I don't know about you but I hate waiting. With a passion. I am not patient enough to wait for anything. I turn grumpy when I have to wait without any ETA. If you tell me a definitive timescale, I can live with that but waiting for the unknown? Nah, I wouldn't have it. But you and I both know that sometimes, life does not offer any other choice but to wait. So wait, we must. And wait some more. But what would you do if the waiting seems like eternity? And I do not say this lightly. I mean, literally, you are waiting and waiting to the point that you do not know if the waiting will be over or what! That you are not sure if you should rename 'waiting' and call this process in its more apt name. Something like acceptance.
I grew up reading, watching, inhaling fairy tales. I grew up obsessing that my knight in shining armour will come rushing with his white horse and save me, a princess in distress (what a ridiculous depiction of myself, now that I think about it). That I will live the part of: And they live happily ever after... soon enough when the waiting is over. So I played the princess part. I made sure my life is on point. I see to it that I did my best in everything. I did good at school and university. I had a good job and then the waiting began.
Then slowly but surely I noticed that most my friends are getting hitched (if by this time you still don't have a clue on what on earth I am talking about yes, this is what you think it is). I tried to brush it off and made myself busy with work and travel and friends and ministry. But then I felt that day after day, the waiting seems harder than yesterday. That's when I started to ask questions.
It's very hard to talk about waiting because in my opinion, no words can ever alleviate the pang of waiting for someone. Will I ever have a partner? Will I die alone? What will happen to me when I grow old? These questions can easily bring me to tears before. If there's someone who can offer a respite, I think that would be someone who went through the same excruciating process of waiting. It is night time in Wimbledon as I type this. I'll be honest, I am not comfortable in baring my raw emotions out in the world wide web. Yet, I feel that someone, somewhere... needs to read these words. And so with feeble fingers, I'll try to put words into this blog post in the hope that you (yes, you!) will find it helpful.
Waiting Has a Purpose
I know, I know. This may sound like a bumper sticker but hear me out. If God asks you to wait, it might be because He wants to refine your character. Sure nobody's perfect but personally, I realised that had I had a relationship early on it will be messy. Why? Because I still don't know how to be selfless and loving. And you know what they say... you cannot give what you do not have. So, granted, you're fine to wait some more. What should you do then? You wait actively (rather than passively). Do not waste your life away waiting and doing nothing. You can do something fun whilst you're in this process. I hate to use this term but it is what it is: Doing fun things can be a healthy distraction too. 'Better' yourself whatever that means. Take photography classes if that's what you want. Travel to expand your horizons. Sign up for cooking class. Run, dance, whatever. You may not see it now but there is a huge purpose of all this waiting. Cheer up, you'll see clearly when you get there.
Remember: Comparison is a Thief of Joy
Do not compare your journey with the other person. It's tough, isn't it? Specially when you have a three consecutive invites to be the maid of honour. Gosh, that hit me hard! I remember that year, when I just lost it. I woke up 3 am in the morning (after a friend's wedding and you guessed it! I was the maid of honour!). I cried and cried and poured out myself to God. I am doing a facepalm as I type this because girl, I said way so many harsh things to God. Good thing I wasn't toasted by lightning and thunder that dawn. I was one with David when he said:
…When my heart was embittered And I was pierced within, then I was senseless and ignorant; I was like a beast before You. Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand. Psalm 73:21-22
I wish I can tell you that I was an ever calm human being. Only I am not. I was so hurt that I have so many questions and all I hear was silence. I started to remind God how good I am and I do not deserve this and I kicked and I wailed and I cried. I even had the audacity to ask Him why does this not-so-pretty girl has a boyfriend and I don't. Okay, I'll be honest. Let me rephrase: I even had the audacity to ask Him why does this ugly girl had a boyfriend and I don't. Why? Why? Why? Oh my daze... writing about this makes me want to delete the whole post now but it's too late. I have come this far. 😅
Seriously, after that 3 am talk with God, I made a pact that I will never attend any wedding again. And that's the time I am beginning to accept that maybe, just maybe, I am meant to be without a partner. Not that it's an altogether bad thing but as I said early on, I inhaled fairy tales before okay? So telling me that I will never meet my prince charming is like telling me to stop breathing. But slowly but surely, I tried to live and wear a smile amidst the pain, doubt and the many questions still unanswered.
I have my fair share of could-have-beens and during those times, obviously I thought that he was the one. Really, who is the one for me? Enter another challenge. I wish it is written in the Bible who will be the one. Things will be way easier. But if everything is written and nothing is left for us to believe in, then what is faith for? The questions did not stop pouring on the waiting stage. It spilled over during the dating stage. And I think this is where prayer is important. Since there is no specifics in the Bible, we need to seek Him and His will. Pray. Talk to your mum or people that you trust. Look for practical signs. I wish that by now, we girls are smart enough to know that signs are no longer him wearing a red shirt with a white rose. Signs are when you realise you will spend your tomorrows with him and that thought sits well with you.
I guess my only regret was I hurt people along the way. It was so hypocritical of me because there I was asking God for answers but when it was my turn to give a definitive answer to someone, I ghosted on him. I will never do that again because no human being deserves to wait for nothing. For the longest time I felt terrible but I thank GOD because His love is greater than our shortcomings. I guess the point is, when we ask GOD. Let's be ready for a yes, no or maybe answer. And in case we forget: NO is a complete sentence.
He Makes All Things Beautiful in His Time
I was in Paris last year for a business trip. Gab followed me a day after. I was walking through the streets of Issy-les-Moulineaux when I realised that this is more than I could have ever wished for. I remember before I was asking God why is it so hard for Him to give me what I want. By the way, my 'want' is for someone to walk me home from my office in Makati that time. Little did I know that He has a better plan. A plan not even I, in my wildest dreams, can ever imagine. Gab picked me up and we went to Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower the day after.
I know this is probably one of the 'and they lived happily ever after' parts that you have read. I know how heavy it feels. So heavy that you probably feel a lump in your throat building up and you'll end up in tears soon. I know because I was you. I wish I know the answer to your ETA but I don't. All I know is even if it feels the waiting seems like forever, even if it feels that God's silence is mind boggling, He is your Father and He knows what is best for you. Take comfort in the fact that if He has given His only Son to save you, He will not withhold the one thing that you have been praying for. It may not be the exact answer but it is defintely way better. That's for sure. -CMK