Growth In The Waiting

I wrote in July about God calling our family to move from Surrey to Liverpool. In September, when we were on the verge of agreeing a moving date, our buyer pulled out and we had to put our house back on the market. What happens when we hit an obstacle in the road we think God has called us down? What should our response be? I can tell you what my response was.

The entries in my prayer journal from that period moved from panic, through doubt, to faith and hope:
4 September
“I don’t understand, Lord! You’ve called us to move to Liverpool and you’ve shown us a house which we believe you’ve set aside for us. Now there’s a risk we could lose that house…Please help!”
7 September
“I’m starting to have doubts about what I’ve heard you say on this, Lord. Please speak to us this week and make your will clear.”
8 September
“Thank you, Father, that you are the Sovereign God and your plans will not fail. Thank you that you provide. Thank you that I can trust in you. I pray that as our story unfolds your glory would be revealed to those around us through it. Your will be done, Lord.”

Back in July, someone gave me a prophetic word: “There’s growth in the waiting.” I already felt that God was speaking to me about being pregnant. Not literally! The wait to move to Liverpool being like a pregnancy, the wait to birth something new. In August, another friend sent me a song on Spotify saying she thought it was from God for me. The song was Just Be Held by Casting Crowns and the lyrics that stood out for me were: “Your world isn’t falling apart, it’s falling into place.” How good God is, to reassure me again and again of His love and His good intentions for me, even in advance of the obstacles! I must have remembered these reassurances from my Heavenly Father on the morning of 8 September.

We agreed a new sale in mid-September and (after keeping us in suspense for a few days!) the owners of the house we’re buying in Liverpool agreed to wait for us. Progress is slow. We still don’t have a moving date. The wait is exhausting and sits on top of all the other stresses of life – work, health issues, bereavement, school applications.

A few days ago, a friend from church sent me a prophetic word/picture. She saw Atlas, the Titan who, according to Greek mythology, holds up the sky. She felt that God wanted to reassure me that He sees the weight of all the things I’m carrying and He knows it takes a Titanic effort to keep standing under it all. But it’s not Atlas who holds up the heavens, it’s God who holds everything in place. I am not standing alone under the weight of it all. God is bearing that weight and I can lean into Him. Then she saw an atlas, a book of maps, and felt a sense of newness, adventure and possibility. God was saying somehow the first Atlas picture is going to become like the second atlas picture. It won’t feel like the sky is crushing me forever. There is a new adventure, excitement, possibility on the way.

Have you ever watched the world’s strongest man competition on TV? Lifting heavy makes you stronger, right? Perhaps my growth in this period of waiting is less like a pregnancy and more like the preparation for a weight-lifting competition. Perhaps God is growing my faith muscles through the trials. This is walking by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Maybe next time I hit an obstacle in the road there will be less panic and more faith as I flex those new muscles.