Today’s post is a guest post from Olivia Ryan. Olivia serves as a volunteer on the Hearts at Home radio team.
She’s a Midwest native who lives to inspire women to bear and share hope with the world. Hands down her favorite activity is Tuesday night date night, but tickling her three miracle babies is a close second. She heavily relies on her people, the written Word, deep breaths, and foodie food to keep her sane. She survived the desert of waiting once upon a thirsty time, and lives to tell you that you will too! She sneaks away to write at livryan.com
Liv’s new book Bearing Hope: Navigating the Desert of Waiting for a Child is an inspirational companion with illustrations and hope galore. You can get your hands on a copy here or start with a free chapter!
Waiting seasons can be agonizing!
Waiting for an answer to prayer.
Waiting for your child to return.
Waiting for a diagnosis.
Waiting for healing.
Waiting for a child.
Waiting for the next season.
When you’re in a waiting season, the minutes feel like hours and the hours like days.
When my husband and I were going through infertility, we had so many questions for God. We battled through the days of “why me?” and “I don’t know if I can take another step.”
We clung onto our faith for dear life as we lost little life after little life through miscarriage. Six in total, and another through a failed adoption.
We didn’t know how God would ultimately answer our prayer for a child. But we did know that he was calling us to bear hope even when we couldn’t bear a child.
Since I become an expert in waiting, I learned some powerful tools for surviving and even thriving throughout a wait. I think you’ll find great joy in these too.
Pray: Prayer reminds you that you aren’t in control of the situation. It helps you tangibly let go of your cares and worries as you hand them over to a God who hears. Through prayer, you’re trading your heavy burden for one that’s light.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. (Psalm 107:28-29)
Get plugged into a church: We plugged into a church and small group who wrapped their arms around us when we were hurting. They became like family. Their support and prayer changed us in a way words could never describe.
Take An Adventure: There are thousands of things you can do in this season of waiting that will distract you and allow you to continue living your life rather than staying inside in your bed (where you might think you want to be.
- Do something crazy like skydiving or bungee jumpin
- Travel somewhere new and exotic
- Make a gourmet meal
- Become a volunteer and advocate for a cause close to your heart
- Train for a race
- Watch the sunset
- Write a book
Tell Your Story. You might share what you’re going through with a trusted friend, small group, Bible Study, or on a blog. You may even start speaking to different groups about your experiences. Your story can bring hope, courage, and healing to people who are going through similar battles. And as a bonus, it will help you heal.
Read. Do you need a mental break? Enjoy some quality fiction. Do you need some practical advice and spiritual wisdom? The words found on the pages of a good book can change your life. Even when you don’t feel like you have the energy, try just a few pages!
Take deep breaths. The deeper the breath, the more calming influence it’s going to have on your body. Your blood pressure will chill. Your brain will think more clearly. Stress will have no choice but to exit your body as you exhale slowly. Breath is a gift from our powerful Creator, and it is yours for the keeping!
No matter what you are waiting for, you can use this season as a time to grow your faith and deepen your soul. God uses all of our experiences to move us from where we are emotionally and spiritually to where we need to be.
What about you? What has been vital to your survival in the desert of waiting? Have you had the courage to share your story with someone?