Thursday, November 5, 2020

Waiting for It.

 Funny thing, I've been meaning to write a post about waiting, not realizing that this week would include a lot of waiting for the ENTIRE country. Waiting for counting ballots, waiting to know what the future might hold, waiting for the reaction of the general public: we are all doing a lot of waiting over events that are fairly pivotal. At least, many people think they are.

I don't want to disparage anyone who sees this presidential election as one of the most pivotal in history; it might very well be! I'm sure that whoever is elected will make a difference in our country, for better AND worse to some extent, depending on what you see as the important or what you desire for our nation. But this is not at all what I set out to write about. 

As many of you know, with how much of our daily life was disrupted by how Oregon is handling the Covid-19 pandemic, we decided to sell our home this summer. Mark was working from home full-time, all the kids' sports and activities either got cancelled or went virtual, and the housing market was great for selling. Mark's parents also were living in a home with 2 kitchens, and basically two of everything you need for two families to live together. We had lived in this home before when the boys were tiny, so we had a pretty good idea about what it would look like to move back out to McMinnville and live with them again. 

The road to selling our home was pretty uneventful. It sold above asking very quickly, with only a couple minor hiccups along the way. There was some waiting in the midst, but it all had a clear deadline, and ending point with a certain, particular reward. At first, we thought maybe we would just buy again soon after, so we were stalking Redfin and Zillow almost every hour, hoping, wishing, and dreaming. 

If you live in Oregon, you know that right now is also not the best time to buy a home. We are at an all-time low for what percentage of homes are on the market, which made the pricing great for selling our home, but not so much for buying. And being that we are fairly picky home-buyers, that has also limited our choices. So, we continue to wait, and wonder, and sometimes, when I feel really brave, I dare to dream.

But how does a person wait well when they don't know what they are waiting for? 

I dare say, it's near impossible. I've struggled to figure out what to turn my mind to, what to turn my energy to. We're living with someone who is immune-compormised, so we have been more isolated than most, and when you share a smaller living-space with three home-schooled children, that isolation can start to wear on everyone pretty quickly. We are people and we are wired for motion and movement and the company of other people, so naturally we are waiting for the opportunity to have those things to a fuller, richer, more varied degree than we do now. That wait seems like it might be farther away than most of us expected.

In all of this waiting for an unknown deadline, I have had to turn to something more definite. It's pretty funny really, because so many events lately have shown us just how little in this world is definite. Jobs, homes, safety, security: we tend to think of these as things we can obtain and hold on to, but they are as fleeting as the smoke from a match. In the current state of our world, there is almost nothing I can turn to and hope in. An end to the Covid shut-down is so far away. An end to the crazy housing market is completely unknown, or may come at the expense of a market collapse or a huge percentage of people losing their homes. There just isn't much else to hope in except for that glorious kingdom I will inherit after my death.

Maybe that sounds a bit morbid, and I want to clarify that I am not in despair or giving up on life in general. It's just that I have had to put that end-goal as my highest, most prized goal in order NOT to despair over the wide variety of things limiting all of the other pursuits I might normally look forward to. If I was hoping in the housing market, or job-security, or the success of my kids, or my own ability to be the "best mom ever," or any number of things that I am not able to ensure 100%, then my hope would be constantly thwarted. Instead, I have to hope in something so permanent and so wonderful that the circumstances of this life won't be able to crush it. 

See Hebrews 11:13-16, speaking of our forefathers of the faith:

"These all died in faith, although they had not received the things that were promised. But they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth. Now those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they were thinking about where they came from, they would have an opportunity to return. But they now desire a better place - a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them." 

The last few months have been proof that hoping in earthly circumstances and outcomes doesn't work. My hope has to lie beyond what I can attain here on earth. So many lives have been incredibly altered with this global pandemic, however severe or not severe it really is. We have all felt the impact to some degree and will likely continue to feel it for some time. We will all feel the impact of this election, we will all struggle with our children's choices and the circumstances that brings upon them, and we will always struggle with our own inability or failure to be the person we wish we could be. We don't have it in ourselves to bring about the life we wish we were living. 

Maybe Covid has made you see that more clearly for the first time, and maybe it has tempted you to despair. It has certainly brought me to that brink over and over again. However, in all the waiting, I am reminded about what it is I am really waiting for. It's not for the perfect home, the perfect job, the perfect endeavor, or the perfect children. It's not healthy for me to hope endlessly that all of these things will mostly turn out okay. If my hope is on these things, it will eventually fail. And the only safety net is the one promise that will never fail. The promise Jesus gave us when He conquered death. The promise that with Him, God will give us all things, things that no human, moth, or rust can destroy.

If you don't have that kind of hope in life after death, in a city that God is building that is completely untouched by sorrow, suffering, and disappointment, I urge you to consider Christ. It's the only promise in the world that no pandemic, election, or person can alter. It's the only thing that can possibly make all our waiting worth it. 


  1. Nicely said. Praying for you.

  2. This post brings to mind a great hymn: "On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand." He is where our hope and joy are, thanks for the reminder!