purpose of the people but the Plans of the Lord stand firm forever.
The purpose of His heart through all generations.
These verses keeps be bravely waiting day to day.thanks for the post.
My word for 2 years was Persevere. I am a fighter not a flighter. I am always thinking about what I want to do next to grow and make things better for our elderly. I have served them for 36 years and they are my heart. I am a high I and D in the Disc profile and an ENFJ in Meyers Briggs and Sanguine at heart. I love people. I can often feel too much and not enough.
That being said, I have learned that nothing usually happens in my time, but in God’s time. He has shown me that when I allow Him to let it be in His time it is effortless and he orchestrates everything beautifully. If my dreams are part of His will he blesses them in His time not mine (often about 3 years) and if I don’t push my will it is always better. Most of this wisdom has come from my poor choices. I’ve learned to appreciate my battle scars that He has recued me from:)
Remembering that God is ultimately in control helps me in the “waiting.” (New York)
I love that, Carla. I often have to tell myself “This did not take God by surprise” and that helps me remember He is in control, too. Thank you for reading Janet’s post and taking the time to comment.
Encouraging music and putting scriptures on my phone helps me to continue to wait. Arizona
Thank you, Debbie, for your response. Janet and I, too, find encouragement through music and Scripture.
After being on my face before the Lord for three years for the salvation of a couple of my children, I got hit with the suicide of my believing son three months ago. While I’m down, the stones keep getting thrown: my husband is talking of leaving me and two of my kids are choosing the swinging lifestyle. “For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened”. In hurting so much this morning, I came to my desk to find comfort in God’s Word. I read your article and have never considered that my waiting on the Lord is brave or courageous. That is encouragement that I desperately need this morning. I am hearing that I am not alone in this world in the waiting and there are those who have gone or are going before me. Colorado
Bonnie, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss and your heartache over your children. And yes, you are not alone in the waiting. Keep your eyes on Jesus.
30 years ago my 3 young sons were taken from me, and brainwashed to hate me by a religious cult I was raised in also. I was shunned by my husband, sons, sisters, all family. In the years since God has brought 2 of my sons out and most of my family. I have been waiting all these years for my oldest son. It has been hard and God has been teaching me to trust him and rest with him. In the past year the two leaders of the cult have died and I see God moving mightily right now as they were sisters and in their 60’s. I have not always been very brave in the wait, but have learned through it to trust God and his timing. I believe the time is coming soon when I will be reunited with my son and sister. California
Thank you for sharing a bit of your story, Jasanna. Thank you for your faithfulness, too, in trusting God no matter what the cost and continuing to be brave in the waiting.
I’m waiting on God for a baby, after losing two children to miscarriage. It is so hard to relinquish my dream and my desire to control my circumstances to the Lord. It is an every day battle against my self-will. Thank you for this post. From berlin, Germany.
Thank you, Katie, for your comment and for joining the conversation all the way from Berlin. You might want to check out Janet’s book, “Dear God, Why Can’t I Have a Baby?” It has ministered to many women. Here is the link on amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dear-God-Cant-Have-Baby/dp/0891122745/ref=sr_1_12?keywords=Janet+Thompson&qid=1569804831&s=gateway&sr=8-12
Congratulations to Bonnie of Colorado for winning a free copy of Janet’s new book, Everyday Brave. And a special thanks to every one of you who took the time to read Janet’s post and leave a comment. Janet was so touched at your input and disappointed that — due to some technical issues with WordPress — wasn’t able to respond to EACH one of your comments. She’d love to stay in touch, though. So, find her at WomantoWomanMentoring.com.