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Okay, y’all… It’s about to get personal here. That’s not to say that what I typically write isn’t personal. Everything I’ve written is genuine and a true reflection of who I am and what I love. But I’ve stayed pretty comfortable with sharing interior design and decor, DIYs, fashion, etc. Today, though, I wanted to share with you guys a little bit of what I’ve been facing in my personal life, in hopes that it will encourage others who are walking through something similar. Plus, sometimes it’s therapeutic to put thoughts and feelings into words for others to glean from. I certainly plan to do more posts like this. As much as I want you all to know me as Meghan, the interior stylist, I also want you to know me as Meghan, the person. The girl who is real and has struggles and challenges in life just like everyone else.
So, Ricky and I are in a season of waiting. We’ve all been there, right? Whether it’s a house, a dream-job, a spouse, a baby, a financial breakthrough, a business venture, etc. we all have hopes and dreams, but life gets in the way, and things don’t always happen in the way or the time which we think they should. We get discouraged, disappointed, anxious, and worried that what we’re waiting for may never come. I’ve definitely experienced those feelings, and I still have days when I do. We’re waiting on some things God has promised us over the course of our marriage, and a couple of those things have been really weighing on us. But in this season, God has mercifully met me in the place I’m in. I believe the Lord can and will use every season in life to teach us if we let Him, so I want to share a few key things that He’s teaching me about how to respond in a season of waiting, in hopes that it may help and encourage those who are in the waiting as well.
It’s okay to feel all the feels. Just invite God into them. I’m a Christian. I’ve grown up in church. I love the Church. However, I believe the Church has done a poor job in handling the topic of emotions. Many of us have grown up believing that our emotions can’t be trusted. We paralyze ourselves because we believe we’re sinning by having feelings of doubt, fear, or even anger at God. So what do we end up doing with those emotions? We suppress them. Pain resides in our heart, and so does God. Christa Black Gifford wrote that when we suppress our emotions, we’re “ignoring and shaming the very place that God chose to make His home.” How crazy is that?! God made our hearts knowing full well that some BIG feelings would be stirred up in them. He wants to be invited into every ugly, broken piece. There’s a big difference between “taking every thought captive” and just shoving our feelings away in the name of being spiritual. A couple months ago, I was with a good friend talking about this season of waiting. We’ve been friends since junior high, so I felt comfortable being pretty vulnerable about it with her. I was explaining to her the things I was facing and feeling, but kept trying to wrap the whole thing in a pretty little bow with words like, “but it’s fine, it’s all good, God will work it out. Blah blah blah.” Trying to tell myself what my head knew as facts, but my heart was struggling to receive and embrace. This friend looked at me intently and said, “Meghan, you can just say it sucks. You can be honest about what you’re feeling. I’ve known you long enough and watched you go through enough to know that you can vent and let it all out, and I know you’re not having a faith-crisis.” That was a defining moment – a moment when I was awakened and reminded that God can handle every one my emotions. I don’t have to put up a front with Him. I can invite Him into every thought and every emotion I’m feeling, and He will meet me there. When I do that, I’m giving Him permission to show me a bigger picture – His perspective, and His thoughts and feelings towards me and my situation.
War with gratefulness. I don’t know about you, but my season of waiting often feels like a battleground – even a war zone, sometimes. One of the reasons that waiting is so hard is because we feel totally out of control. It seems like all we can do is just sit and, well, wait. So, what’s my weapon? If I physically can’t do much to make this thing happen, what can I do? Over time, I’ve learned that there are two extremely powerful things I can do. Praise God, and thank God. Just like the Israelites marched around the wall of Jericho giving praise and thanks to God till it came crumbling down, I can march around my situation using praise and thanks to God as my weapons until the promise that I’m waiting on comes to pass. Psalm 50:23 says “The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies God”. And let’s be honest, a sacrifice is never easy. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be a sacrifice. In this season, I’ve had many moments driving alone in my car, praying to God with tears running down my face saying “Thank You, God, that You have good plans for me. Thank You that You don’t delay and Your timing is perfect. Thank You that You know the cries of my heart. Thank You that You’re working and moving on my behalf. Thank You that I can trust You.” Some days, getting those words out is easy, and other days it’s very difficult. But, either way, there is power in those words that proves to Satan he doesn’t have a grip on me, he doesn’t have the last word, and I won’t succumb to or be consumed by fear. I’ll give thanks in the process. I’ll praise till the promise comes.
Don’t forget to live your life. In the early stages of my season of waiting, I put so many things on hold – experiences, opportunities, material things – trying to “prepare” for my promise to come. In the name of “preparing”, I was really just trying to control and make things happen my way in my timing. My mom noticed this pattern in me and just said to me bluntly, “You can’t do that. You’ve got to live your life.” So, I did. I went on a 24-hour trip to Chicago with my husband and we spent money on fun, frivolous things. I got a new tattoo. I started gardening out on my patio. I took on big design projects and made the first steps towards opening an online shop. Really living looks different for everyone, but that’s what it has looked like for me. It’s okay to prepare, and we should absolutely use wisdom. But preparing doesn’t mean putting everything else on hold out of fear and the need for control. Live your life. Do the little things that make the waiting more bearable.
My main point in sharing these lessons I’m learning is to point to this truth – that God is good, and He is in the waiting. He never leaves us to navigate uncharted waters on our own. He doesn’t just want us to “figure it out”. And dear friends, please know this – the waiting is NOT punishment. Be encouraged that the Lord is for you, not against you. He is so intricately involved in every detail of your life, no matter how alone you might feel sometimes. He has things He wants to show you, teach you, and speak to you in your season of waiting if you’ll open up your heart to Him. He’s in the waiting.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. Here are some songs that have been really comforting to me in this season:
Take Courage – Bethel Music
There Is A Cloud – Elevation Worship
Defender – Rita Springer
Even When It Hurts – Hillsong United
Yes & Amen – Housefires