For most of my life, I have felt like I was living in the meantime. What is the “meantime,” you might be asking? The meantime, for me, is the time between seasons of life. For example, when I was in elementary school, I longed to be in middle school. When I was in middle school, I could not wait for high school. When I was in high school, I could not wait for college, and so on. I always thought my life was going to finally start in that next season. That I would finally feel truly happy or fulfilled once I crossed into that new horizon. I have seen many seasons come and go in my 30 years, and each one I wished away while I was in it. I’m sure none of you reading can relate. 😉
Over five years ago, I heard so clearly from God that I was going to have a women’s ministry. I heard that I was going to write a book and that I would travel the world sharing the Gospel through my redemption story. This dream has been affirmed through many wise people of faith in whom I have great trust. So I know without a shadow of a doubt this is my calling! “How exciting!” you might be thinking to yourself. It is exciting! And I believe with every fiber of my being this dream will come to fruition.
But in the meantime, I am currently a stay-at-home mom to one amazing high-energy toddler, and I am attempting to be a homemaker for my family. This is a far cry from my dream. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE getting to spend my days with my sweet baby boy, but often times, it feels like I am not moving the ball down the field in my ministry life.
You may be feeling the same way in your season. Maybe you’re feeling stuck? Or like the things you do day in and day out don’t really matter. But I want to give you some encouragement today, friend. Everything you do matters. This season of life where everything feels stale, or it’s just a far cry from your goals and dreams, it matters! In fact, this season will do amazing things in you if you will let it.
This season of in the meantime is the meat of your life. This is the time God is building your faith, teaching you patience, and developing your character. You might think I am just being overly optimistic. And I am the epitome of optimism; however, I truly believe everything I am saying because I believe God has spoken this through Scripture.
Romans 5:3-5 says, “…but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (ESV).
James 5:8 “You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near” (NIV).
Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see” (NLT
This waiting time is not meant to torture us or even to bore us to death. It is meant to build us and strengthen us, so that when the time is right, we will have the faith and character needed to sustain us in that next season of life. This principle doesn’t just apply to our spiritual lives. If I want to become a doctor, I have to go to college and then medical school; I can’t just throw on a white lab coat and call it a day. When I was 16 and wanted my license, I had to practice driving (a lot) and pass a test first. If I want to buy a house or a car, I have to save up money for a down payment, find a lender that will pre-approve me, and shop around until I find what will suit me. Nothing else in life comes at the snap of a finger. We have to learn how to be patient and endure each season of life.
Take heart, dear reader; you and I are not the only people who have had to wait on promises from the Lord. On top of waiting their whole adult lives to become parents, Abraham and Sarah had to wait an additional 14 years after the Lord promised for their son Isaac to be born. David waited over 15 years after being anointed to become King, spending much of that time hiding in caves. Waiting is something every single person will face many times over. But we have a choice to make! Are we going to sit and pout (and probably stay in this season much longer than we need to), or are we going to invest this time and allow it to build our faith and character?
“If you entrust God with your ‘here,’ He will take you ‘there.’ If you give Him your ‘now,’ He will take care of ‘then.’” ~ Christine Caine