Waiting as Long as He Says

“God, the one and only—I’ll wait as long as he says.  Everything I need comes from him. […] My help and glory are in God—granite-strength and safe-harbor-God—So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be.” Psalm 62: 1a, 7-8 The Message

“I will wait as long as he says.” 

In February my husband and I flew down to Florida to escape the Minnesota cold and to connect with two other couples that left the field the same time we did, about two and a half years ago.  As we sat down and intentionally shared our stories of what has transpired, I was struck with how similar we all were.  We had been changed deeply during our time in Southeast Asia, and we struggled through the losses of what had transpired there and since our return. We belong neither here nor there, and are often perplexed with how God will use the experiences we had.

We juggle a longing for being back overseas, but know He has brought us to the States for this season of recovery and growth.  We may even fear that the season here is longer than we expected.  Does that longing for a convergence of our passions, skills, and experience take place overseas or is it best utilized here?  I admit that I fear both answers.   In both places, I have a hard time trusting Him absolutely.

As our time in Cambodia feels further away and separated from our current life, I need to be reminded that God can look over the course of my whole life and see every single move I will make and how the pieces of my story converge into a much bigger one.  Sometimes I fear being lost, useless, and forgotten.  That is when I need to be reminded that I can trust Him absolutely—nothing is lost.  He sees intimately and knows us so completely that we do not need to fear that where He has us is wrong.  If He is truly a safe place to be, I can live expectantly looking ahead but also grounded where He has me.

Paul Tripp writes, “Because I am in God’s family, God rules over all things for my good.  When nothing in my life makes sense, my life is still under His control.”

When we left Cambodia in the spring of 2014, I had a friend say to me, “Just because you’re leaving now, doesn’t mean you’ll never come back.”  At the time, I could not picture that I would ever be in a healthy enough state of mind and heart to want to return to the stress of life there.  As much as I mourned the loss of our life in Cambodia, I was ready to be done.  We needed to step away to find some deep healing.  Time gives perspective, though, and now both my husband and I struggle with the wait.  “When God? Where?  Oh Lord, use us!”

“I will wait as long as he says. I will trust him absolutely.”  These words are ever present on my lips as we pray and seek Him for our next steps.  We ask to wait patiently, fully trusting that He will show us the when and where.

Where are you waiting for a convergence of your passions, skills and desires?

Are you juggling a longing right now? 

 

23 Comments

  1. Brenda April 18, 2017

    My family just got back to the states and we felt everything you have written here…we felt so out of place and si misunderstood in a place we thought we could find healing/recovery/rest.

    1. Danielle Krouch April 19, 2017

      Brenda, it’s so hard to re-enter life back “home.” We are truly changed from our experiences. One thing that really helped my family was a great de-briefing retreat in Colorado at MTI. Extremely beneficial. I hope you can find people to truly share your heart with. ❤️

  2. Dixie April 18, 2017

    Thank you for your openness in sharing. I have been in the states for two years following 27 years in SE Asia and am still waiting as you said for the convergence of my passions, skill and desires. God has been working in my life during this transition time teaching and healing me– but I’m still in the process. I see Gods hand redirecting my life and am thankful He is good and I can trust Him is all things. You have encouraged me to continue waiting in faith and I’m thankful you shared a part of your story.

    1. Danielle Krouch April 19, 2017

      Thank you, Dixie. I believed so many of our stories hold similar threads of longing. We’ve experienced so much that at times it’s hard to see how our skills and passions will be used here. Thinking of you as you see how your own story will unfold here.

  3. Sarah Hilkemann April 19, 2017

    Thank you for sharing this Danielle! I feel like I need to sit with these verses from the Message version for awhile. I really appreciate your honesty.

    1. Danielle Krouch April 19, 2017

      I have sat with these verses so much over the last couple months. The whole chapter is good! I’m usually a literal-translation kind of gal but when a friend shared this version, I was really impacted by it.

  4. Gina April 19, 2017

    Long story short, this post was s sweet reminder yesterday that God sees my life and is compassionate toward me. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Danielle Krouch April 19, 2017

      Aw, so glad to hear that Gina! It is always great to hear that we are not alone in our experiences and there are others who understand!

  5. M'Lynn April 19, 2017

    “Does that longing for a convergence of our passions, skills, and experience take place overseas or is it best utilized here? I admit that I fear both answers. In both places, I have a hard time trusting Him absolutely.”

    Yes! This! Loved this post, Danielle. So much good stuff here I relate to. Also loving the Psalm you shared “God is a safe place to be.” Such a good thing to have constantly simmering in the background throughout this current season (or more like diffusing in the background?? Haha…Just went to my first essential oils class). Just imagining that diffuser constantly filling my mind with the peace that comes from knowing “God is a safe place to be.”

    1. Danielle Krouch April 19, 2017

      M’Lynn, I love the picture of the diffuser! Thank you for sharing that. Next time I turn on the diffuser, I’ll definitely be thinking of that!

  6. Hadassah Doss April 19, 2017

    ” If He is truly a safe place to be, I can live expectantly looking ahead but also grounded where He has me.”

    As I contemplate our upcoming transition, there’s a lot of expectations, (which thanks to our book club and Adele I’m working on changing into expectancies), and at times it’s really hard to stay grounded. Thank you for the reminder that God is my Rock. He’s what keeps me grounded in this world!

    Thank you for sharing, Danielle! Keep writing your story!

    1. Danielle Krouch April 19, 2017

      You have many changes happening right now! I pray you are truly able to cling to the rock and trust Him!

  7. Lori Ferrell April 19, 2017

    Danielle, I really enjoyed reading your reflections of being grounded and yet longing. And I can really appreciate this having heard your story in February! Thank you for sharing this, I hope it will encourage others. I think it resonates with so many who have left the field and are back in their home countries. There’s a feeling of “what was all that about?” and “can God ever use me again? will he ever use me again? here? there? somewhere new?’

    1. Danielle Krouch April 19, 2017

      True! I hope your spiritual retreat has been so life giving! Thanks for creating that space for us back in February. It was so meaningful!

  8. Sandy April 19, 2017

    Thank you for your article. Waiting is such a hard term because it implies that the future is where we are looking. If that is the case we can miss the present calling. Our journey is daily with trust that God in his sovereign design is always working for our good and simulanteneously His Glory.
    We were overseas for two years and found the burn out different overseas but the degree of burn out the same in the states as overseas. It seems more dependent on my present relationship with the Lord. I hear so many Ms talk about needing healing after being overseas, what healing are you or they talking about? Is it different than what is in your home country? Are Ms any more burned out than the rest of us?

    1. Danielle Krouch April 19, 2017

      Good questions! I would say the burn out is different for workers overseas due to many factors. You have the stresses of culture, language, environment (weather, noises), Team, etc. These things take a toll on people in different ways. Life in your home country can definitely bring stress and even lead to being burnt out, but the resources available and even opportunities to maybe step away from it are so different than it is overseas.

      For me, I needed rest and healing in all factors of my life. My husband was the director of our team and although many good things were happening, we needed to step completely away in order to come together better. I was so stressed out by the things I mentioned above, that there wasn’t the space or energy to do the work in our relationship while still on the field. I had great burn out from intense Team life and just from regular day to day living in a hot climate where everything takes longer and where I don’t understand all that is going on around me.

      Cross-cultural workers deal with high levels of stress at higher and more regular intervals than those living in their native environment. Studies have shown the toll it takes on them physically and emotionally.

      So I guess my answer would be that yes, I do believe workers overseas experience more stress and are burnt out more often due to it happening in a completely foreign environment.

  9. Sally April 20, 2017

    Thank you for these beautiful words! I came home emotionally and spiritually broken and empty from a country so sure God has sent to. It took months and months of healing and questioning and waiting on God for my next step. What you said about the convergence of our passions, skills, and experience…. It feels like many of my current tasks or jobs now back home never have all three of them so I never feel fully fulfilled. As the wait drags on for me, I often wonder will they really come together? Are there seasons where we need to put one of them on the back burner?

    1. Danielle Krouch April 20, 2017

      Sally, my husband and I have the same questions! I do think there are times when we won’t have that convergence. That’s when it helps me to remember that God sees the whole picture. None of our passions and experiences are lost, even if we don’t currently feel they are utilized. They have become part of our story and have helped make us who we are. These things build on each other and inform our worldview and thinking.

  10. Carrie April 21, 2017

    This article is extremely timely in my life! This past Tuesday at Women’s Bible Study, I shared many of these thoughts with the small group I was talking with. I came back to the States almost two years ago after eight years in China to attend seminary. In three week I will graduate, and I am unsure what the future will look like. Over the past two years some of the biggest ways I have see God work in my life is through His asking me to WAIT and TRUST Him. My biggest question right now is whether God will use me back overseas full time or here in the States. I appreciate how you articulated there is a fear in both possibilities making it hard to fully trust God. This was one of the things I was sharing with my small group on Tuesday.

    1. Danielle Krouch April 21, 2017

      It’s so interesting living in that tension, isn’t it? At times I think we can feel alone in these thoughts, as they are harder to fully process with those around us. It’s always good to hear how others like us are processing the journey. I hope you can trust Him for those next steps!

  11. Melanie April 21, 2017

    Thank you for this article. I, too, left a field about 2.5 years ago and I now live near Mpls, MN. I know that God directed me there, and also directed me here, through a very zig-zaggy path. I have no desire to return to the field. But I don’t know how to serve God here. I’m over-simplifying, but I think you probably know what I mean… The Lord has given me so much, and yet I struggle. And I know the struggle is a very meaningful part of the journey.

    1. Danielle Krouch April 21, 2017

      Learning how to fully live and serve where we are is hard! I think a lot of it, though, is reminding ourselves that our focus should be Him in all things, resting in Him, abiding in Him. Sometimes it’s not about the apparent acts of service (as needed as those can be!) but becoming more aware of your identity in Him no matter what you do or don’t do.

  12. Charlotte April 23, 2017

    Reading through everyone’s responses to your article has been encouraging to me as someone who returned from the field 4 months ago in December. Attending MTI made a huge difference for me in understanding the dissonance of where am I supposed to be and how is God going to use me (and is He using me now to impact others for Him) and what are my next steps? The allegory the counselors at MTI used that was SO powerful for us was:
    We come from a square culture where everyone is a square. We understand how things work, how to respond, etc, because we ourselves are squares. Then we go to a circle culture and don’t know how things work, how to respond, or how to fit in. In time we start to get it but don’t become circles, instead we are triangles, a combination of the original square and new circle. Then we go back to the square culture and are so relieved to be going back to where we know we’ll fit again. But we’re triangles and have to figure out how to respond, how to fit in to a square culture. We’ve changed. But God has us change to be more like Him, to trust Him more, and to WAIT daily while responding as He would to whatever is in front of us.
    I trust this helps you as much as it helped me.

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