Wednesday, October 20, 2010

stability of the heart

Dear Imperfect Prose friends,
If you leave me a comment today, I'd love it if you'd please give me advice.

Right around Easter, earlier this year, I found out that the job I'd been offered had fallen through. This followed two weeks of ticket purchase, start-date negotiation, preliminary househunting, and arrangements for a remote move of my belongings. The email arrived late in the afternoon on Easter Monday, and said merely that the project had not been funded so they could no longer offer me the job. They'd let me know if anything else came up.

My first reaction was disbelief. I read it again. My boss at that time was sitting across the table from me. He had really supported me in this new job, so I told him. He said, "I guess you're going to Haiti!" (This was 2 months after the Haiti earthquake. Everyone in my line of work who was available was going to Haiti. And it turned out he was right.) Scoff. At that very moment, I felt in my heart that God was saying that this happened because he had something better for me. Probably not Haiti - something better.

But nonetheless, the tears threatened, so I excused myself to take a walk. We were in a lovely residential neighbourhood of Padang, Indonesia, where the sunsets are gorgeous. So I walked, cried and basked in the sunset. I felt confident God had better. (And I now know that he did.)

But for two weeks after that, until my Haiti plans were settled, I was utterly listless. I couldn't focus on work, I didn't catch up on emails with any friends or call my family. I watched a couple of films each day, took long walks and sat staring at the wall in my little hotel room. I knew God had told me he had something better, and I trusted. I really did. Even so, all the motivation in my heart had been drained.

Today I'm again in a place of waiting without knowing what will be resolved or when. This place is not so bad as Easter was: I actually have a good idea of what's around the corner, and am just wondering about the details. But I find myself feeling the same emptiness. Work is less interesting, there's not much socializing that needs to be done. I stare at the wall and wait for news. Wait for life to start moving again.

I'd love to learn enjoy these moments of patient solitude. I know it is all going to work out. This is a precious season when I don't have to worry about things. There's not much to stress out about when you're waiting for someone to stress out on your behalf.

I'm not stressed. My heart is just a little bit less full than usual. So I find myself wondering how to fill up the minutes. How to take advantage of waiting instead of watching the minutes pass, one at a time.

Wishing a joyful Thursday to the brilliant members of Emily's Imperfect Prose community - you are starting to feel like family.


Brian Miller said...

how to pass the waiting...i have yet to figure that one out other than making the most of every minute to prepare for what he has in store...if you have an idea of what might be next then prepare as if it is...

Laura said...

Oh sweetie. I know a lot about waiting. Practicing patience...and the unknown. My best advice to you is to do what you did the last time. Take walks. Lots and lots...and look at and listen to nature, people, street sounds...LIFE flowing...engage by witnessing...I know that might sound odd....engage by witnessing....but by watching and listening you will be drawn in to the beauty around you...and then the beauty with in will wake up and join in to play and praise and feel gratitude for each moment, each breath, each step. Meditate. Practice blessing yourself and others (In buddhism this is called metta...or friendliness practice) it changes you and the way you see feel and interact in the world.

here are some metta phrases you can try...but feel free to change them and make them your own...sometimes I add Hebrew words to make them resonate more deeply for me.

begin with your self...then widen your circle to include a special teacher, your loved ones, people you know casually, people you find difficult to be with, all beings

May I feel safe.
May I feel happy.
May I feel strong.
May I live with ease.

gentle steps sweet Kati

Lauri said...

Seek God's face, read His Word, pray, soak in this time of quiet, let the quiet build you up to be ready for the next adventure. One of the things God has been teaching me lately is that somemoments don't need to be filled, sometimes just being still and knowing Him is all that needs to be done.

-t- said...

so, i hear this song playing in my head:

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Takeing every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord

so, may I gently suggest that you worship (praise, prayer, time in His word) and that you serve (reach out to someone who needs your minutes)
not a cliche - love :)

Wandering On Purpose said...

Oh your last line resonates with me so deeply as we are in a waiting time with no immediate deadline or possible conclusions - just waiting and trusting. The thing that is helping me is making myself live/build relationships as if this place in my life is where I might be forever. (I don't know if that makes sense.) For the last few years I assumed we would not be here (physically, spiritually, financially, emotionally) at this point, so I did not invest in others very much. I am using this time to do better at investing, even though it seems like baby steps now.

Carrie Burtt said...

Kati, you have such a tender heart and that is a beautiful thing...waiting is a hard thing to do....but seek God and follow your heart, i have faith you will fill up your minutes with something beautiful. :-)

Connie Mace said...

Oh Kati, I'm agreeing with Lauri. Psalm 46:10 "Cease striving and know that I Am GOD."

Sarah said...

Hi Kati - I stopped by even though you told me I might not want to ;) Advice on waiting, huh? I think all of the above are better for your soul than what I'd do, but if you've done all of that and are still waiting, find a good book or 10. Sometimes just disappearing for a while makes it easier to wait when you come back. Bless you as you wait!

life or something like it said...

How to "fully" wait... I too am in a place of waiting. What you described is entirly where I sit. And I have also been wanting to be full, and not just waste this precious waiting time.
I was reading in Jeremiah yesterday and something new stuck out to me.
chapter 29 verse (not just 11 lol) 10-14
"The truth is that you will be in Babylon for 70 years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home. For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give oyu a hope and a future. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me. I will be found by you," says the Lord.


emily wierenga said...

dear, dear kati...

i know this waiting too. the other day i read that, to hope on the Lord actually means to wait on him... and then we will rise up on wings like eagles; and when eagles soar, they make no effort--they just extend their wings, and the wind carries them. i found such rest in that. i always find it easier to 'wait' and hope when i'm being creative. when i'm producing something... because really, all of life is one big wait... until we get to heaven. so take advantage, and sew, or write, or paint, each day... collaborate with our creator. love you. xo

deb said...

this is good soul care you do...
I am very much the same

Meri said...

Kati - those times for me often include books that speak to my soul and help me achieve some clarity. Trust that the way will open and unfold perfectly.
(Thanks for visiting and leaving me a message. This is my first imperfect prose, I think. . . and I just kind of free associated, so it's truly imperfect).

alittlebitograce said...

we are in a different place of waiting, one where there are no firm answers. my anxious heart does not like this! so i'm attempting to look for blessings everywhere, to dwell in God's courts rather than in the streets of despair. but really, i have no idea how to do this well. *hugs*

Lisa notes... said...

I know waiting is supposed to be good for us, but I still don't like it. And I'm not very good at resting in it.

Nonetheless, since you asked for advice:
I suggest to wait actively. As God does his work, keep worshiping him. Keep serving others. Keep doing the next thing, whatever that is.

All your unknowns are already "knowns" to God. He'll know when the time is just perfect for the next move.

Blessings as you wait,

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