I have spent my life waiting. Waiting to grow up. Waiting for the stress of college to be over and “real life” to begin. Waiting for the baby to come. Waiting for diapers to end. Waiting for the next “easier” phase of parenting. Waiting for a promotion. Waiting to pursue childhood dreams. Waiting for the house to sell and waiting for another to be built. Waiting for my children to marry and trying to patiently wait for grand children. Still waiting to grow up.
Most importantly, I have been waiting for my super powers. Thirty- eight years ago I daily dressed in my Wonder Woman costume (underwear) and anticipated the arrival of my own special super powers. Full of faith I would stand on the edge of my bed with hands on hips, concentrating. Nothing happened. The only crime I corrected was my little brother’s thievery- apparently he liked Wonder Woman underwear too. Decades later the hope still lives, fed by stories of Grandma Moses, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Mother Theresa, women who later in life became legends. I wonder what great talent will suddenly overtake me as I clean the lint out of the dryer or scrub dried spaghetti sauce off the kitchen cabinets.
Most of us have figured out that flying isn’t for humans. Some of us take longer to accept it, and there are a few who insist on broken bones and bloody foreheads before giving up. I gave up the dream of flying as soon as I grew out of the underwear, only to replace it with a dream of doing something significant, important, vital. This has proven to be just as challenging.
I’m afraid there is a crack in my radiator and I am leaking discipline. I used to accomplish so much-now the goal of writing just one hour a day feels as impossible as my desire to focus fifteen minutes a day learning Spanish. I have wasted countless hours being distracted for every productive moment writing health care curriculum and I barely manage to lose two pounds before falling into despair from the torture and deprivation. I am a grown up now; I know better then to expect talents and accomplishments to burst through the door and overtake my life. I am aware that it takes years of writing to be a good writer, hundreds of hours of practice to learn a language and months of sacrifice and discipline to create curriculum or lose twenty pounds. Start and stop. Start and stop. So much for flying. So much for doing significant things for the world. So much for being a grown up.
I have been dragging discouragement behind me. Unfulfilled dreams bash at my faith and expectations weigh so heavily I can barely take a step. This valley season requires a change of luggage. It’s time to trek out of here and I desperately need to lighten the load.
Everything I know for sure has melted down to One. Jesus. For months I have been reading and praying through the Gospels. I have done my best to put everything down, let go of dreams, expectations and hopes while pleading with God to have mercy and give me some light. Please, tell me what You want from me. Who do You want me to be? What are Your purposes for my life? I know I should know all this already- I should BE this already, but somehow in the descent to this valley of wilderness it was all stripped away.
It’s either start over or give up. I can’t give up- He is my One thing. So once again, I am waiting. Waiting on His presence. I can’t go another step without it.
“And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was first baptizing, and He was staying there. Many came to Him and were saying, ‘ While John performed no sign, yet everything John said about this man was true.’ Many believed in Him there.” John 10:40-42
John, “a man sent from God”, had no super powers. He had the Holy Spirit and he made a way in the wilderness for the Lord, yet he, “performed no signs”. This spoke powerfully to me today. John spoke truth and pointed the people to Jesus. No super powers necessary, just faithfulness.
I still can’t fly, but I can walk in faithfulness. I’m ready now. It’s time to fasten the pack- much lighter minus discouragement and doubt- finish this valley and ascend that magnificent mountain.