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Thoughts and insights from Jubilee Church Wirral

Waiting

By Julie Greenhalgh, Life Group leader, Jubilee Church Wirral

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m not very good at waiting!

Recently there seem to be several things I’m waiting for. Big, life-changing, things which I have no control over, so wait I must.

I’ve always struggled to wait for the small things. Waiting for things to arrive in the post or waiting for the traffic in front of me to move out of the way, but I’ve become better at using my time effectively, and usually I find myself chatting to God and praying which is always a positive. Big things I find harder. When Andrew and I have to make decisions about things which will affect our lives, we do all we can do in the matter and then it’s a case of handing it over to God and waiting. I find it really hard.

I wonder if I’m alone in this or if waiting is something most people find hard? I suspect it’s the latter, I hope so anyway! But this is most definitely an area of my life that I’d like to work at.

I have total faith that God is for me, that He has the best plans for me and I know that those plans won’t be derailed. Even when things are completely out of my control nothing ever happens which surprises Him! So why can’t I find peace in the waiting and stop being so impatient?

I realise that this is all down to me liking to be in control. That sounds awful but as I’ve spent time thinking, and chatting to God, about this, I find that my desire to control things has grown from a lack of confidence. If I can control a situation then I have the confidence that I can handle the outcome. When things are taken out of my hands and I have no control, my fear is that I won’t be able to deal with whatever is coming next.

Our move to Zambia was one of the biggest decisions we ever made and the wait to get there seemed to take forever. From the start of 2018 we knew God had called us to go, He had set up the most amazing chain of events that clearly told us His will for us. We wanted to get there as soon as possible and get on with God’s work. We knew (or at least thought we did!) the best timing for us and for our children in terms of schooling and we set to work aiming for a departure date at the start of 2019.

By June 2019 we were exhausted and feeling like we were going round in circles trying to sort paperwork with the Zambian Immigration Department. Every time we asked a question or submitted information it took weeks for us to hear back. In the meantime we weren’t able to plan anything for our move. It was the hardest wait ever. Then in July 2019 everything came together and we were able to submit our application for a work permit which was the only thing which stood in the way of booking our flights. We pressed send on the Tuesday afternoon and our acceptance certificate was emailed back less than 24 hours later!! This, as we are told by many Zambian people, was nothing short of a miracle. They had never known an application to be approved that quickly. We booked our flights and the rest, as they say, is history.

We could do nothing about the wait and that time taught me how my timing is often not God’s timing, but that God’s timing is always perfect. So many things fell in to place which wouldn’t have happened if we’d have gone sooner.

As it says in Isaiah 40:31: “They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles,  they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

I’m still working on my ability to wait patiently but what I do know is that actually it’s not about the wait itself, it’s about the way I wait. My prayer now,  please Lord, is that I will develop the ability to wait well!

Andrew Greenhalgh and Julie Greenhalgh Upton Life Group leaders Jubilee Church Wirral

Julie Greenhalgh with her husband Andrew

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