7 Lessons I Learned While Waiting
by Valerie Cabadonga
A year ago today, if you told me I’ll be where I am now, I wouldn’t have believed you.
Because a year ago today, I was desperate to change my job and start a career in web industries. The mountain of rejection letters weren’t helping.
Because a year ago today, I was slowly giving up on the idea that I’ll get engaged in the time and period that I’ve planned. I started to question if I was deserving of that kind of love.
Because a year ago today, I was on the brink of stopping Her Progress altogether. I was ready to turn away from what my heart was called to do.
As the year went by, things were getting harder and questions of “how much longer, God?” have been the subject of every prayer. And when these desires in my heart were given to friends and other people, my heart sunk even lower and weighed even heavier than it did before...like the weight wasn’t heavy enough already...like the pain wasn’t painful enough already.
It was challenging.
But even though I’ve convinced myself that last year was the toughest year I had to go through to date, I’m also not gonna lie that it has been the most humbling, somewhat rewarding, and character shaping year I’ve ever had. And that made the journey worth it. Painful, but worth it.
This has been a journey that I’ve closely kept in arms reach with only a few people knowing the inside job. But now, I want to share it with you, not because it’s over, but because I know what it feels like to be in your shoes...waiting and finding reassurance that things will soon fall into its rightful place.
I don’t know how long you’ve been waiting, but I hope that what I’m about to share with you will give you hope, build your faith, and find comfort that you are not alone in this journey.
There is a reason for this season. And I need to learn the hard way that I have to go through the season to actually find out why. There are still some questions left unanswered, but one of the biggest thing that was refined in me was humility. Not in a way that I thought of myself any less, but I learned to think less of me. To let go of control. To let God lead me where I needed to be.
Instead of crying and beating myself down, I chose to be diligent on where I was placed. I continued to invest on my relationship with Chris. I continued to stay on top of my work and give the best I got. I continued and gave even more love, attention, and work that Her Progress needed. Staying diligent is hard when there is no physical result, but trust me when I tell you that what you do now really helps shape where you are going.
“You never know who your real friends are until you are in need” and that is 100% true! At the beginning of last year, I was at a point where I felt like I had no friends to turn to. But when things were getting rough, I am glad that God placed people in my life who continued to cheer me on and gave me some serious tough love when I needed. It’s during the hard times that you’ll know who you can count on.
Sometimes I catch myself saying the words, “once I get the job/get engaged/have Her Progress really going, then I’ll be happy.” And for awhile that was where I built my hope in, but only to wake up a few months later that happiness is within my reach every single day, not only in the ones I am waiting for. We can choose to be happy even in the waiting. Yes, it’s hard, but it is 110% possible and doable.
And speaking of Number 4, one way to stay happy in the waiting is by being and staying grateful. When we are waiting, we can get so caught up in the pain and its load that we fail see the blessings that we have right before our eyes. We have to learn to appreciate, love, and serve the blessings that are already been given to us especially during the wait. If you can’t appreciate things now, soon when your miracle comes, it’ll only take time that you’ll see the blessing into a burden.
Over time, my prayers changed from “how much longer, God?” to “please keep pouring your strength over me.” If I have to go through this season, I’d rather have more strength to finish strong than crawling to the finish. I don’t know where I’ll be or how things would’ve turned out if it weren’t for God’s strength who kept me going.
Lastly, stay in your grace and stay in your lane. It takes grace upon grace upon grace to stick to your own race when these desires or miracles are happening to someone else. Yes, I’ve been jealous of others getting engaged first. Yes, I was envious when people got the jobs that I wanted, or have their businesses flourish. And I am not saying don’t feel it. You can, but don’t let it brew! The longer you keep that emotion in your heart, the higher the walls you build around those people will be.
It took me awhile to reach out for grace to release the jealousy in my heart. And that grace...that loving grace...was the one that kept me grounded all this time and reminded me that there will be something for me. That one day whatever is in my heart will come and it will be more than what I have just settled in my heart.
I’d be lying if I say that never in this period that I was back on the ground, willing to give everything up again. Time and time again, I have convinced myself that giving up was the best relief, but the moment I received the call that I got the job, or see my best friend go down on one knee, right there and then, I knew that the greatest relief and gift was the joy in the breakthrough.
While the waiting is a period that everyone wishes not to be in, it is one of the most transformational season a person will ever have.
And if you are in a season of waiting, I know you must be tired hearing this from people, but from a person who’s been there and broke through it, just keep holding. If it means that much to you, then it’s definitely worth holding on. And when the time comes when it’s your turn to receive your blessings, it won’t come in small pieces. It’ll be bigger than you hoped for. It’ll pour.
As I look back on the journey that has been, I am genuinely glad that I waited. It wasn’t the most graceful and perfect wait, but I learned how to wait, to be humble, and to be patient. I could honestly say that because of the delay, I’ve loved, achieved, and believed more in and for my life. And most of all, if it weren’t for the wait, I wouldn’t have learned how to trust God with my life more than I did.