Written by: Kristen Oliver
Throughout the last 9 months I feel like my spiritual life has been strengthened. Not because of “good” or “bad” things, or because my plans were fulfilled, but because my plan was not fulfilled.
I have been in a season of waiting. Waiting creates anxiety. I get emotional and frustrated during these waiting periods and my feelings try to dictate how I act and react. However, during this time, I have been learning how to allow these emotions and feelings, while at the same time aligning them with the word. You heard me right. I allow myself to feel all the emotions, but not blindly. I am aware of what I am feeling and process my feelings in light of the gospel. This requires action on my part….I have to bring every emotion to the Lord in prayer, every day, sometimes multiple times a day. I am learning that if what I am feeling is not based on truth, I know it’s not how God would want me to react or perceive a certain situation. This doesn’t make me “holier than though” or “perfect,” just human. A human who desires a close relationship with God and that can only be done by drawing close to him during the desperate in-between.
“Instead of running from the pain, we embrace it as necessary. We must feel the pain to heal the pain. If we never allow ourselves to feel it, we won’t acknowledge it’s there.” -Lysa Terkheurst Uninvited
I recently bought a book at Target called Uninvited by Lysa Terkheurst. I knew I liked reading Lysa’s stuff from Proverbs 31 ministries, so I thought it would be a good read. What I didn’t know is that this book was exactly what I needed for the upcoming weeks. Towards the middle of the book is a chapter titled, Moving Through the Desperate In-Between. The word that popped out at me in that title was, moving. This is the exact opposite of permanent, paralyzed, un-emotional, and stationary. All of these emotions I could identify with. These are the emotions I understood and made sense in the moment. However, her chapter was about moving through the in- between, not getting permanently stuck. This chapter was exactly what I needed and answered a question I have been asking myself:
What do I do during this waiting period?
“We must invite God into our pain to help us survive the desperate-in between.” –Uninvited pg. 174
In times of waiting, we need to MOVE. We move by inviting God into our desperate in-between. We invite him in by worshipping him. Worshipping him can be done through prayer, song, and or serving others.
I don’t think anybody finds comfort in the waiting. We like to know what’s going to happen. We ask why and how in order to figure our problems out. Sometimes, oftentimes, we fall short in these times of waiting. Instead of bringing our worries or concerns to God, we bring them to people. To discuss and decide what to do, when oftentimes it’s not even their place anyways.
We bring our problems to people instead of resting in God and learning to seek him through it.
I’ve talked about this several times before, but our feelings lie. Feelings are our humanness crying out for logic, reason and understanding in every situation. No matter what you deal with, whether you are a pastor, a life-long Christian, or not, we all experience the same emotions! But as Christians we all have access to tools that help us during these waiting periods. Worship is one of those tools, which allow us to determine the worth, credibility and reliability of our problems in light of the gospel. The longer you sit in your feelings without bringing them to God, the easier it will be to justify your human emotional reaction, instead of a prayerful, thoughtful reaction.
If you are experiencing fear, confusion, frustration, or anxiousness, because of the desperate in-between, take a minute and pray this powerful prayer Lysa has written for us. This is one step towards moving towards God during this season of your life. Prayer is an act of worship. Meditate on these words. Lift your prayers up to him and he will give you peace and rest no matter what you’re feeling or circumstances tell you.
Prayer from Uninvited:
From Psalms 91