As a church planters wife, there's lots of fun and exciting ways to WAIT! Wait on your husband to get home, wait on your redemption group to show up to start, wait on your children to get to the car, wait to find out if you are approved, wait to see if the support checks are coming in, wait to see if you get to pay ALL your bills this month or just a few, wait to find out if we can meet in that place for our Sunday night gathering...wait...wait...wait.
I'll be the first (in a long line of people who can testify) that no matter which spiritual inventory you give me, you will not find "Waiting" on the list of my spiritual gifts. In fact, it's more of a "Hey, you're really good at....but you should work on patience and trusting God in the interim" situation with me. So I will let you know that waiting on God or Jonathan or a group or a person or my children is nearly physically painful at times.
On top of which, I'm waiting to have my 4th baby right now. Yup. I'm pregnant. My due date is 3 days away and this is the longest I've ever been pregnant. My first was born 4 weeks early and my next 2 were both 1 week early. So going past 39 weeks feels overdue to me. I recognize this as not only silly, but whining. That doesn't seem to change my hormonal reaction to it. Every pressure, every Braxton Hicks, every bump of the baby leaves me hopeful, and the ensuing lack of results leaves me almost despondent. It's a wild roller coaster right now. You can pray for my husband.
But what I realized the other day was that this pregnancy is a beautiful picture of what this church planting process has been like for me: complete lack of control! God is dealing with my heart idol of control on both issues. I can feed myself well, get rest and exercise, pray diligently and mostly...just...wait. The rest is totally and completely up to Jesus and his work. For the church, I pray for my husband, our core, those God is calling, I read my Bible and I repent of my depraved heart and foolish ways, I acknowledge and repent of my heart idols, and I obey what Jesus asks me to do. But I can't actually GROW the church, MAKE people come, PUSH the process faster. It will happen when it happens, how God wants it to happen and in His perfect timing.
This morning during worship we sang "Lead me to the Cross" and God's word to me rang out loud and clear through the chorus. "Rid me of myself...." I've been so wrapped up in my schedule that I want to happen, my methods, my desires, even my discomfort and frustration that I have been all mired down in ME instead of rooted and grounded in Him. And I am not bringing glory to Him through my exasperation with either "birthing" process, the baby or the church. My impatience and petulance does not glorify Him.
So, I threw my hands up and testified that "I belong to You, so lead me, lead me to the Cross." And there it is: the Gospel. That Jesus is enough. Enough for me as I await this baby. Enough for me as I await the launch of Redemption Church. That my impatience and idol of control just reveals the depravity that is my enemy and Jesus' beautiful patience and grace towards me on the cross is enough to cover and redeem even that. "Naught of good that I have done; nothing but the blood of Jesus."
Thank you Lord for being bigger than my pettiness. Greater than my failings. Gracious in my selfishness. Good to me even when I'm throwing a fit. And more glorious than all my worries, wants, whims and wishes! You are Lord! You are faithful! Even in my waiting....