This month we gather for VOUS Girl for the first time in two years! We have been waiting and it’s finally here! As long as the wait has felt, it has prepared us for this moment and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Today I am thinking back on the morning our miracle boy arrived. After twelve years of marriage, eight years of trying to start a family, and nine months of watching my stomach grow, it was finally time to meet our guy. Because of a prior injury, we had scheduled a c-section, so we were packed and prepared for our date with destiny. Early that morning my parents jumped in the car with us to drive to the hospital. The empty car seat between us signaled that the next time we would get in the car our lives would be much different. My brothers and sister met us in the hospital lobby and we giddily made our way to the maternity ward. Rich and I met with the head nurse to register and receive our bracelets.
As l wondered where we would be led next I heard the words, “Please take your seat in the waiting room until it’s time.” We walked into the small space where all of our friends and family were sitting, as well as many other strangers waiting for news of their own loved ones in delivery. I chuckled as I slowly eased my swollen body into a plastic chair and thought, “Well, here we go again.” I wasn’t angry, disappointed or impatient. It was the best moment of my life thus far. I was simply once again surprised as my expectations didn’t line up with reality. This pregnant woman was ready to GO!
But it was not time to walk. It was time to wait.
As I look back on my son’s birth that morning, the waiting room was one of my favorite parts of the day. After eight years of being in the waiting room of life, asking God when I would get to walk out of this season and through a new door, I had learned not to underestimate the wait. Delays hold destiny. And it was only right that I got one more opportunity to wait that miraculous morning.
Now, I realize that not all waiting rooms are anticipating the arrival of new life. I have sat in other waiting rooms throughout the years to receive heartbreaking news or be told of devastating loss. But the waiting room I am speaking to is the season of waiting for the next step of our purpose to unfold. We have all experienced this room in different ways.
Everyone is waiting for something.
Waiting for graduation, waiting to meet that special someone, to begin the new job, to take that trip, to see family meet Jesus, to have a child, to get that raise, to be healed, to reach that health goal, to win that competition, to complete that course…the list goes on and on.
At VOUS, we have a gathering of women called VOUS Girl. It’s a sisterhood of strength for every season and it's not centered on belaboring what we’re waiting on but rather on finding joy in WHO we are waiting with. Jesus breathes real purpose into even the toughest moments in life. He places us in a community that reminds us our wait is not a waste. Together as we trust God, our wait is strengthening our walk. We gather three times a year and come with expectation of what God wants to speak to us in the wait this side of eternity. We often say, “Home is always a journey.” It’s a reminder to us that our sisterhood is not based on perfection but what we learn as we make progress. God is shaping us as we patiently trust and surrender.
Community has the power to change the perspective of even the toughest waiting seasons. The goal of our gatherings is not to sugar-coat current situations but to speak to the deepest longing of our souls with the promises of God. That’s what we need! Far too many have walked away and given up on the call of God on their lives over the last two years because they were focused on the wait instead of who they were waiting with! You’ll never walk alone. Don’t give up, there’s purpose in the waiting room! If you’re leading but feeling the pressure to graduate from your current waiting room, let me encourage you that there may be more in your current season than you realize.
Here are a few things I have learned in the waiting room of life…
1. The Waiting Room is Always Packed
If you feel like you are the only one waiting, you probably have your eyes closed and your ears covered. As you sift through this season of trusting God, there are people all around you in the same season. And as you look around, relationships are the gold you will find. GOLD. Some are waiting for purpose and direction, others await relational healing, emotional restoration, or the salvation of a loved one. Could our wait be about more than just ourselves? Could our delay serve the purpose of awakening us to the countless others in need who surround us? Our communities and churches are full of people who are waiting!
At VOUS Girl, we want women to know they are not alone on this journey! We all have the shared experience of TRUSTING God in the wait! Being honest with others about what we’re trusting God for creates lines of authentic communication that ultimately roll up in prayers to God for one another. This is what sisterhood is about!
Boy, was that room at the hospital packed as I waited for my name to be called. It wasn’t just friends and family; there were many complete strangers. But they wouldn’t stay strangers for long…
2. The Waiting Room is Great for Conversation
You see this is where the Louisiana girl in me kicks into high gear. Sure it's 8:00 a.m., sure we’re tired, sure I’ve got nerves working overtime as I approach the unknown. Buuuuut…we are all here in this waiting room together. So, we might as well get to know each other, right? You see, conversations turn cold waiting rooms into cozy living rooms where you aren’t waiting, you’re actually living. Conversations turn strangers into community. Conversations take your mind off of yourself and open your heart to the plight of someone else’s journey.
I followed my parents’ lead that day as we started to get to know the other families next to us. We shared our stories, laughed together and even took family photos for one another. And then our family began sharing memories as the wait extended. When I was little my Mom wrote a song that says, “Let’s make a memory while we wait!” It’s a profound thought that waiting holds moments you will hold for a lifetime. When you believe that truth, the space to wait takes on a life of its own.
Conversations lead to real life change. I love VOUS Girl because our goal is not to have a large gathering but to move people forward on their journey of purpose. There are some things you don’t need to wait on at all! Our goal is to open their eyes to purpose in the here and now. Our prayer is that women choose Jesus and get involved in a CREW (the small groups of our community).
3. The Waiting Room is a Great Place to Celebrate Others
My husband knows how to make moments. I am the one in the relationship always concerned that we’ll disrupt those around us. He, on the other hand, is the one who cranks up the music and says, “Let’s dance!” And that is exactly what we did that morning in the waiting room. Our phones became turntables and the entire family jumped up and started to dance! Who says the waiting room of your life has to be dead and boring? The waiting room is what you make it.
If we open up our eyes to the people around us and build relationships as we wait, then we can celebrate their wins as if they are our own! VOUS Girl is a community of celebration, NOT comparison. Instead of being jealous when someone else has their name called, you can cheer them on because you know their story. Celebration of others destroys jealousy, just like prayer destroys bitterness. Before I ever got to celebrate the birth of my son, I celebrated countless friends as their families grew. That morning in the waiting room I was able to celebrate with several other families first. And when it was my turn, I had a whole room, many of the people I didn’t know hours before, celebrating with me!
As I walked out the doors holding Rich’s hand, I was thankful for the wait. Finally, I was walking instead of waiting!
Could the wait make the walk even richer?
The wait gave me time to empathize with others, reflect, pray, connect and enlarge our circle of support. It allowed me to realize that my story is only a tiny part of the life story God is telling through history. And all of our stories are connected.
Eight years of waiting offered me countless opportunities. Opportunities to isolate or communicate. Opportunities to doubt or trust. Opportunities to run away or rest in the finished work of Jesus. I wouldn’t take one day of the journey back. It took me a long time but I finally came to a place where I realized that if I never received a miracle that there is a constant supply of peace and joy just for me right here in this waiting room. I couldn’t have done it without the right community surrounding me with faith, pointing my eyes toward Jesus and speaking life over me.
My prayer for VOUS Girl is that women in the wait realize their destinies are not late, they have not been forgotten and God is intimately involved in their story. The story is already in motion. Right here, right as you wait.
Psalm 112:7 says, “She will have no fear of bad news; her heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” And that is the true miracle of it all. Jesus is enough. You can take him at His word. He brings life in the waiting. So party on!