On Waiting and Feeling in Control

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On Waiting and Feeling in Control

 

Sometimes waiting is the worst.

I wish I could say that I’m one of those people who wait patiently and without anxiety about the future, but that’s just not me.

Instead, I wait like a cat waiting to pounce on one of those tiny red laser lights. Speaking of cats, I’m waiting until I can finally get a cat and watching 10,234 kitten videos in the mean time. And maybe stalking pet stores and adoption centers. Waiting for an apartment to open up? I’ll just check back on their website again… and again… and maybe five times a day for the next month, and email them a few times for good measure.

Some people are great at waiting patiently. I am not one of those people.

But sometimes God makes us wait for things, and sometimes we’re waiting and we don’t even know what we’re waiting for. It’s like, do I need to be taking action right now? Am I supposed to be waiting for something to happen or making it happen myself? There’s always a balance between the two.

Will all the waiting even be worth it in the end? That’s the thing about life. You don’t really know. You think you know what’s going to happen, how everything is going to turn it. Because of course you have it all perfectly planned out in your head. And if dreams happened the way we imagine them, everything would be smooth sailing.

I’m one of those people who loves planning. I’ve planned so many parts of my life, and how I think I want things to turn out. I have Pinterest boards visioning out my future and constantly read articles about whatever area of my life I’m approaching in the future, just so I can plan ahead and be way over-prepared. I write down way too many goals. I worry when I feel like I’m not in control. I have an existenstial crisis every third Tuesday (just kidding… but really) about what I’m supposed to be doing with my life, and if I’m on the right path.

But many times, it doesn’t work out the way we planned. That’s not to say that things end up badly, just differently. We think we have the best plans, and we’re devastated when reality doesn’t match up to the plan we had in our head, but maybe it’s because there was just a better plan out there than the one we had.

Sometimes waiting is the best thing that could happen to us. In the waiting, you discover what you really wanted all along.

Sometimes you realize that you think you wanted something, but if you’re forced to wait for it, you realize it’s not actually that important at all. Or other times, the waiting makes you realize how badly you want something in the first place. Sometimes waiting gives us a huge appreciation for whatever it is we’re waiting for.

And sometimes, when we’re waiting, we decide to take things into our own hands and force an outcome. That’s usually where things get messed up.

I can say in my own life that while hustling and going after your dreams is important, we run into problems when we’re in the middle of an emotional issue and we make drastic decisions because we want to feel in control again. What I’ve found is that you should never make important decisions when you’re emotional. Even if you feel like you’ve lost control of the situation, be patient and see how things unfold on their own.

The times when my depression almost won were times when I decided to take things into my own hands, and let go of the ease and trust that are important to getting through difficult times. If you’re in the middle of something difficult, you probably don’t want to trust anything right now, but you have to trust that it’s going to get better, even if you have no idea how.

It’s not your job to figure out the how. That will come on its own.

Keep taking small steps forward every day and things will fall into place. Just trust.

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