Yesterday, I heard one of the bravest confessions I’ve ever heard in public. The church we attend has a space in the service for people to share their own written prayers of lament or celebration. Most are heartfelt, and a couple have been quite remarkable. Last summer, an expression of pain from a mom whose baby died shortly after birth stuck echoed inside of me for days, and helped me understand how to pray for this young couple.
During Sunday morning’s service, a woman just a few years younger than I who has never been married stood before the congregation to share her words about her experience of singleness. She is a bright professional woman with a deep and abiding faith – faith enough to stand in front of a couple hundred people and speak her pain while voicing her hope in God. I was so moved by her extraordinary courage and honesty that I asked if I might share her words with you today.
Lord I have waited for so long for someone to spend my life with.
How long have I waited Lord?
My soul is undone in years of waiting,
as I watch each tree grow from seedling to
spreading shade, so have I waited.
In the early years I saw the first branches
and leaves and thought “that’s fine,
mine will come. My turn will come.”
Then seasons gave way to years, one, two, ten, twenty and I see the trees growing
thick strong limbs supporting
tireswings and treehouses and all that is family.
Walking past I thought, have you forgotten me Lord?
When is my time?
Finally a dark shadow covers the ground,
spills over enfolding me in darkness.
Where are you Lord?
My tears soak my pillow each night.
My heart is sickened by hope deferred so long.
Wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage
Yes, wait for the Lord.
Through the years waiting for the one, I found you Lord –
The one who is always there,
Who touched me with your healing,
who saved my job in a time of crisis,
who sustained me through times of deep despair.
You hold me still when I am restless.
I am your daughter, your beloved and you are mine.
Your breath is sweet redemption.
Your words satisfy my hunger and give me a living hope.
You lead me to a place of deeply satisfying blessing,
the blessing of a life lived totally devoted to you and you alone.
You withhold no good thing from me, redeeming all the years.
I am waiting in the cool of the shade you have provided,
a garden filled with delights you have created just for me.
And in the waiting and those quiet moments,
your still small voice whispers your precious love to me.
You are here in the waiting.