Joy in the Waiting

You know what is almost worse than knowing what you want to do with your life? Waiting for God to open that door. I used to think not knowing was worse; I was wrong. When you don't know, you spend your time in discernment, looking deep into yourself, asking God to reveal your heart to yourself. When you know, first, there is the thrill of an answer, of a sense of purpose, of calling. But that soon gives way to the continual craning of your neck to see where the door is, and you start fidgeting in the here and now. And it is not helped by people continually asking where you are going with your life. For example:

"Yes, I am working. No, it is not what I want to do long term." 
"Oh? What do you want to do?"
"Be a wife and mother." 
"Oh! You would be great at that, do you have a guy yet?" 
"Oh.... well, good things come to those who wait. Why don't you go do something while you wait. After all, you are never young again, and once you have kids, you can never go back."

I cannot count the amount of times people have given me variants of that advice, and they are not wrong, but it is still fiercely frustrating. (I am sure many of my single friends, or those trying to find their vocation, be that religious or work, can relate).

You see, once you know what you are called to, everything else pales in comparison. Do I enjoy teaching? Yes! Especially the faith. Does that mean I want to spend the next several years locked in a classroom? No, not really. Do I love the sciences? You betcha! But I don't want to pursue anything in the sciences, because long term, I want to stay at home with my kids, and despite working in a lab, I greatly dislike it. So, what's a waiting girl to do? Simply be frustrated at life and feel like she's walking through a hallway full of closed and locked doors?

Not quite.

Doing things isn't always the answer. Too often, the focus is put on "What do you want to do?" when, instead, the question should be "Who do you want to be?"

Doing and being are friends - good friends - but they are not the same entity. Long term, I want to be a Saint, I want to be, like Mary, Agnes, Therese, Thomas, Justin, Stephen, and Dominic - arrows that point to Our Lord. I want, more than anything, to be welcomed into His arms with a big smile and a "Well done, little sister." But to be that person, I don't have to do what any of them did. I don't have to be them. I have to be me.

And that's what this Advent, this period of waiting is for. For learning who I am, at my core - who am I, not what I do. And it's my time to learn to be, not to do.

And so, while the world pressures me to find my ideal job, to find my place of self-fulfillment now, while I am young, to do all the things I've ever dreamed of doing, my Lord invites me to be quiet, to be still, and to sit at His feet and let Him show me the inner parts of me.

And that is a source of great peace, of great joy. To know that I don't have to do anything for God to be pleased with me - to know that He simply wants me. He invites me to sit at His feet, to simply listen to Him speak into the stillness of my heart. He leads me to the still waters and feeds my soul, preparing me to be the woman I need to be for the next stage of my life.

And so, I shall spent this quiet, seemingly aimless, portion of my life dancing in the arms of my Lord, my Lover, my Brother. I shall be the little girl being twirled around, the older girl being taught to dance, and rest my head on His shoulder as He holds me close to His heart.

(By the way? Today's second reading at Mass was just for me, and so, I shall share part of it it with you.)

"Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it until it receives the early and the late rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand." James 5:7-8
Gaudette! Rejoice, for the Lord is at hand! Just a little while longer until the fullness of time is at hand.


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