As I sit to write, I am reflecting on our updated status with the United States Immigration Office. For five weeks now we have been on a countdown, awaiting a decision that would allow us to, Lord willing, move to the next step in my husband’s immigration process as we make plans to move to the United States, trusting in God’s good, perfect, pleasing will for our family’s lives.
We submitted Ale’s paperwork a year ago, and for many months had the following weekly update: “Your case is taking longer than expected to process” with no estimated timeline and asked to not contact them until December, 2025. They had all they needed and would contact us if needed. So, we wait…
On Monday, October 9th, we were thankfully surprised and in awe of God’s tender faithfulness to find that our update said: “Two months” until a decision on our case would be made. The next week said four weeks, then three weeks, then two weeks, then one week… and now today comes…
As of today, November 13th, 2023, at 8:01am we read: “Your case is taking longer than expected to process.” We did not find the answer we had been hoping for, praying for, anxiously anticipating, yet, my heart’s immediate response cried aloud, with tears on my cheek, “Thank you God! Your timing is perfect. I trust You!”
I smile as I write this, because we have been asked to share about being “Thankful in the Waiting.” God is just so Him with the timing of our update this morning as I had made plans to sit and share about this topic from my heart… Our Father is so tenderly good!
A song came to mind by CAIN, a Christian artist group, that we like to sing, “Yes He did, so, Yes He can!” Then my mind rested in Psalm 91:10, Be still and know that I am God.
We all go through seasons of waiting at different times in our lives. During times of waiting, one of the best things we can do is to rest in God’s presence and know Him! He reveals Himself to us during the wait. He reveals to us who He is, His Names, His attributes, His character and what that means to us in our lives, no matter the circumstance we are facing!
Our God is faithful! He sees us! He knows what we need and provides! He sustains us; He comforts us; He delivers us! Sometimes, many times in ways we had not asked for nor expected, yet, His plan is always good for our lives! He owns every season! He will bring us through each one as He works in us, transforming us, molding us, equipping us in order to prepare us for the next step, the next phase, the next season we will walk through! The great news is that, He will never leave our side! He never has! He is always near! We wait with Him! His timing is perfect. He will make a way for His plan to come about to completion! We must sit still before Him, seek to know Him more and more, and remember all He has done. Doesn’t it bring a smile to your face to think about all He has done! :) What an adventure together!
I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work and meditate on your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples. (Psalm 77:11-14)
As we remember what God has done, our hearts are then able to give thanks! I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. (Psalm 9:1) Giving thanks not only encourages but impells our hearts to magnify the Lord rather than the circumstance in which we find ourselves and then to praise His Name, just as Mary did by praising the Lord in Luke 1.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) These words from Paul have always encouraged me and are on our living room wall in Spanish as a daily reminder that I need to see. God’s best life for us includes the three actions mandated in these three short verses! These three instructions help us to not only survive but thrive through seasons of waiting because they keep us focused on Him!
This month of November we are focusing on being thankful by saying a certain amount of things we are thankful for according to the date. Today we each said 13 things we are thankful for on the way to school. To help focus our thankfulness, we pick certain areas to be thankful about. For example, today, we could say 5 things about soccer, 5 about Bible class and 3 about worship. The tricky part is no one can say the same thing, which makes the kids want to always go first so theirs is not already taken! We are having fun! Being thankful is a great way to spend time waiting! It helps open our eyes to see the positive in any and every situation. There is always something to be thankful for. Why? Because our God is faithful. He is our constant who never changes!
Are my eyes open to see what He wants me to see? Are my ears open to hear what He wants me to hear? Disappointment comes. Discouragement creeps in. Doubt knocks at the door. Depression may try to pull the rug out from under our feet. God is near - to embrace us with His love, enlighten us with His Truth, and empower us with His strength!
In waiting moments, my mind sometimes goes to the scene in the movie Rise and Walk about the story of New York Jets football player Dennis Bryd. As he lies paralyzed from a football accident in the hospital bed, his wife so tenderly, faithfully and powerfully sings a beautiful hymn from Isaiah 40, “Teach me Lord to wait down on my knees… When we call upon the Lord, He will renew our strength… Teach me Lord to wait.” My parents have often sung this song over the years since I was a little girl; it is one my heart loves to sing :)
After reading our immigration case update this morning, I wrote the following in my journal:
“In sorrow, I trust You, My Lord and My God! Thank you for all You have done for me! I remember! I believe! I trust in You!”
In this unknown phase of waiting, today my heart grieves, yet rejoices because I know, and am assured by God’s faithfulness, that He is working. He is so kind to show us glimpses of the way He is working behind what our eyes are able to see along His path! His timing is perfect. Our God acts for those who wait for Him! Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. (Isaiah 64:4)
Wait for the LORD and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land… (ESV)
Another version says: Put your hope in the LORD. Travel steadily along his path. He will honor you by giving you the land…(NLT)
Psalm 37:34 is a verse that brings me hope, comfort, assurance and guides my next step! All we must do in every season of life - even in seasons of waiting - is to “travel steadily” with Him right where we are, obeying the voice of our Good “Abba” Father, who loves us so dearly and wants what is best for us! He sees the panoramic view of our lives!
He is in control of this season and every season! Let’s put our hope in Him, waiting with Him, knowing Him more deeply, allowing Him to work inside of us, in order to bring about whatever He wants for us! As we take one step at a time along His path, we journey, ultimately, closer to Home, to the land that Jesus is preparing for us! Now that is something to be thankful for! It will be worth the wait!
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:14)