To the Woman Who is Waiting | Make the wait worthwhile

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How our hardest seasons shape us

When my sons were small, I mail-ordered a family of caterpillars and a butterfly garden. We built them a habitat of leaves and twigs, fed them sugar water, named each one, checked on them first thing each morning and wished them goodnight with each day’s close. They were more than a science project; they were our tiny pets.

Though I expected their cocoons to be hard and grayish-white, they were iridescent like the scales of a fish, glittering in the sunlight of my kitchen. Somehow, I loved that cocoon stage even more than what followed -- that first unfolding of careful wings to showcase what they had been working on. The grand emergence was undoubtedly glorious, but that sequestered season of growing, changing and waiting was my favorite by far.

Now if I had been the caterpillar, the cocoon stage would not have been my favorite part. I only enjoyed it because I wasn’t the one experiencing it. Who likes waiting in the dark, oblivious to what’s going on? Not I! Likely not the caterpillar either.

Caterpillars get just one round in the cocoon -- one chance to mature into a butterfly. So that cocoon is an unknown space for them. They don’t know why they’re waiting. They don’t know what they’re becoming; they may not even know that they’re becoming anything at all.

Some seasons of life force us into a personal cocoon. Maybe you’re in one of those seasons right now. Maybe you long to be a parent, to hold your own child. Maybe you are hungry for marriage—or for healing in the one you have. Maybe you long for physical relief from a difficult diagnosis. You are waiting, you are longing and you are starved with a hunger for that next big thing.

Maybe you are simply waiting for joy. Weary of walking under a dark cloud and being smothered with the heavy blanket of depression, you long for happiness, and you’re hungry for laughter.

Please hear me on this: I get that. I understand you. I will not say I know exactly how you feel, but I may have been painfully close to where you stand.

For a long time, I could not see any sunshine, happiness or hope. I could not see where God was, so it was easy to believe he wasn’t with me at all. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. Oh how deceptive is the wait!

If you’re suffocating in the cocoon right now, you probably find it hard to believe that God is in this, that he is working in the wait. Yes, the cocoon can be a beautiful place of growth, learning and change, but it’s also a lonely, hungry, dark place. Only later can we see what was happening all along -- what our Creator was orchestrating without our knowledge.

The beauty of the cocoon is that it’s temporary. We can know that something is happening right now and that something new is waiting on the other side.

A time is coming. Your time is coming. Don’t miss the gifts in the waiting. These are your becoming.


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Tricia Lott Williford is a remarried widow, author of four books, writer, teacher, reader and thinker. Thousands of people join her each morning for a cup of coffee as they sign online to read today's funny, poignant stories that capture the fleeting moments of life. Tricia lives near Denver, Colorado, with her husband and two sons, and right this moment she is probably doodling in the margins of an overdue library book. You can get to know Tricia through her daily posts at tricialottwilliford.com.