“In The Waiting” – Sarah E. Westfall

Every morning, as I drive my oldest boys to school, we pass through farmland. Our home is nestled in a suburban neighborhood, but the moment we cross the state highway, we are surrounded by corn and bean fields in every direction. That’s Indiana for you.

            This morning, as we made our routine trip for school drop-off, I glanced left out the van window at the flat, brown fields that went on for miles. Winter had been harsh, and the soil told the tale. Barren. Broken. Not even an inkling of green. And yet, the way the morning light broke through the puffy clouds, a pink and yellow haze casted a glow on the lifeless earth.

            For the first time in months, my heart felt hopeful that spring was near.

            But here’s the thing about living in the rural Midwest: Even if you aren’t a farmer, you’re deeply aware of the changing seasons. The ebb and flow of the weather impacts your daily life, from road conditions to sporting events to whether kids can go outside at recess.

Each season has its pluses and minuses, but no transition feels quite so redemptive as that from winter to spring.

Each season has its pluses and minuses, but no transition feels quite so redemptive as that from winter to spring. I love the freshly fallen snow in December and January, but by the time March rolls around, I am winter weary. We’ve had one too many days of temperatures that spike only to fall again, of sleet that won’t quite turn to snow, and yet another weather-related school cancellation (don’t even get me started on E-learning days).

When spring starts getting flirty, I hold hope at arm’s length.

When spring starts getting flirty, I hold hope at arm’s length. The rational side of me kicks in, “This is Indiana. It could very well snow again, even into April.” But hope usually wins. I begin to picture stepping out into the sun on my back patio, letting the warm rays sink deep into my bones. I can almost smell the air, that swirl of earth and dandelion. I envision spreading a blanket out in the backyard and watching my boys run around until dinnertime forces us inside.

I know spring is coming. But we aren’t there yet.

How often have we found ourselves in seasons of in-between? We can’t go back but don’t yet have the freedom to move forward. We grow weary in the unknown.

And in many ways, life isn’t all that different. How often have we found ourselves in seasons of in-between? We can’t go back but don’t yet have the freedom to move forward. We grow weary in the unknown. Perhaps, here and there, we’ve seen a flicker of things just on the other side. But we are not there yet.

I, too, have been in the waiting. In many ways, I am there now. And let me tell you: I am not a patient person. But I’ve been here enough to know that this pause is not by accident. God has not forgotten us. He has not abandoned us, jaded and worn. Rather, He may be doing His best work. Because often what happens in the waiting is more important than what lies on the other side.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire.

—Psalm 40:1–2 (NIV)

One thought on ““In The Waiting” – Sarah E. Westfall

  • March 28, 2019 at 4:26 pm
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    I can so relate to this. I lost my husband of just 3 months short of our 38th wedding anniversary and though he had been sick he was doing very well at the time of his death (died peacefully in his recliner as I laid maybe 6 feet away and never realizing he had gone) it was unexpected by everyone including his doctors. When he first got sick he had major surgery Dec. 30, 2016 and did very well, hit all his goals postoperatively until a couple of days before discharge. Long story short he wound up spending 4 months with many complications (each one could have easily resulted in his death, pulmonary embolus, disruption of his wound and bowels exposed, sepsis….) and many transfers to different hospitals. Most of the 4 months he was in a hospital 2 hours from our home and I work full time. That 4 months was a time of waiting (season of winter) but we had our spring for a 1 year and 5 months! God blessed us with more time together. I called my husband my walking talking miracle and now he walks and talks with God in a way we can’t here on earth! Now I am in the “waiting” again but with a new outlook after having been in the previous “waiting” and seeing and living what God did!

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