Waiting: Wandering & Wondering

I am wandering, I confess, and I don’t yet know how to articulate it to others. As a writer, I only want to present my polished thoughts in written form.

I talked to my dad and he encouraged me that those closest to my husband and me want to know how we are doing.

See, those closest to us are no longer “close”—a drive away: we left all of our family and friends in northern Colorado just over 7 months ago to move to Sarasota, Florida because of my health.

I swelled with tears and admitted to my dad that other than providing an update on doctors’ appointments, I could not articulate much because I am still processing other layers of surrender.

My dad said that people maybe need to hear that—the wandering, the unpolished, the untied bow in my story.

Except for “How would you rate your pain today?” from doctors, I tend to have little contact with humanity, because this season has been set aside for my body to recuperate…we hope.

We just don’t know how long this season will be as what we thought was back pain, and then a head cold has now turned into a four-year life-altering U-turn.

My pain is neurological, but my pain is also emotional. Doctors try to fix the far-reaching neurological pain, but only the Great Physician can work on the emotional pain.

I’ve hit the identity wall quite a few times these past four years as my illness continues to refine who I am in Christ, and I hit the wall again—painfully—as I arrived in a new place and the questions of, “Why did you move here?” and, “What do you do?” come frequently.

No one prepared us for these questions; more importantly, no one prepared me for how deep these answers strike.

The answers to these, whether we realize them or not, are profoundly rooted in what we do, and what we do is deeply connected to who we are: our identity.

When the plane’s wheels left the ground in Colorado, my husband and I knew the gravity of what we were leaving, but the past 7 months have revealed further layers of unraveling, realizing that my career and ministry as an instructor with college students stayed in Colorado, too.

So maybe you’re wandering or wondering too, and it’s pretty lonely. Or maybe there are people rushing around you and you are still lonely.

img_0803Many of my fictional worlds come from Classic Literature. Other than reading the Bible and theology, I mostly read literature written by dead writers. It’s the curse of the English Major.

Where Henry David Thoreau welcomed such solitude in his transcendentalist work, Walden, I’m fighting it—hard.

The solitude, for me, leads to self-isolation, doubt, and destruction. It leads to inwardness, and not the Romanticized view of inwardness: reclining on the side of a riverbank where I’m pondering beautiful, edifying, lovely thoughts.

I’m strewn across the bed in pain battling the lies that only Satan knows how to masterfully construct; the lies that probe right to the fresh, throbbing wound (Ephesians 6:12).

And the lies become louder and louder, and the seclusion more suffocating.

My freshman year in college was the first time I felt this inclination in me: mind battles, inwardness, and isolation. Every morning I began reading God’s word and writing my prayers to God and I still do so to this day.

For now and perhaps until I am with Him in glory, being unable to do requires that I am to be with Him in His presence at His feet.

Every morning, I bring my empty cup to the Lord; an empty cup that desires to be heard, to be filled, to be known, and to know the God of the Universe:

“Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days” (Psalm 90: 14).

Writing my prayers is the only way to focus my wandering thoughts. These prayers are love letters, letters of desire, anguish, pain, plea, remorse, intercession, praise, thanksgiving—in my isolation a conversation between God and me.

This solitude does lead to musings and writing when I daily surrender. Surrender the lie, that anxious stirring that the Lord has forgotten about me and this is why I am unable to do.

For now and perhaps until I am with Him in glory, being unable to do requires that I am to be with Him in His presence at His feet.

Therefore, “[…] I do not concern myself with great matters or things to wonderful for me. But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me” (Psalm 131:1b-2).

I’m figuratively reclining myself on the side of the riverbank. And I’m holding God to His promises:

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland […]” (Isaiah 43:18-19; emphasis mine).

The former things—what was, what’s no longer…

I am called to hold those captive—thoughts concerning that which we have had to surrender, including hopes and dreams—and lay them at Jesus’ feet. Then I am commanded to see His new works.

Let me share with you my doctors—these are His blessings. These are the interactions He blesses me with each week, as these are my primary interactions.

We moved to this area for three main reasons: sea-level, barometric pressure and weather, and doctors; although, none of my doctors are specialists in what I have. God has provided 4 doctors who balance my dosage of weekly care and pain management, and because of this, I have gone from walking ¼ of a block in Colorado to 1.5 miles in Florida.

Bed-ridden to wheel-chair to walking.

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”

While I previously prided myself as a doer, now the waiting is being with the Lord. My wonder I can translate to expectant hope in His character and His promises. The more I marvel over this in my prayers, my journaling, and my interactions with those around me, the more I can rest in Him.

I’m taking cues from Moses’ 40 years of waiting, Paul’s 3 years of waiting, Joseph’s 13 years of waiting, and many other saints’ waiting.

God does a mighty work in waiting. After all, He’s been waiting and longsuffering for how many thousands of years? I can learn from Him.

And, I can’t help but wonder what’s around the corner…

2 thoughts on “Waiting: Wandering & Wondering

  1. There have been several times in my life, where I’ve felt like an outsider looking “in.” Where everyone around me was bustling with “life” and movement and I felt stagnant and alone. It can be disheartening, but like you, I’m learning the importance of surrender and resting in my identity in Christ. Thank you so much Megan! xoxo


  2. Such clear and subtly exuberant prose. Sentences that place thoughts before one with all the clarity of ‘objects’. This is Hemingway caliber. The Biblical passages so dead-on they have a ringing echo as well. How masterfully noble and difficult, but enlivening – not stoical – the attitude of the Psalmist in Psalm 131.
    I look happily forward to more.


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