Monday, September 1, 2014

Searching

I like scavenger hunts, always have.  I don't know if it is the thrill of finding the item on the list, or for someone like me who is a list maker, the joy of crossing off the item from the list.  When I was little and we would travel back and forth from home to the city, roughly a 3.5 hour drive (eternity for a kid), my brother or cousin and I would make up a list of things we'd have to find to pass the time - different state plates, landmarks, colors of cars, etc.  A few years ago my Sunday School class did a timed scavenger hunt around the town where our church is. We broke off into 4 man groups, all with the same list of clues and had to ultimately find the final answer.  In each of those times I can remember the smiles and the excitement and the sheer fun of the event.  However, those were just games. In life we often find ourselves searching, searching for something that can't be "crossed off a list" so-to-speak.

I'm searching people.  I've looked hard. I've looked deep. And, yes, I've looked up.  I'm finding that the harder I search the less I find.  Hear me out.  In her book, The Single Woman (SW), Mandy Hale shares, "We're all waiting for something. If you're still waiting for it, it means you're not yet ready for it, whatever "it" is, so stop looking at waiting as a punishment and start looking at it as preparation!" What does all of this have to do with searching?  Well, sometimes when searching for something you have to wait for all the clues to come together. You have to wait for the dots to connect and sometimes, sadly, you run out of time before you find everything. 

In this waiting game,  you know the one where I have repeatedly shared I wish I could have a forever someone, I'm searching for the answers to why things aren't going faster.  What "items" on this list that God has made concerning me have I not found?  What is still so broken with me, my life, my situation, that I'm not enough, not ready?  That's what it all boils down to, isn't it?  That me, myself, am not good enough for another person?  That the other person wants nothing to do with me in a forever sense, right now.  Today.  It hurts even more that I have to be here, in this place, not due to any choice of my own and while the other person is living the life they wanted I am not.  No, I'm searching, desperately searching, and longing all the more.

Have you been there?  Have you searched so hard for the answers to the pain?  For love?  For someone to share your life with?  Have you wished so hard for something, sometimes daily, that it consumes all that is in you?  I have.  This scavenger hunt is not fun for me.  This one leaves me empty and defeated, broken and without hope, void and joyless.  In the waiting there is, to a degree, supposed to be no level of doing.  Not doing in that you aren't to live your life, but not doing as in trying to hurry God along.  He has his own time in everything.  In all honesty, the hardest part in giving it over to God is placing unyielding trust in Him and that timing.  And in so doing, sin not. SIN. NOT.

SW goes on to say, "The time between when  you wish for something and when it actually comes true is a vital season.  Sometimes the moments spent waiting for something are even more important than the moment the something actually happens. And not all wishes are meant to come true. Some wishes are only there to teach us how to wait. These wishes are no less magical; they may be even more so because they bring us not an instant blessing but a lifelong lesson.  During those seasons of waiting, remember this: The stretching of your faith is immediate pain that results in ultimate gain.  It is in the waiting that we become who we are meant to be."

This leaves me to beg the question, "who, Lord, am I meant to be?"  What things do I need to cross off this list of my life?  What have I not yet found?  Why am I waiting, painfully, day-in-and-day-out for the next clue?  Will time run out before I finally get to where I'm supposed to be? The waiting is killing me, the searching even more...

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