Nearly 2 years ago I started off in one direction, down a path that I knew beyond a smidgen of doubt, God had called me to. As clearly as if He’d cupped His hands to my ear, I heard His “Yes. This.” I didn’t hesitate in the beginning. The ground work of years earlier had all led up to that moment, and like a horse released from its stall, I ran full-force into the work.
Who can bear to wait another minute when God finally releases you to do the work you know you were born for?
For all of those months I worked at it with wild, narrow-set determination, like one works at origami–intricately and impossibly slow. In every phase of the project I poured out all that I had, eagerly learning from mentors and friends who had grace enough for the hand-holding I required.
I worked at it day and night, hour after hour, season after season, all the while parenting, mothering, teaching cooking and living this regular life.
But in between then and now, after wild bursts of writing, I waited. Not well, mind you. I paced. I purged a household’s worth of junk. I moved. We re-planted ourselves in a new place, on purpose. And I have waited some more.
But after nearly 2 years of steady, heartbreaking, soul-saving work on that project, God brought me to a break in the path. An impassible, impossible stand-still.
That dream would have to wait.
I would have to wait.
It turns out, you can think you’re doing one thing, only to discover that God is using your effort to lay the ground work for something else entirely.
It turns out, God has been doing things I did not look for all along (Isaiah 64:3). About mid-July it dawned on me that Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting has only come about at all, because of the intensive waiting periods the other project required. And all that time I wondered if God was wasting time. I questioned if He’d brought me to the desert only to let me starve.
Because I have been waiting a very long time–because I am waiting still. And who among us in the waiting doesn’t wonder if God is ever coming–if He is ever going to do what He says He will do?
I started off writing one book, only to produce an entirely different work.
After months and months of “go”, God suddenly said “no.”
He said, “wait”.
This isn’t the first time God has invited me to journey one direction, only for me to wind up somewhere else entirely. If I say that my work is ‘Spirit led’ (and I do) then these kinds of unexpected detours, these divine interruptions are a gift, even when everything suddenly stops. Even when I am called to wait.
Knowing this doesn’t necessarily make it easier to bear the weight of waiting. Belief that God is sovereign doesn’t eliminate the struggle to accept His sovereignty.
But it’s not only me who wrestles with this. I know that much because you have told me that it’s hard for you as well–that waiting is not something we do with much enthusiasm or patience.
We are a people uncomfortable with, and unaccustomed to waiting.
In June, when the work I’d bent over for months without stopping suddenly came to a full-stop, I didn’t pray it so much as I fumed it: Come, Lord Jesus, my heart howled, while I stood bent, working out my angst scouring the toilet. It’s in humility we find Him the quickest. It’s when we’re broke-down desperate for a word, that He comes in and fills the space that our dreams-on-hold have hollowed out.
Tenderly, sometimes fiercely, God puts His finger into the hole left in the hearts of man, not to injure but to heal.
In those moments with the dripping toilet brush in hand and tears tracking down my cheeks I heard Him: Not that project, not right now–not yet. Write the one on waiting.
I wasn’t praying for a new project. I wanted resurrection of the one I’d poured myself into for nearly 2 years, but first, the death, then, burial. In God’s Kingdom death always comes before life.
You don’t get to write a book about surrender until you learn (again) what it looks like to live it.
For 30 days in July I abandoned the “surrender book” in order to write a different one. One that God had planted a seed for years earlier, but for a number of reasons, I had shelved it for another time. I never imagined that a Christmas book I’d dreamt about 2 years earlier would be born in July, when I was neck deep in wrestling out hard words for something else.
Every morning at 4AM I staggered first to the coffee pot and then upstairs to my office to write while the sunrise crept up behind me. I wrestled through 25 different passages because I had to. Because waiting is never as passive as we think it is. God is never still. He is always at work in our waiting. How often we forget this. We are not privy to the passionate underpinnings of heaven.
What I discovered in the month of July wasn’t just a confirmation that I don’t wait well, but that the weight of waiting can feel crushing but still, somehow, we must bear up under it. But the ability to bear the weight cannot and does not come from our own strength. While we most certainly feel the weight of waiting, it is God who holds it for us. It is when our hope is fixed on Him that we can stand rather than fold in the long months and years of waiting.
As I pounded out the words to the book I didn’t intend to write right now, God reminded me that His timing doesn’t look like mine. He reminded me that if I will let Him lead, if I will trust Him, when I obey, when I surrender, He will lead the work. He will carry the weight.
Of the seasons in which we traditionally practice waiting, when the eagerness of what’s coming can drive us wild with anticipation and impatience, it’s in Advent that we recount the anticipation of both Christ’s birth and His eventual return.
We want what we want when we want it, isn’t that how it goes? Advent means “coming” which implies then, that we are waiting for something–for Someone.
With all of the preparations that go into the Christmas season, it’s easy to distract ourselves from the necessary waiting. How many of us can stand in a line anymore without mindlessly scrolling through our phones or looking for other forms of distraction? I am supremely guilty of this, since waiting often feels like time wasting.
But what if the waiting is intentional? What if waiting doesn’t have anything to do with wasting but with learning to hope instead? What if learning to bear the weight of the waiting is actually what helps us experience the fullness of Christ’s presence?
In July, I discovered this. When the work was finished, I quietly asked a few of my mentors to offer some words-
Every heart that longs to ‘prepare him room,’ can be grateful for Kris Camealy and this graceful guide.” –S. D. Smith, author of The Green Ember Series
Those who read the book early shared one collective thought, that the words in Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting helped them to exhale.
Come, Lord Jesus invites us to slow down, to resist the pull toward filling our Christmas to overflowing, and to open a quiet, unhurried space for Jesus to enter in. Give yourself a gift this Advent season, and let this beautiful book illuminate for you the unexpected blessings that are born in waiting.” –Michelle DeRusha, author of Katharina and Martin Luther: The Radical Marriage of a Runaway Nun and a Renegade Monk (January 2017)
Who among us doesn’t need to slow down a bit this coming season, to make room for the promises of Jesus to seep in deep and water the weariness of our dusty hearts?
This book is an invitation into the quiet, the wonder, and the mystery of Advent. I felt my breathing slow while turning the pages. With her words, Kris Camealy offers a sanctuary for us all –where we can simply be still and wait on our King. –Jennifer Dukes Lee, author of The Happiness Dare
Who among us isn’t already feeling the creep of anxiety knowing that Christmas is a mere 65 days away?
Pick up this refreshing book and beautifully prepare your heart for His advent.” -Mary DeMuth, Worth Living: How God’s Wild Love for You Makes You Worthy
I’ve lived frantic Advent seasons stuffed to the brim with activity and distraction. I’ve watched it all burn out, and trees fall down. But it’s not been for nothing. Every messy, impatient Advent season has landed me here. Every imperfect practice of waiting has led me to this moment. My perpetual impatience has been tried and tested, refined and repurposed in this project.
God wastes nothing. Not one idle moment spent waiting is without intention.
What if this year, we decided to stand still a little longer than feels comfortable? What if instead of stuffing our calendars to the brim, we made a little more space to practice waiting with purpose? What if we let ourselves feel the weight of that waiting, and allow God to grow in us a hopeful expectation for the things promised but not yet present?
I’m leaning into this coming season with an eager anticipation for what is coming–for who is coming. I’m rediscovering what it means to be still and know that God is Who He says He is. That He is I Am. That He is Immanuel–God with us.
Maybe what we all need in a miserable election cycle, in a world tipped sideways with trauma unfolding on every continent is space to wait with our questions and our hope. Maybe the fix we need this season isn’t to do more, but to be still. To press into the folds of God’s robe and let Him transform our hearts. Maybe what we need most is to rediscover that even as we wait, He is present.
He has come, He is here now, He is coming again.
Join me in the waiting. Let this be an Advent season rimmed with hopeful expectation. Let’s whisper, “Come, Lord Jesus”, and give Him unhurried space to enter into us.
To celebrate, I’ve got a few goodies to share!
FREE for ALL
This beautiful, hand painted quote from Come, Lord Jesus print created by the talented and gracious Annie Barnett of Be Small Studios is FREE for you, just for visiting here today! Click HERE to download it. This would look lovely printed and framed on the mantle.
Download the first 5 chapters (daily readings) of Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting. Click HERE. (Enter your email address and the link to download the readings will be sent to you.)
- Silver and gold Italian leather journal plus one signed copy of Come, Lord Jesus. (One of each available-2 winners)
- “God’s Truth Still Shines Ornament” plus a signed copy of Come, Lord Jesus (2 available-2 winners)
- HOPE Letterpress block set from DaySpring plus a signed copy of Come, Lord Jesus (2 sets available-2 winners)
- Cradle To Cross Wreath (candles not included) plus a signed copy of Come, Lord Jesus (one winner)
How to Enter
To enter to win one of the 5 prize packs, simply leave a comment below letting me know where you shared this post (Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram) Every share is an entry, just leave a comment for each share.
THANK YOU!! I am so grateful for you, friends. Your generous encouragement keeps me going.
Giveaway closes Friday, 10/21 at midnight.
Winners will be announced on Monday. Winners mentioned in comments below.
*Prize pack giveaways are open to U.S. residents only, my sincerest apologies to my international friends.
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