Sometimes the Answer Isn’t No…It’s Just Wait

The kids begged me to go to the talent show that was scheduled for that evening. It was taking place at my oldest daughter’s school and the line-up of acts included many of her friends. I admit I really didn’t want to go because these kinds of events often start at about the time I am normally tucking my youngest one into bed.  My kids go to bed fairly early and I like that, they need their sleep and I need the downtime. Seeing their eager faces and remembering the excitement of my own school’s show I reluctantly agreed.  

When I pick up Ava from school that afternoon I was thrilled to find out she had been invited to go with a friend. I was off the hook. Instead of managing a 5 year old’s meltdown because he stayed up too late, I would be home making sure my little guy got the rest he needed.  Mommy was happy, Ava was happy, even Aaron was happy but Eliana was not. She was thrilled at the prospect of attending the show and was greatly disappointed when she found out that her big sister would be going on her own. Eliana quickly let us know that she wanted to tag along.

I wasn’t sure what to do.

The big girls typically play nice with this little sister but I am careful not to assume she is always welcome. I told her I thought maybe it was okay if she sat this one out and tried to explain the situation. I let her know that the following year when she attended that school and her friends were up on stage I would make sure she would be there. A whole year feels like forever to a 7 year old. She started to cry… you know, the “it’s not fair”, “I never get to do anything” cry. Her face got read and eyes got puffy. Unfortunately the decision was not up to me.

I didn’t say YES, but I didn’t say NO either.

Did the Ava want her little sister to tag along?
Was it a night just for big girls?
Did my friend want another little one to be responsible for?
Was there room in the car?

Nothing I said made the tears stop. I was sympathetic but honestly I was a little annoyed. She was genuinely upset but she couldn’t or shall I say wouldn’t hear anything I had to say. As far as she was concerned this was my fault and I didn’t want her to go. I was keeping her from all the fun.

The answer would not come right away, she had to wait and see.

Ever ask for something in prayer and you don’t see the answer right away? I have. Just like my daughter I can get a tad bit worked up when I don’t understand God intention for my situation.  I can get discouraged and throw my own pity party of sorts. My heart can become ungrateful for the things before me and I zero in on those things I perceive to be with held. In the book What is God Waiting For?: Understanding Divine Delays in Your Life Marlinda Ireland says “God wants us to handle life based on His intended purpose, not on our shortsightedness, selfishness or emotional state.” That’s a hard thing to do. It takes practice and maturity.

Sometimes the answer is not necessarily “NO”, it’s just “Wait”. It’s in that waiting that I have to trust in God’s love and the knowledge that he has a plan for me in my current situation and beyond.  Eliana could not see past her strong desire to do what her big sister was doing. I pointed out that we could have some one-on-one time and do something special together but that was not good enough for her. Her mind was made up.

I wonder if in my waiting I have rejected opportunities to cultivate a relationship with my Creator.

When Ava was picked up Eliana found out there was enough room for her and the girls didn’t mind her joining them. This time her answer was YES. A lot of unnecessary tears were shed leading up to this. It will not be the last time her heart will have to manage her anticipation and strong desires but maybe this experience it is a stepping stone in the path to maturity… for both of us.

How do you stay calm during the waiting? 

photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

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