Wait Training: Don't Try This Alone
by Marilynn Chadwick During my hardest days of waiting for a baby, there were certain friends who breathed fresh faith into my soul just when I wanted to quit. It’s humbling to realize how much you depend on others. I’ve never liked being the needy one, much preferring to be the rock that others lean on. A Marine friend is one of those strong types. He saw lots of combat duty in Iraq and shared a lesson I’ll never forget. “When danger hits,” he explained, “I’m trained to run toward the danger. But my second response is to look around for my men.” “So that you can protect them?” I asked. “No,” he said firmly. “I look around for my men because I know I cannot do this mission by myself.” Suffering humbled me. And so I let myself lean on and even into the strength of friends. They listened, cried, prayed, and waited with hope, daring to believe with me that God was greater than my prognosis. I knew I couldn’t do this by myself. Marriages can dry up during a long trial like ours. Somehow, ours grew stronger. David and I learned the delicate dance of knowing when to be strong for the other and when it was ok to fall apart. Sometimes, falling apart together was all we could muster. I’m sure it was in those moments we forged our strongest bonds. Months became years, and by the end of the fourth year, waiting had become a way of life. I hovered between my dream and the daily need to live well in the moment. I wanted my life to count. While working on my master’s in counseling, I spent time in vulnerable communities. My practical work and internship were mostly among the poor. Serving those hurting worse than I was turned out to be a surprising form of “self-help.” I spent months working with young women caught in crisis pregnancies. An infertile woman desperate for a baby working with women who didn’t want to be pregnant? An odd assignment, but it was strangely healing. I used to joke that I was like a recovering alcoholic serving drinks at a bar. I was surrounded by that which I could not have. Some say we should live to give. I discovered that I could give to live. And the mysterious alchemy of serving always worked its magic on my soul. Fighting forward was the healing, comforting, drug of choice that brought relief and filled the empty places of my soul. Again and again, I would say to God, “I’m entrusting my ‘business’ into Your hands while I put my hands to work on Your business.” Are you waiting for something? Don’t do it alone. Put yourself around people who will continue to spur you on toward the very thing for which you are waiting. And watch what God does in the process.