waiting | we are once in a lifetime

what if waiting wasn’t just something to be endured?

the question came this summer, as the lazy stretch of sunset outlined days carried on. without hurry, without the same pace as before, one of rest before arrival at the next chapter of the college journey, or the next season of life.

for the first time in my admittedly unvaried life up to this point, there was no school year waiting to sweep me up in its current, no demanding schedule change underlining planner pages with volumes of ink. I was no longer waiting for something that was certain to arrive and I didn’t quite know what do with that feeling.

I’m the type of person that has a tendency to rush through it all.

I want a pretty and clear resolution.

So I had to sit down and admit a few things to myself, many of which still ring true, almost six months later.


I’m tired of the changes, the transitions, the hesitancy that shadows every move.

I’m tired of lists of goals and lines circling potential options with nothing in sight that I can attach to.

I’m tired of waiting for the grief to be over.

I’m tired of waiting for the joy to come back.

I’m tired of waiting for the summer routine to give way to the fast pace of college campus life.

I’m tired of not knowing what to expect, what to hope for, what to hold on tight as the rich moments in my days.


when you’re waiting for things that may never come, or seem hopelessly lost, or you feel thoroughly unsure about your own heart in the middle of it all, you can just shut down.

you compartmentalize, shove the unwanted feelings and fears away, refuse to let the tears that threaten to break leak out. refuse to send the honest words over a message, barely glance at the camera roll because that might be your undoing.

when you’re not settled into anything time wise, it can be so hard.

I remember cleaning a bunk at a weekend stay at camp this summer. talking to a fellow college graduate. and we fell into a conversation, about this strange uncertainty. this unknown stage. and how it makes planning anything seem impossible.

no one else is looking at your schedule saying, YES, sign up for this course here and add in this ministry here or choose this job now and select this city here and join this gym here. no one else is going “here is your five year plan and what you should expect at each turn”, no one is telling you which dreams are worth pursuing or what to do when you don’t know how long any of it will take, or if it will ever take off at all.


yet there is so much to be found right now. and I am the absolute worst at remembering this.

what if I am missing out on some of the most significant and important moments, the bursting with potential and traces of forever glory, or something so beautiful? it can feel like it’s all slipping away.

but maybe as things fade, we learn to memorize each color shade, the smile lines etched onto the face, the hair caught up in the wind, limbs caught in the shaking laugh. or the shadows hidden behind the eyes, the way pain may have outlined this season, but the suffering won’t endure. a hope resilient in the mess.

 


in this season of waiting + transition there is so much that I don’t know. so I’ve been holding tight to what feels like home, what feels familiar, what brings that magical kind of comfort from doing things that make your heart beat more alive. that means classic Old Navy denim. dresses that flow with the rhythm of summer. the worn in toms that have carried you through almost every major concert. pictures taken in golden hour lighting. floral designs.

but beyond this collection of the souvenirs, of the favorite details that bring joy, the picture is far messier. I’ve been struggling with all that I don’t know, how the rapid change has made a blur of passing scenes + surroundings. & maybe that struggle’s been a little more than it should be. but still I wish the uncertainty would end faster. that something would have a clear, vivid solution.

with all of this, I have been so guilty of trying to rush this time. of being too busy looking for answers, for what will fall into place next, for things to feel steady. and I am slowly learning that maybe there is something magical in the waiting. maybe some of the best parts of our stories reside here. because each season, chapter, shade of color, set of words, and conversation has a specific purpose + place in our lives. it all fits in perfectly with us becoming who we are meant to be, with the story unfolding in our lives.

and I don’t want to miss all that the One orchestrating this life in a million ways to display His grace is doing. so may each detail remind me more to treasure the waiting. to embrace it, to explore every corner, every layer, every shadow + joy that is in this part of my life.

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I have a strong aversion to tension.
To the knot of butterflies sending chills dancing down my spine and twisting open my stomach.
That frantically pounding heart like being back in kid-going-to-camp shoes.
Maybe I’ve had too much of it.
I miss my friends and hate the distance.
I’m running from all I know.
But to live in this tension, underneath it all, is something that feels like hope.
A slow change, a gradual process, a gentle unveiling.
And a forever reminder that now, in all it’s frustration, only comes once.
These faces, these days, the push between hopes and dreams you hold now.
This is all once in a lifetime.
We are once in a lifetime.

and as I continue to struggle with it, maybe this is the key, recognizing that it is hard, but it only happens once. I still hate the lack of clarity: the decidedly unsettled nature of this season. I’m still tempted to force its end. To push all the uncomfortable feelings around the room.

I want everything resolved, not swirling in uncertainty. a human paralyzed by indecision, anything that can be straightforward is a welcome relief.

walking through this season has been anything but that. and it’s hit me hard. that I am guilty of trying to rush it all. to numb, escape, to do anything to avoid the waiting. and that’s the story of the past two years of my life. I get anxious, heart pounding, desperately grasping for answers.

Yet, maybe I’m not supposed to rush this season. Maybe I’m missing out on the life actually happening. on the whole idea of : this moment is happening right here and maybe it only happens once so that alone makes it important. Maybe waiting is the most important stage, the in between where the process unfolds. Maybe it’s time I start trusting that Jesus is still with me. Emmanuel. Still not finished with me yet.

and so today, I’m apologizing to myself. and to the One who made this heart. and to all that is happening in my story that I’ve refused to truly take in.

because it is my life, unfolding every single day.

what if we treated seasons of waiting gently, hold ourselves loosely while loving deeply? what would change if instead of the “what ifs” and constant romantic dreams of the future, the constant hoping that this won’t last forever, the endless Christmas morning, kid at Disney level of anticipation for what’s next, we let ourselves just be.

made a promise that we would not only endure this season, but sit tight in it. let it wash over us with all it’s unique hues and colors that cause our perspective to be shaped in ways we can’t even see, are too busy being restless to be aware of?

what if, even in the pressure of waiting, we recognized that waiting is part of our days as much as the joys present, that it is all once in a lifetime, that we are once in a lifetime, that there is much to find in the process of waiting?

 

here’s to waiting with hope,

hannah-grace

 

 

 

title inspired by Switchfoot | Needle and Haystack Life

One Comment Add yours

  1. Maddie says:

    YES YES YES. Sweet friend, every. single. thing you have written here resonates with me. I am also needing to learn that Jesus loves me when I weep, and that He weeps with me. He doesn’t condemn me, or tell me to “get over it already”. That’s not who Jesus is!! And I have lived so much of my life believing that Jesus is someone He’s not. So GRIEVE it out, girl. This chapter will end and another one will begin – it will happen. And you will be so much richer because of where you are right now – having a faith the Bible describes as more precious than GOLD. ❤
    Love, Mads

    Like

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