“Dearest sister of perseverance and patience, may you find the strength, without worrying, to wait. Whether you are waiting for resolutions to annoying small things, stressful important issues, or the anxiety-laden challenges of life, know that your own personal courage and endurance will carry you through and that God will give you wings to soar above the storm.” (Ginnie Mesibov)
I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD (Psalm 27:13-14).
The LORD longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! (Isaiah 30:18)
Waiting But Not Worrying
For those of you who are going through a time of waiting for answers that are delayed for some reason there are guidelines listed below written by someone who God has inspired to help and comfort you. The Bible says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can COMFORT THOSE IN ANY TROUBLE WITH THE COMFORT WE OURSELVES HAVE RECEIVED FROM GOD.“ (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
That’s what we see Ginnie Mesibov doing in her book, “Outer Strength, Inner Strength.” In it she gives us some great tips on waiting that she “learned through” as she and her husband went through several times of having to wait for important life-changing answers in their lives.
The following is a “program” she eventually developed that helped get them through the waiting times she and her husband encountered that you could also benefit from as you apply these principles while you are in those “waiting room” periods of life.
As Ginnie said: I called my program, “What to Do While Waiting Instead of Worrying.” Here’s what I tried to do:
• Focus out.
It was natural for me to focus inward. Sometimes I was so preoccupied with my problems that I didn’t hear what someone was saying to me. Listening became a conscious effort. I also became distracted when working. Consequently, I forced myself to become absorbed in my job.
Several times a day, I stopped what I was doing and breathed deeply from my diaphragm. I slowly inhaled through my nose to the count of four. Then I exhaled through my mouth to the count of eight. The last four count of breathing out emptied my body of stress.
In the evening, I found a comfortable spot and lay on my back. I tightened, and then released each group of muscles one by one. I started with my facial muscles and worked down through my neck, arms, back, stomach, thighs, calves, and ended with my feet. This progressive exercise released any tension from each set of muscles.
• Take it one day at a time.
I tried to live in the present and reminded myself that I can get through this day —or this morning —or this moment. Why should I borrow trouble from either the past of the future? I focused on today.
• Increase physical exercise.
I increased my morning exercise time by doing a few more limbering stretches. When I went to the gym, I took a brisk walk on the treadmill. Plus, I made my feet skip for 40 minutes instead of the usual 30.
• Get immersed in a good book.
There’s nothing like the loves and hates and the tragedies and triumphs of a revered but flawed heroine to take one’s mind off one’s problems. My favorite novels are filled with gems of wisdom:
“As long as things happen to you, you’ll be all right… You’re strong enough to take them, and you’ll learn … no matter how dreadful things may see … what does happen to you penetrates… It goes into you, and if there are for you to make use of when you’re ready for it” (from: Madeleine L’Engle, The Small Rain).
• Do happy or special things.
Fine art nourishes my soul. So, Harold and I went to an exhibit of landscapes and seascapes by nineteenth century artists who were brilliantly skilled at putting the majesty of nature on canvas. It was an exhilarating experience.
• Be positive.
I tried to make the best interpretation of my situation. For example, most of my symptoms had stabilized. It wasn’t inevitable that they would increase over time. And, Harold had had arterial surgery before (quadruple bypass) and survived, showing he has good recuperative powers. There was every reason to hope for a good outcome.
• I thanked God every morning for my blessings.
I had a loving husband and a delightful dog and everything I needed. As a woman of faith, I was fortified by the promise of the prophet Isaiah: “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.“ (Isaiah 40:31, KJV)
• Don’t put life on hold.
I found myself saying, “Let’s not make a date to invite so-and-so to dinner,” or, “Let’s not go here,” or “Let’s not go there,” until we knew my test results or had talked to the doctor. This only made the waiting period more depressing. I decided instead to do what I wanted to do when I could do it.
• Don’t over-schedule.
Since I decided not to put my life on hold, I was tempted to frantically do all the things I wanted to do before something terrible happened. Once I was worn to a frazzle, I realized that this wasn’t good either. I now strive for balance.
• Control highs and lows.
Five months after my initial MRI, I had a follow-up MRI that revealed no tumor growth. I was elated! But two weeks later, I received another report. “Your brain wave tests are worse. They indicate early tumor growth.” I crashed. I concluded I had to control all my reactions —highs and lows —and strive to be emotionally even. Now, when I receive good news, I am simply grateful; when I receive bad news, I look at the whole picture and realize it isn’t totally grim.
• Try not to be angry.
When I crashed, I was angry in addition to being depressed. I yelled at God, “Why do I have this tumor? Take it away.” After continuously sobbing and stomping around the house in a rage for a couple of days, I realized I was wasting a lot of energy. Throwing a fit didn’t help anything. It just made me more furious. So, I try to check my emotions when I start getting mad. As with dealing with bad news, I look at the big picture and see there’s nothing about which to get angry.
• Be aware of self-pity.
It’s easy to feel sorry for myself. There are no two words that can get me down in the dumps more than “Why me?” When I first told a relative about my brain tumor, she said from the kindness of her heart, “It’s not fair,” But that’s not an appropriate attitude. It’s not positive and can make me feel like a victim and stimulate the angry feelings I am trying not to have.
• Enjoy nature.
Whenever I need a lift, I head for the Jersey shore. I stroll on the beach and take deep breaths of refreshing salt air. Then I carefully stepping over beautifully shaped seashells that grace the sand. I splash in the ocean, or in cooler weather, sit at the surf’s edge and watch the waves gently caress the shoreline. The elegant seagulls with their white breasts and pearl gray feathers glide through the air. And God’s creation nourishes my soul.
• Be grateful.
If anyone should be grateful, it is me. There are so many people with problems much worse than mine. I am thankful that my Acourstic Neuroma is small and benign. As tumors go, it’s a good one to have.
• Read or sing a song every day.
Some of the tunes from musicals are inspiring such as “Climb Every Mountain” from The Sound of Music. We can climb every mountain, and we can forge every stream. I also enjoy the old hymns. A favorite of mine is, “How Firm a Foundation:”
Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, I will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my gracious omnipotent hand.
Man is the only animal who can have a real belly laugh. Laughing is beneficial; it’s good for the lungs, diaphragm, digestion, blood pressure, and immune system. It helps to put a humorous spin on a serious situation. The brain tumor I have is small, so I call it a “tumorette.” I can deal with a tumorette.
• Watch that diet!
I really made myself sick during one particularly stressful waiting period, gorging myself with huge amounts of ice cream, pretzels, and cake. Then I became weak because I couldn’t keep anything in my stomach. All that comfort food didn’t help. I ended up finding comfort in Pepto-Bismol and Imodium! That wasn’t smart behavior. The best diet is three square meals a day with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. And go easy on the snacks. I need strength to cope with waiting.
• Research the problem.
Researching acoustic neuromas gives me valuable information. Through the Internet, and not from my doctor, I learned that radiation, rather than surgery, is an option I have should I need treatment. Radiation has fewer side effects than surgery. I also learn how other patients deal with their tumors and the treatments they choose.
• Practice objectivity.
This is difficult when the tumor is in your own head. But the information I get from researching acoustic neuromas helps me look at my problems more objectively. I am able to look at my situation at a distance, which lessens my emotional involvement and therefore reduces stress.
• Accept life as it comes.
I have never accepted negative things very well. I always tended to think, “Bad things should not happen.” Not to me. Not to my husband. Nor should they happen to my dog, nor to my friends. Not to anybody. They should not happen.” That was not realistic. I finally said to myself, “Ginnie, grow up.” It is a sign of maturity to accept what happens to us. Life is difficult. It’s not easy. Bad things do happen. They happen to everybody. But Romans 8:28 is true: “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.”
The more I accept what comes into my life as being there with God’s permission, the less angry, full of self-pity, and frightened I am and the more peaceful and contended I am during my waiting periods.
I set aside a certain time each day to quiet myself, meditate, and pray. Doing this always calms my soul. One time when I was particularly upset and wondering what was going to happen to me, I thought of one of God’s promises: “I know the plans I have for you… plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future“ (Jeremiah 29:11).
Dear courageous sister, things will —or have already have —come into your life that are hard to bear. Waiting for information or solutions can cause stress. But knowing that God cares for us and promises hope and a future makes our waiting periods tolerable. During these times, we grow. Our confidence in our own strength increases, as does our trust in our Heavenly Father who works all things out for our good.
This article came from the book, Outer Strength, Inner Strength, written by Ginnie Mesibov. It is published by Xulon Press. Several years ago, the shocking diagnosis of a brain tumor caused her to look deep inside her soul. There, beside the pain, she found strength, hope and courage. The result of her agonizing but liberating introspection is Outer Strength, Inner Strength: Weekly Messages for Today’s Woman, a collection of 52 essays written as personal letters to today’s woman. In this book she urges her reader to recognize and use her God-given strengths and skills.
— ALSO —
For another article on the subject of waiting, please read for practical advice:
To read an another article concerning worrying and waiting, please click onto the Crosswalk.com link below:
• HOW I STOPPED STRIVING AND STARTED RESTING IN HIM
And then, please read scriptures on the subject of waiting:
If you have additional tips you can share to help others, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.
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12 responses to “What To Do While Waiting Instead Of Worrying”
(SOUTH AFRICA) I really want to know what can we do as saints to wait upon the Lord till he answers.
(SOUTH AFRICA) The most important thing that the saints should understand is that God is the God who answers as He promised in his word to “Call unto me and I will answer you and tell you the things that you don’t know.”
It can never be a mistake to wait for God and as a result He is faithful to ensure that whatever is of great importance He makes it known to us for our benefit and to His glory.
Deuteronomy 29:29 says the secret things belong to the Lord our God but the revealed one belongs to Us His people and our children.
Know that when you wait for the Lord you shall receive the desire of your heart, thus the most important thing to motivate us is to wait.
Yes there are challenges to wait for the Lord but it is worth it to wait for Him because surely He will come to our help. The fact that we know that we should wait for the Lord is a good reason for us to wait.
Never Doubt while you are waiting
Don’t give in or give Up
Motivate and encourage yourself
Have Faith and speak faithfully.
Allow the peace of God that surpasses all the knowledge of this world keep you so that you will focus on God more than on the need that you have.
(US) This article was very inspiring to me. It definitely hit my soul. My husband and I are going through our trials and I am trying to be strong not just for myself, but my and husband and two girls. I do have faith and I know that the Lord is looking after us and has a plan for us. So, just reading this gave me even more hope. I am taking one day at a time.
(SOUTH AFRICA) I am on the verge of a divorce and it is very hard for me to accept that this bad thing is happening to me. I wish I had the strength to wait for Gods answers.
Please send me more scripts that I can read to help me go through this difficult time of my life.
(SOUTH AFRICA) I am inspired each time I read these messages as I am going through a rough patch in my marriage. We’ve been separated for 6 months and I panic each day thinking worse could happen. I refuse to lose hope/give up on our marriage. It is not by mistake that we got married.
(MELBOURNE) ….That’s great about Ginny’s advice and all. But I’m so sick and tired of hearing things that are easier said than done – she already HAD a boyfriend while she waited!
There isn’t enough that has been said about Christian, single girls who have NO ‘prospects’ of men in their lives and suffer from much anxiety from this, especially nowadays with the GFC, aging, and career pressures for both single and married WOMEN. I want God to conquer ALL of these hardships – but I’m finding it hard to accept A LOT of these online help sites; they’re either orthadox, bias, male-orientated, dogmatic, legalistic, or just non-existent, or in this case, material from somebody who had things quite well while she waited (my own opinion of course.)
I’ve read enough books written by women who ‘waited’, but they could only do so because they had boyfriends! – GOOD Christian boyfriends as well! And those books, a good one, written by Joshua Harris – offers almost a revolutionary form of action ‘to kiss dating goodbye’…
But this is also easy for him, because he is the male… Males are the intiators – whether we believe this or not, men are able to make the moves much more easier than women… How can they know they’ve waited long enough to approach a prospective woman?
What’s harder for me to be able to ‘kiss dating goodbye’ is since Harris is bias enough to say that MEN are the initiators, WHAT is the single, Christian girl to do when SHE kisses dating goodbye, and to even KNOW when to say HELLO again when she’s not the one to do it??
(USA) Well, you could become someone who will be a Proverbs 31 wife? Who is to say that having to wait means you are not yet ready? Or that “the one” is not yet ready?
I don’t think anyone is saying it’s easy. However, I do believe it’s better to wait than to marry poorly, only to be stuck, for eternity with someone who is second best.
I was 31 when I first married. I thought I waited long enough. Yet that marriage ended with my now ex-wife’s affair. Let me tell you, the pain of waiting was EASY compared to the pain of that betrayal and divorce. So I suggest you ponder that as you are concerned about the pain of waiting.
(US OF A) I heard someone say “I am not single because I don’t get asked out. I am single because I won’t accept less than I deserve!” I think each male or female should realize they are worth so much more than just this or that. I am going thru a very confusing divorce right now, that I hate, nor do I want. My husband decided to leave our daughter & I to live with another married woman. It breaks my heart, but I just have to hold on to Jesus & his unchanging hand. He will finish a good work that he has begun. Many blessings to each of you!
(USA) Dear God’s daughter, This article refers to waiting in general, not waiting as a single or waiting for “the one.” I believe she was already married and it’s referring to her being diagnosed with a brain tumor and “waiting” for answers on what to do in the meantime, whilst not knowing what was going to happen.
But to address your concerns as a single woman, I really do not believe that God intends on us “waiting” for him to bring us someone. The fact of the matter is, we really don’t know even know if God will bring us someone. He may not. I believe God intends on us to learn how to draw close in our relationship with God whether He will ever bring us a spouse or not.
I divorced a little over a year ago, I’m single with 2 kids. I watch my younger sister turn down suitors knowing that at her age and with no children, she has a luxury that I do not. Aside from the fact that there are hardly any single men in my age bracket in the Christian community (and those there are, tend to be unstable, thus why they are still single), once you have children men just don’t look at you as a “prospect.” That’s the reality I live in.
I’m taking this time to draw close to God. It’s something I didn’t do before marriage and had I been closer to God as a young single woman, I wouldn’t have ended up in the disastrous marriage and divorce I ended up in.
I’m also taking this time to ask God and myself do I really even want to be married again? Especially at my age. I’m closer to 40 than thirty. The “romanticism” of life has worn off and I simply view things differently. As well as the fact, after being married more than a decade, I know what it entails and don’t really know that I’m selfless enough to live with another adult, despite craving companionship from time to time.
I do miss having someone to talk to and share life with, but I leave it in God’s hands and basically accept that if He thinks it’s the best thing for me and my kids to have a new person in our lives then He will bring that person and if not, then I rely on Him to provide my physical and emotional needs, including being at peace with not having a spouse.
Anytime you wrestle with being single, take that to God.
I have a book recommendation, if you haven’t read it. It was eye-opening to me and an excellent reference. I believe it’s written more to the younger, never-been-married set and that’s probably your stage in life. It’s the 1st book written by Eric and Leslie Ludy and talks about the painful dating experiences before God led them to learn to wait and then led them to each other over the course of time. God bless.
(NIGERIA) This has really strenghtened me and has thrown more light to my situation, very detailed precise and direct.
Life indeed is a journey and God is in charge all the way. I know HE never abandons us. HE is always with us. The Lord is faithful.
(NIGERIA) I am presently having issues in my marriage. i am fed up with my life, I have considered killing myself on serveral occassions. My husband says he has the ability to forgive me, but I have my doubts. He found out I was having an afair on phone with a collegue. No sex but erotice massages. Please what do I do? He even said I did it for money, but within me, I knew it was for attention. As my husband had never really cared about my feelings.
(USA) Thanks for this article. I have been praying earnestly for almost 90 days about a Christian fellow I love and have been dating. There has been a real pull-back on his part this summer, possibly due to two deaths in his family. Still, I feel he has so many fine, Godly qualities that I am asking God to work in both our lives and bring about a rejuvenation of our relationship and eventual marriage commitment. I am also seeing an excellent Christian counselor who advised me to avoid “sitting by the pool at Bethsaida, waiting for the angel to trouble the waters,” but instead, to ask God to help me change what I can, continue praying for my friend, and “if God wants us to be married, it will work out.”
I know what it is to be a “dateless wonder” (I’m divorced and in my 50s), but this man was literally dropped in my path at a very small church. We were introduced by the pastor’s wife, who knows us both well. I am also re-framing my thinking to realize that NOTHING is too hard for God. So today when I feel anxious and afraid, I am telling myself “That issue is not impossible for God.” I think it’s perfectly fine to tell God exactly how you feel, what your heart’s desires are and to talk to Him a lot as necessary. He understands. He IS at work, even when we don’t feel like it. I get a lot of good help off this website. Thank you.