I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.
There is an abundance of spiritual treasures found in waiting on God. It is like a garden that Jesus walks into and plants dreams, hopes, and desires. Sometimes the waiting is short, sometimes the waiting takes years, and sometimes the waiting takes a lifetime. And in the joy, silence, struggle, and anticipation, we find that our souls are only waiting for One. He is Jesus.
Our stories are like a tapestry of woven threads of different colors and textures. From the back of this woven image, we cannot see how all of these intersecting threads could put together a portrait of discernible beauty. Yet the Weaver, the One who is writing our stories, sees and knows what He is creating. When revealed, we are able to see the transformation He has created.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11a
One of the blessings of growing older is being able to see seasons in your life that reach from the far distant past to now. Nearly 40 years old, I have the ability to see the stretch of years behind me and the transformation that took place in my soul over decades. My life is now not just divided into childhood, youth, and the early stages of adulthood in my twenties. It now spans different seasons in adulthood. It is divided into distinct chapters and periods of growth, change, and maturity.
One of the themes of life at seminary is “telling your story”. This theme comes out in many classes that my husband is taking and in the general life of building community here. Your story is of immense value! It is beneficial as a Christian to understand one’s own story, come to terms with parts of your story that are perhaps painful or difficult, celebrate the mighty things God has done in your life and the great blessings He has given, and to see how your story as a child of God fits into God’s eternal story.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
As a writer and as a Christian, I have enjoyed writing out my story many times and sharing it whenever the Lord has given me opportunity. One of the reasons I want to continue to share my story is because I have come to see seasons of joy and seasons of suffering as gifts from the hand of God. My journey includes difficult seasons battling anxiety, perhaps due to having a near fatal bout of pertussis as an infant. After years of a beautiful childhood and teenage years, came a sudden onset of extreme anxiety at the age of sixteen. A chemical imbalance sent me into a tailspin of depression and anxiety requiring several years of doctor’s care, medication, therapy, and resulting in a passionate pursuit of God!
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Years ago, as a single woman, I recorded an album of original songs I had written over the span of 10 years called Wait For You. Little did I know that God was orchestrating a collection of songs that would be my testimony up until that point in my life. As I laid out the order of the songs for the album, I saw a journey forming, a tapestry of grace and redemption that could only be orchestrated by Jesus, my Good Shepherd.
Over several essays, I will be sharing snapshots of my story and songs, posting them intermittently over the next few months. I write and share this because when I first started to suffer from anxiety symptoms, I asked God to use this struggle all for His glory. My Savior and Lord had sovereignly put this trial into the story of my life, and though it was the dark night of my soul, I chose to submit myself to my Redeemer and trust Him, which was in itself a gift of grace.
And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest;
yes, I would wander far away;
I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
I would hurry to find a shelter
from the raging wind and tempest.”
As I’ve shared my story, a drop in the bucket of the millions of stories of God working in the lives of His people, I have been able to have the blessing and privilege of hearing many others’ stories. God is the author of our stories and they are being grafted into His. Through His grace in our lives, and the work of the Holy Spirit, He shines brightly through these earthly jars of clay to those around us. May our earthly stories be like a compass pointing others to Christ and His Word that they, too, may be transformed by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
To purchase the album, Wait For You, please visit my bandcamp page at: jenniferharris.bandcamp.com