Does summer always feel like a season of transition? 

On one hand, it’s happy to finish another year of university. But on the other hand, what to do with the coming months? Sitting “unproductively” is intimidating. As a generation constantly told to be productive, feelings of anxiety and restlessness are weighty when you’re waiting for the next step. 

This feeling of uncertainty is especially strong if you’re graduating soon. You start wondering about your path ahead. Conversations about discernment come up more and more. 

Read more: Success After Graduation (blog series)

This period of “waiting” can cause a lot of doubt and stress. Doubt of not knowing if you are on the right path or if God has other plans for you. Stress of trusting while not knowing. What are you even waiting for? Maybe it’s a voice to keep doing what we were doing or to kneel and pray more for God’s will to be known quickly.

Learning to wait

I don’t think I’m the only one who likes to know what my next steps are. When I encounter a problem, I look for solutions. I tell myself to stop being lazy and to find ways to improve my circumstances. 

A big part of what drew me to Jesus initially was the idea of having peace in my heart no matter the circumstances. Before I put my faith in Jesus, I always wondered how some of the Christians I knew could be so calm when life threw curveballs at them. 

Becoming a follower of Jesus didn’t make my life’s curveballs go away. Recently, a strike in my graduating year was more stressful than I thought it would be. It felt like a roadblock, preventing me from moving forward in God’s plan for me. 

Yet what if the uncertainty is God’s plan? What if this waiting has allowed me to see my need for God much more clearly? 

Read more: God has a wonderful plan B for your life

Now I’m waiting for news on future employment and what I’ll be stepping into in the next season. Even though I pray and hope that these things will come quickly, in life, some things just take time. Through it all, Christ holds everything together (Colossians 1:17). 

Waiting has allowed me to see my need for God much more clearly.

Over the years, I have learned to run to God first when I need help. I think that’s part of what makes our God unique: he works for those who wait on him (Isaiah 64:4). He doesn’t need us to work; he only needs us to trust in him to work. 

So I’m learning to wait. 

Waiting as a child

The difficulty of waiting is nothing new. The truth is, waiting is hard because no one knows what will happen. 

The world tells you to plan, but as a Christian, you also want to do God’s will. So you pray and wait for a sign that tells you that you’re on the right path. What if that sign never comes? Or it comes much later than you hoped for? 

The hunger to know the Creator’s plan is a big part of what caused the ”Fall,” the breaking of the perfect relationship between God and humans. But getting the knowledge that you hope for, or not getting it, does not change your identity. If you’re a Christian, you are a child of God. 

Read more: O Father, tend to me through this transition (a prayer)

Knowing that you’re a child of God isn’t the easiest thing to live out. You won’t follow the status quo, and your life might look different from others. People tend to go for the path of least resistance. It’s easier that way, right? But if you look at all the good things in this world, there is always some kind of pain prior to the breakthrough. 

Before receiving a job offer, you have to go through the trouble of applying. 

If you want to stay healthy, you need to commit to eating well and exercising. 

If you want your friend to know Jesus, you have to take the sometimes awkward step of talking about your faith. 

All these things are a process. You don’t think much is happening at first, but God is working even when we’re not. 

Read more: The Holy Spirit is at work in you; can you recognize him?

When I asked a sister in Christ what “waiting” meant to her, she said, “To me, waiting is a process to quiet oneself and surrender to the sovereignty of God.” 

At first it seemed like a cliched Christian thing to say. But when I sat alone with God afterwards, I began to understand what this supreme power feels like. God has ultimate authority and control over all things, and nothing happens without him knowing. And this turns the powerlessness of my waiting into fearlessness. 

That’s why, when we wait, we are acknowledging that we trust in his gameplan, even if we don’t understand it fully. We trust because we know ourselves to be children, and our Father to be good. 

If you’re a Christian, you are a child of God. 

Waiting with Jesus

There’s a passage in the Gospels about not worrying (Matthew 6:25-34). Recently I read it and felt convicted. Yes, worrying does not add a single hour to my life. In my worry, I want to remember that Jesus is holding everything together.

I see this in the story when the disciples were in the boat and furious waves came (Mark 4:35-41). They called on Jesus, asking him, “Don’t you care if we drown?” He calmed the storm, and then asked the disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Jesus was with them in tough times. He was in the boat and the storm. And the storm was under his command.

You may not always feel it, but Jesus is always there with you. He wants to hold your hands tightly and bring you out of the storm into a peaceful garden. Wait for this with him. 

Read more: How to pause to let the Spirit help you hear God’s voice

Of course it’s still not easy to wait. You might pray so hard for something, and see it happening in other people’s lives. Seeds of jealousy, that if not surrendered, will grow into something toxic. Trust that God has an unique timeline for each of his children. 

And trust that the Holy Spirit can help you do these things: 

  • Enjoy his love today and live faithfully in the circumstances that you are in. 
  • Plan with open hands and hearts, for your plans may need to change to align with what God has in store for you. 
  • Surrender your honest feelings to him, no matter how raw, for he will take them and make you whole again. 

Do not let the weight of the wait and your worries bring you down.  

Read more: 5 things waiting on God taught me

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About the Author

Cathy Wang

Cathy is an intern with P2C-S Bridges (formerly known as International Students Ministry), and an elementary school teacher. She completed her music and teaching degrees at York University. She enjoys exploring culture, learning languages, and listening to stories.

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