I’m Not Waiting on God

This blog post first appeared over at www.allisonvesterfelt.com - you can read more about Allison there! 

“I’m just waiting to see what God does…”

We were sitting across the table from each other at a quiet restaurant, snacking on hummus and talking about what we hoped for our lives. We were new friends, so I asked her about her job—an executive assistant. Good money, but long hours, and stressful.

Photo Credit: Boston Public Library, Creative Commons

“Is this a long-term thing?” I asked. She paused.

“No. In fact, I’m miserable. But… I’m just waiting to see what God does.”

Her eyes settled back to the table, and her words settled deep into me, to a place that felt familiar and raw.

“I’m just waiting to see what God does…”

Those words could almost echo inside of me—the exact words I had uttered to friends so many times, over coffee or dinner, while I was working a job I didn’t love but that seemed to be unfolding itself into my future.

“I’m just waiting to see what God does…” I would say.

Hoping that meant God would get me out of this.

Then, I would go home and bury my head in my pillow and scream—privately—God, why won’t you do something already??

One night, during one of my particularly intense rants, I just got the sense I wasn’t supposed to wait anymore. It wasn’t a rebellious, “Forget you, God, I’m doing this by myself!” (I had done that a few times before). No, this time it was just this deep sense of certainty that I didn’t need to “wait on God” for another minute.

I felt like God was saying: “Actually, I’m waiting on you.”

The more I started to unpack the feeling, the more I realized my “I’m waiting on God” sentiment was more of a stall tactic than it was a sense of spiritual obedience. I wasn’t “waiting on God” because I truly wanted direction from Him. I was waiting on God because I didn’t know what I wanted.

It was almost like I wanted Him to want something for me.

Instead, like a good parent helping their adult child make an important decision, I felt him whisper: this is your decision.

So I quit my job.

I mean, I thought about it for awhile, and I prayed about it a little bit, but when I didn’t get a clear “yes” or “no” from God, I just went ahead and did it. I took Him seriously when He said: this is your decision.

I decided to stop hiding behind “I’m waiting on God” and start trusting God would be with me—even if my decision was the “wrong” one.

When I stopped waiting on God, a few important things happened.

First, I realized I had to take responsibility for my own actions. That might seem obvious, but to me it was revolutionary. For so much of my spiritual life, I had been expecting God to treat me like an infant—where he was in charge of everything. Suddenly, I realized: Oh, wait, I’m a grown adult.

Taking responsibility for my own actions made me feel happier, more alive and gave me a freedom to become my authentic self.

The second thing that happened when I stopped waiting on God was my relationship with him grew deeper and stronger.

It makes sense. A relationship involves two people who want things, fear things, think things, feel things and desire things. They work to find balance between one another, honor one another and submit to each other. But if one person disappears from the relationship, there is no relationship.

For so long, I had disappeared from my relationship with God.

These days, I don’t spend nearly as much time “waiting on God” to show me which way to go. There are times I wait. God has control over things I don’t, and access to resources I don’t, and I trust him to redirect me when I’m getting off track.

But I’m not hiding behind excuses anymore. I’m taking responsibility for my own actions.

After all, I’m a grown up.