Book study

When You’re Called To Wait: Becoming Living Art – Week 9

Becoming Living Art _ week 9

Much good happens in the space where nothing is happening. – Christa Wells, singer/songwriter

Oh how I’ve struggled for the words to share this week.  For I am right in the middle of my season of waiting.  Just when I think I’m ready to pick it all up again, He again asks me to wait. At a loss for words of my own, I will be quoting more from Emily’s book, A Million Little Ways, than I have in previous weeks.  It’s just so good and speaks to my heart so well in this season.

You are in a season of waiting.  When you finally show up ready to release your art by being the person you believe you are created to be, there may be nothing more disheartening than to be asked to wait.  The waiting can drive us mad if we let it.  It can become a merciless dictator, shoving us into shapes we aren’t made for, shapes of worry and doubt and short tempers.

But the waiting can also grow us, shape us from the inside out for sacred work.  This is a kind of work that happens only in the secret place of abiding in the presence of Christ even in the midst of broken dreams and tired circumstances.

There is still movement in the waiting, though it may be hard to see.  A Million Little Ways,

In the waiting, I move toward God.

As I’ve struggled through the place of worry, doubt and fear on this journey, I am realizing all the more that this sacred space must continually be brought as an offering before the Lord.  I must remain completely yielded to God and His way.  And so in the struggle, I move toward God. There is no place else for me to run but straight into His loving embrace.  And there, He will whisper to my heart His will.  I am clinging to the promise that even in this season when it’s hard, when I can’t see what is ahead, when I often cannot feel Him in the midst of it, I know that He is moving on my behalf.

In the waiting, I see with new eyes.

I am uncovering it, a piece at a time.  The work is finished somewhere invisible. Fear says I am going to do it wrong.  Doubt says I won’t find it at all.  But hope?  Hope says, Wait.  It’s just a little farther.  You are not alone and this is not just your idea.

The real art is the invisible work happening in the depths of my soul as I uncover, sink, see, listen and wait.  A Million Little Ways.

So I begin to see with new eyes.  I begin to peer deep into a heart, hidden in Christ.  Tucked away in the darkness where only He is light, I wait.  And I open my eyes to all that is before me, while fixing my gaze steadily on the person of Jesus.  My life must remain hidden with Christ in God.  I must allow the Master Potter to come, again and again, and chisel away all that I hold firmly in my grasp.  For I cannot hold onto anything if I am to be used to bring Him glory.  I must remain His — fully, completely, withholding nothing.

Will I trust Him?

In the waiting, I learn to trust.

I have come to a place where I must let go, realizing that I can no longer control the outcome. All I can do is yield, surrender, offering it back up to Him for His glory.  Yet at the same time, there is fear — fear of the unknown, fear from this broken and bruised vessel that would ask, “Surely, Lord, you would not call me to lay down this art?”

What if the answer is what I fear most?  Would I still say yes?  Would I be willing to lay it all down for the sake of knowing Him?

[Tweet “Perhaps in the waiting, my heart is learning the sacrifice of a heart that is completely His.”]

God does things differently.  He said, Let there be light, but then he waited a full day before he spoke again.  And on the last day, he rested.  He built waiting into creation. From the incarnation to the resurrection, divine creativity begins and ends with waiting. – A Million Little Ways

He moves in the inner, upside-down, individual way and he places himself within us — those of us who, like Mary, say yes.  He moves in our desires and then waters them, suns them and sometimes dries them up.  He always provides, but not always in the way we think he ought to.  – A Million Little Ways.

We must not lose hope in the waiting, for waiting paves the way for art.

The painful process of growth.

When my children were young, they would often have growing pains in their legs at night. They would call out to me, and I would find them laying in bed crying desperately for the pain to go away.  All I could do was hold them, pray for them and reassure them that soon the pain would be gone.  I would have done anything I could as a mother to prevent this process of growth.  But where there is growth, there is most often pain.

Be faithful to plant.  Release the growing to God.  Open up clenched fists and let the seeds drop into the ground, let them burrow down deep and do their secret work in the dark.  Sacred shaping happens in the waiting. – A Million Little Ways

So what is our part in the waiting?

Show up.  Show up in that place where you are already fully alive.  Embrace the mysterious and invisible work of Christ even when it looks as if nothing is happening.  Move toward God.  Give Him your all.  Open your eyes to all that is around you, and find the beauty that lies before you. Lean into His presence and trust, even if the process is painful.

Artist brushes with a half finished painted color canvas

This is the ninth post in a series entitled Becoming Living Art. Each Monday I will share what God has revealed to my own heart while reading through Emily Freeman’s A Million Little Ways: Uncover The Art You Were Made To Live.  I was not paid in any way for my thoughts or quotes.  I would highly recommend you read the book.  It’s really good!

22 thoughts on “When You’re Called To Wait: Becoming Living Art – Week 9”

  1. Adoption Mama says:

    Waiting is so very painful. This weekend I was dealing with such anxiety over this and God reminded me that I am not taking my waiting to Him, nor am I trusting. Thank you for this reminder. Again. 🙂

    1. Barbie says:

      You’re welcome my friend. Praying for you in your wait.

  2. Chris Malkemes says:

    Barbie. There is nothing more creative that when God allows us to join Him in the creative process, especially the creation of a new child. Everything takes time. His timing is perfect. He is the Creator of time. He is not subject to it. At nine months a child is born full term, at six months premature, and in the first three months it is still born. In our rush to create out of His time we may suffer a great loss. Let it be. Let Him create in His perfect, pleasing and acceptable time table. That is yielding and the rewards are priceless.
    Chris Malkemes recently posted..Two Kinds of People 

    1. Barbie says:

      You always know how to encourage my heart, with such God-given wisdom Chris. Thank you!

  3. Ginger Harrington says:

    Thanks for the insight in this post. We seem to be walking similar paths this year. I am praying for you in the wait. God never wastes a good wait!
    Ginger Harrington recently posted..A Cinderella Moment

    1. Barbie says:

      So thankful to have connected with you Ginger. I appreciate your encouragement.

  4. Dawn Paoletta (@breathoffaith) says:

    Waiting with you…but my own season of waiting is with my daughter. A surprise gift for you at my place – I hope you like it. Prayer and love for you oday, Barbie!
    Dawn Paoletta (@breathoffaith) recently posted..Sweet Warrior

  5. Cynthia says:

    I know your pain, for I have had to wait for many blessings and renewals. And, right now, I am waitng on another promise.Sometimes, I cry-out, but then I realize that He is right there.He has never let me down. It may not be exactly what I wanted, but it is always more than I expected. I can only see this through an open heart. But, through the waiting is a burnishing…a reforming of the soul that brings new light and insight. It’s not easy, but it is more than worth the wait. Joy to you on your journey!
    Cynthia recently posted..Scars and Blessings~

    1. Barbie says:

      I receive that JOY Cynthia! Thank you so much.

  6. Dolly@Soulstops says:

    Waiting is one of the hardest faith tests….funny, but I was just thinking about some of those passages from Emily’s book this morning…and I also wrote about growth in my post….great post….praying God continues to give you hope and peace as you wait, my friend 🙂
    Dolly@Soulstops recently posted..On how you redefine success

    1. Barbie says:

      And He promises that He will strengthen us as we wait. Leaning into His strength and timing. Blessings!

  7. Denise says:

    Amen my friend.

    1. Barbie says:

      Bless you Denise!

  8. Mary Geisen says:

    Barbie – Your writing has become so pure during this time of waiting. Your vulnerability and uncertainty speak loudly but your absolute trust in God speaks louder. I am so enjoying the rawness in your words and that complete honesty that only God can take care of. Thank you for these words and for the encouragement of listening to God in all.
    Mary Geisen recently posted..What I Learned from My Third Graders

    1. Barbie says:

      Mary, I am so grateful for your love and support during this season. I forgot we were supposed to try to chat today. Perhaps we can schedule another time.

  9. Melody says:

    I am thankful for your series on Emily’s book because I really wanted to read her book but have several others I’m in the middle of so this post series you’re doing is wonderful. I feel like I’m getting to read the cliff notes in a way. Waiting…..oh I am so impatient and I needed to hear these things tonight. Good stuff.
    Melody recently posted..3 important lessons in Garage Sale-ing

    1. Barbie says:

      Thankful you are being blessed by it. This reminds me that I need to create a page and put them all in one place. Blessings!

  10. Jolene Underwood (@Faith_Eyes) says:

    My heart rings with yours Barbie. I have felt the Lord saying, “wait” so often and struggled to find contentment in the waiting.

    Beautiful post Barbie. May your time with Him in this season bring about every blessing, honor and glory that is in His plan. Your walk with the Lord is an encouragement & a testimony.
    Jolene Underwood (@Faith_Eyes) recently posted..Joy in suffering? For real?

    1. Barbie says:

      Thank you so much for your encouragement Jolene!

  11. alecia says:

    I’m in a season of wait and struggling to find contentment in it. I think one of my worst fears is that He will say, “no” and then what do I do? I’m praying for the faith to believe for good things even if it is different than what I want.
    alecia recently posted..Comparing, Insecurity, & Fear

  12. Beth says:

    Praying for you, friend. I loved the one quote from Emily’s book, “There is still movement in the waiting, though it may be hard to see.” And you reflected on this so beautifully. Your honest during this season continues to speak encouragement to me, and it’s obvious that it does the same for others. Love you.
    Beth recently posted..10 Things I Learned in April

  13. Carol Longenecker Hiestand says:

    “……abiding in the presence of Christ even in the midst of broken dreams and tired circumstances”

    REally really good. one year ago I retired with big dreams (which I had prayed over) feeling set free…and then my dad had to move in with us and required 24/7 supervision and help and the money i expected from retirement crashed and mostly burned….It has been difficult. and God seemed so silent, but I have learned he is still there without judgement – no shame – and waiting…..and it’s ok to be in that messy middle. because he is in it with us. Appreciating your series here. praying for you as i write this as you wait.
    Carol Longenecker Hiestand recently posted..The Lord Comforts His People

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