I've been shedding a lot of "gooey tears" this week. And, by "gooey tears", I mean the kind that sort of leak out of your eyes while you have butterflies in your belly and a goofy grin on your face. (Or maybe a not-so-attractive sappy face...).
Two major things were unveiled this week from dear-to-my-heart, long distance friends. Both of them were revelations of a prayer answered that fulfilled their utmost heart desire - but seemed so impossible due to failures, rejections, and heartbreaks that have been encountered during the journey. Or, should I say, "Wait". Because, as time has gone on in my Christian walk, I'm more convinced than ever that the "wait" is the hardest thing to go through. With a "No" answer, there's closure - and another plan is pursued or revealed. And, obviously, a "Yes" requires no faith at all - there's just joy in that one. But, the "Wait" - oh my. That's when it feels like God is absent. Like He doesn't care. Like He's oblivious to your suffering, your daily hurting, and the oblivion of unknown it feels like you've fallen into. That's when the standard you've been waiting for gets compromised, your expectations drop like lead weights, and you wonder if you are even worth the conclusion you've been hoping and dreaming for all along.
I've felt it happen. I walked the journey of anxiety for four years - those priceless four years I'll never have back of Brayden and Mikayla's first encounters of life. I wondered if the despair I felt every day would be my lot in life and if it would only be in Heaven that I would ever feel a release of the constant emotional (and physical effects) of anxiety. Sure, there were plenty of "good days" in the mix - but, in my heart, there was a constant mantra that "it would never be the best...UNTIL..."
I felt that way waiting for God to bring the man he wanted me to marry. I fell in love with three guys before John - and believed I could be a perfect wife to all three of them. But, all three of them made the choice that I wasn't good enough for them - and oh, was that agonizing. Equally agonizing though, was the hurt I knew I was causing for a few of the other guys in my life - guys that pursued me, but weren't the guys that I felt met the standard God had set before me. The standard embodied by a certain "John Riley" who, like the three other guys I loved, couldn't seem to see me as "wife material". No matter, I would wait. But, there was always a doubt if I was even worth that high standard...and as the WAIT went on...I definitely faltered in my faith if God really ever wanted me to find joy in a lasting relationship and marriage. And, ever in my thoughts was, "this time being single is okay, but life won't be what I want it...UNTIL..."
Compared to Noah and his family, or Abraham and Sarah, or Joseph - my wait was oh so short. Most of our waits are, when compared to the "Hall of Fame of Faith" members of the Bible. And, that's why those folks are my heroes. When I consider the scorn and shame Noah and his family endured, the scoffing and snide snickers of laughter Sarah heard behind her back, or the actual imprisonment and persecution Joseph rose from triumphantly, it's all so inspiring, but also overwhelming. I can't imagine waiting THAT LONG.
So, the "gooey tears" come on with extra abundance when blessings are revealed after long waits. And, almost in tandem with the blessing itself so often comes the realization of why the wait had to happen and how perfect God's exact timing really is. (Sometimes, there is no explanation, sometimes the wait might just be to grow you, or serve as a testimony and encouragement to someone else on a similar journey).
So to Sara and Courtney, I blame you for the puffy eyes and smeared mascara - because you've caused a lot of it this week - and I couldn't be more thankful!!!