How long do you think you spend waiting in a day?
Waiting for your alarm to tell you to get out of bed when you’re already awake. Waiting for coffee to brew. Waiting for a slice of bread to toast or the stove to warm up. Waiting for your car windshield to defrost or your public transportation to arrive. Waiting for all of the people on the highway to get out of your way and get off of their phones. ?
And that’s just the morning!
Waiting on God for your Career
If you asked me a couple of days ago how long I spent waiting in a day, I would have told you 24 hours without hesitation. Yep, the entire day from beginning to end.
You see, lately days have been filled with persistent, perpetual waiting surrounding my work. The project to which I was assigned continued to be postponed, and at times, I felt as if I was treading water just waiting for things to get started.
Other times, I felt stranded, lost and abandoned on an island alone, unsure who to reach out to or how to muddle my way through this uncharted territory. So where did that leave me?
In a season of waiting.
I’ve been waiting on God, waiting for Him to show up. I’ve been praying and pleading with Him. I’ve been searching and wandering. I’ve been questioning if He’s turned a deaf ear to me because with everything in my being, I just could not see Him or feel Him next to me.
God, my soul was crying out, where are you?
What came as a surprise though was that this wasn’t the first time I’d felt this way before.
Waiting on God while Working Abroad
Flashback to almost a year ago, when I was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Andorra. I attended the Annual Fulbright Conference in Berlin, Germany where I met with hundreds of American Fulbrighters in Europe and German Fulbrighters going to the U.S. The conference was uplifting in the sense that everyone I spoke to was so interesting and unique, knowledgeable and passionate about something.
At the same time, the conference inflicted some wounds as the tendency to compare myself to others started to inch out of the place where I had banished it. In one particular presentation, I got to hear about the immense ease and perpetual joy of being an English Teaching Assistant in Norway, where the kids respected you so much they never spoke over you, everyone spoke English basically fluently, your coworkers appreciated and encouraged you, and the kids actually wanted to learn English.
The Danger of Comparison
Post conference, back in Andorra, I lasted about a week and a half of teaching classes of unruly, uninterested kids before breaking down into tears in the office of one of my dear American friends living in Andorra.
Living abroad was just too hard. Living abroad in Andorra was too hard. Why had I even chosen Andorra? I had been so sure that Andorra was where God wanted me to be, where God called me to be—
Okay, so where was he?
Having a breakdown and a breakthrough
I was furious, but also in tears. Frustrated, but also feeling abandoned.
And in my friend’s office, she just very gently said to me, “Sometimes you just need to cry. You feel alone, but everyone who moves abroad goes through this. It feels personal, but it’s not.”
“Trust me,” she said, “the good outweighs the bad. In three months when you’re leaving, you’ll look back and think, ‘What? It’s already over? I’m kind of sad.’”
When I left her office, I was reminded of a piece of Scripture. It has nothing to do with waiting, but instead claiming the promises of God.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”~ Joshua 1:9 NIV
Waiting on God but not Waiting Alone
Wherever you go…wherever I go.
So, yeah, if I am stranded, lost and abandoned on an island—fine. But I can’t be alone. I can’t be alone because God has promised to be with me wherever I go.
That means He’s on the island with me. That means He’s beside me as I’m treading water and waiting. That means when I wanted to leave Andorra, God wanted me to stay. Because He placed me in Andorra—it was no accident.
And if He placed me in Andorra, then He was in Andorra with me.
Likewise, if He gifted me with this work and this particular project, I don’t need to wait for Him. I don’t need to waste anymore time waiting on God to show up.
Because He has been here the whole time.
He walked faithfully with me in Andorra, and He will do it time and time again. And thus, I have the godly courage to act, wait, and endure.
What are you waiting for? ⏰
While you’re waiting, it may be helpful to make a gratitude list to remind yourself to be thankful! If you’re starting to feel like a failure in your career, remember God’s unchanging love for you and find comfort in the Lord.
If you’re interested hearing more about my time in Andorra, check out this post about being Fulbright English Teaching assistant! And I didn’t mean to scare you away from living abroad, from these posts, you’ll see I learned about from living abroad and working abroad.