These last 12 months have been some of the craziest of my life so far. Within the space of a year I have completed a 3-week project in Malawi, climbed Kilimanjaro, got engaged, completed (and passed!) medical school finals, lived and worked in India for 2 ½ months, and got a job at RUH Bath. And the next few months are no quieter; I’m graduating, beginning my first year as a junior doctor and moving to Keynsham all before I finally get married in September. To say it’s been a whirlwind is an understatement.
Despite all this change and excitement, this year has been a season of waiting. I mean this literally; waiting to (finally) finish medical school and start my job, waiting to marry Christopher, waiting for some stability in my life.
But I’ve found that I have also been waiting spiritually, without realising it.
This became apparent to me when I was in India with my close friend Laura, who asked me about my prayer and bible-reading routine. I answered with the daily bible reading and prayer Chris and I had planned to once married. Afterwards, I realised this had been my answer for the past few months, since Chris and I had done the marriage preparation course (which is amazing by the way!). In the meantime, I had done nothing to help develop my faith, if anything I was doing less. I’d put myself in this spiritual waiting room, where I was only focusing on what is to come, instead of looking at where I am currently.
God can meet us most in those places of waiting.
In those in-between phases in life where you can see the next goal but you’ve not quite reached it yet. I’ve come to see that instead of looking ahead, sitting and being at peace with where you are gives you the ability to listen to what God is saying. He’s been there the whole time, but I did not give the time or space to listen. Just because the next milestone is visible, doesn’t mean that God won’t talk to me on the way.
It’s like I’ve been waiting for an apple tree in the garden to finally produce some fruit. But I haven’t appreciated the process of watering it, seeing it grow and watching it blossom.
I’ve been focused on the harvest and haven’t valued nurturing it in the meantime or enjoyed the beauty of its growth.
Being engaged is a strange in-between, but it has taught me that this is not a time to be wished away. It’s a time of growing, so that when you come to be married you can approach your relationship with God together, knowing that your faith has become stronger in the process.
- Alice Huffman