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What not to say to people who wait for their dream

Have you ever had to wait for something while others secure their dream without delay? Getting pregnant was like that for me. At first I didn’t mind waiting. Who knew, maybe there was a good reason for not conceiving this month or the next and then it would have been a Christmas baby and I didn’t want that. Time went on though and I got a little less picky. Just fork one over already, great giver of gifts from above. I felt like I was at the back of the line at the baby factory while people shamelessly cut in front of me. I was afraid they’d be out of little bundles by the time it was my turn.

It will happen when you’re ready, people would say. But I was ready, I was sure of it. I’d been standing in line for a long time! People with bundles passed me left and right. Had they all been ready? Some bundles looked like they’d just been picked up like a last minute accessory. What about me did not look ready? Not ready, not ready echoed through my head. Something is wrong with me because I am not ready. Not ready started to feel like not worthy. Will I ever get what I want in life. Just once?

It will happen when the time is right, people would say. Oh. But no one ever defined this mysterious right time for me. I was left standing, watching and over-analyzing. Still waiting.

More well meaning words came my way:

It’s harder for skinny people like you. 

My cousin waited for 10 years. 

At least you have a husband. 

I once waited a week to get a puppy.

God has a good plan, you know.  

You’re lucky you’re not so old. 

Have you ever thought about adopting?

 Just have fun while you’re waiting! 

and the ever popular:

God does not give you more than you can handle. 

Waiting is silent and people can’t help but stuff words into the awkward pause.

Waiting brings words out of the woodwork, not all of which are helpful. The weary waiter must screen, sort, filter and decide what words are worth holding on to.

Waiting creates space for fillers like doubt and fear even hopeless despair. Waiting reminds me just how little control I have over my life, my body, my dreams.

We wait because we have no control. But we are not completely powerless in our wait. Waiting is never wasted even if there are no clear answers, no seeming progress. Your wait is not a test or punishment or a character lesson. Your wait does not mean you are less favored, less seen, less important. Your wait is not your space for every crazy thought to grow roots.

Waiting is part of living as important as breathing and working. Waiting is releasing every ounce of control with dignity and trust. Waiting is trusting the process, the whole story. Waiting holds space for God to act. To wait means to be blessed. We don’t wait to be blessed, we are blessed while we wait.

God waits too. He waits to fill your wait with kindness, compassion and truthful love.

The LORD is waiting to be kind to you.

He rises to have compassion on you.

The LORD is a God of justice.

Blessed are all those who wait for him. 

Isaiah 30:18 GOD’s Word Translation

Our wait is our invitation to be blessed. We can bless others in their wait, too. Don’t fill with air with empty words but be filled with the Spirit instead. Then offer words that stir up life, hope and courage.

We can’t control our wait. But we can control what words flow in and out of our hearts. May they be words of kindness, compassion and gracious love.



CompelTips Used: Hook. Sticky Statements. Subconscious narrative. Find more Tips at:

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54 Replies

  1. Beautifully written, Astrid. Short – and some excellent one liners. This is one I’m going to want to read again – and send to others. Thank you!

    1. Astrid Melton

      You’re # 1 Voni- Thanks for cheering me on. Miss you.

  2. Astrid, your writing is so refreshing! I loved the way you re-defined waiting. Your post is full of rich wisdom. This is my favorite, “Waiting is silent and people can’t help but stuff words into the awkward pause.” I know this post was birthed out of lessons learned during your on season of “not now”. Thank you for penning that experience; it was simply beautiful.

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thanks for letting me know what spoke to you- that’s helpful writing feedback. And yes- this post comes out of the field trip called life 🙂

  3. You have some wonderful sticky statements in this piece! Great job 🙂

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thanks. Hope they stick to real life with equal wonder 🙂

  4. I love the idea that waiting is a part of life that is as important as breathing and working. Sometimes I start thinking of it as an aside to real life instead of part of it! Thank you for this encouragement today!

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thanks. Yes, waiting is a wonderful spiritual discipline I am learning to regard more highly myself.

  5. This is just a beautiful post. Thank you so much! You were linked up right before my post on today’s #LiveFree Thursday and this was the post I needed to read! I’m waiting on a dream. I can relate to everything you mentioned. I loved how you wrote: Waiting is part of living as important as breathing and working. Waiting is releasing every ounce of control with dignity and trust. Waiting is trusting the process, the whole story. Waiting holds space for God to act. To wait means to be blessed. We don’t wait to be blessed, we are blessed while we wait.

    1. Astrid Melton

      Cool. I love it when God shows up in tiny details. I am praying a blessing over you while you wait.

  6. Astrid, I love how you’ve turned waiting into a sacred space where God speaks. What a beautiful image. Thank you for joining me on #livefreeThursday. I’m honored to have you around the table today.

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thanks for sharing your lovely table.

  7. Waiting is difficult! It’s also difficult to know the right thing to say when others are waiting. Great topic!

    1. Astrid Melton

      Yes, waiting is difficult for all involved. I was thinking a follow up post with helpful things to say to those who wait might also be good.

  8. Beautifully written Astrid! I love the thought that waiting is as important as breathing and working. You turn what appears to be a time that God doesn’t hear our prayers to one where God blesses us, as we trust him, through the process of waiting! Thank you for these words of encouragement today!

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thanks. Yes- waiting can be a gift that’s rather helpful.

  9. Great post! I love, “Waiting is silent and people can’t help but stuff words into the awkward pause.” Sometimes silence is okay. Also, another great lesson “Waiting holds space for God to act.” Thank you for posting this! A great lesson on waiting and letting God move.

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thanks for letting me know what resonated with you- that’s really helpful writing feedback.

  10. Oh Astrid…. this is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Thank you for this incredible painting of God in the wait. Gorgeous. Thank you! #livefree

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thanks Crystal. I am in Germany right now and the “Home Depot’s” here are called: “Hornbachs”. I know it’s one letter off from your last name but it still totally made me think of you :). #randomthursdaythoughtforyou

  11. Love this: “Waiting holds space for God to act.” It is so hard not to fill that space with my own efforts. Too often, my efforts can lead to less than God’s best for me. Thank you for the reminder to leave space for God to work and trust Him with my dreams.

    1. Astrid Melton

      Yes- I totally stuff effort into my wait too, it comes so natural…My efforts are less satisfying than what God freely gives in the wait.

  12. Beautiful and powerful writing….I am blessed! Joining you from the Compel Training Link Up.

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thanks, Sandra.

  13. Astrid, I really enjoyed this post! I wrestle with many of the same thoughts regarding my “singleness.” It seems like everyone around me is getting married and starting a family, and I’m staring down my thirties as they come racing around the corner, wondering why I’m still alone. I needed the reminder that “my wait doesn’t mean I’m less favored, less seen, or less important.” I would love to read a follow-up post about what TO say to people who are waiting. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    1. Astrid Melton

      I hear you. Waiting is such fertile ground for shame and I have felt (continue to feel) this deeply in my life. I pray that strength and dignity will rise in your wait. And yes- I was just thinking about doing a follow up post with helpful words for those who wait- it would have been too long to add to this piece.

  14. Great post Astrid! Loved reading your perspective on waiting. AND THIS “Waiting is releasing every ounce of control with dignity and trust.” So good.

    1. Astrid Melton

      Yeah- I am almost tempted to say that the more controlling you are the longer you have to wait but I actually don’t believe that’s true. It just feels that way if you have a cynical moment.

  15. Astrid, what a beautiful post: “Waiting is silent and people can’t help but stuff words into the awkward pause.” Isn’t that the truth? Thanks for sharing today!

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thanks Kim, sounds like you’ve waited before :), most of us have. Unfortunately it seems so much easier to figure out what NOT to say or do.

  16. What a lovely post, Astrid.
    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thanks, Brenda.

  17. Fabulous article and so well written!!

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thank you, Patti. Sounds like a lot of us relate to this topic. Now on to finding the right words for what to say and do 🙂

  18. Astrid, what hope you bring! Thank you so much for using your beautifully written words to not only encourage, but to help us respond in the Spirit to others as they wait! Keep writing!

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thank you, Lynn. I appreciate your kind words.

  19. Astrid, I absolutely loved your post. You have a lovely way with your words, easy to read, as if you were sitting down and talking to me. Your message was great. Bravo!
    Blessings ~

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thank you. Sounds like this topic is worthy of conversation- I really wasn’t expecting that much feedback but I have spend a lot of life waiting so I am writing from a vulnerable place.

  20. Your words are powerful. “Not ready feels like not worthy” will transform how I listen and talk with people who are hurting (including myself!). Thank you.

    1. Astrid Melton

      Wonderful. When I was trying to get pregnant my shame grid was rather large and “It will happened when you’re ready” was a common shame trigger. The words were well intended and I think came from a sincere place of trying to be encouraging but to me it really was not helpful. It made me feel more deficient and defective…like everyone else could have babies whenever they wanted but I first had to be “ready”…get my act together…be different than I was or whatever “ready” means.

  21. So beautiful and so full of truth! After waiting 15 months to adopt our daughter, I can relate to this so well. Hopping over here from the Compel link up!

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thanks. Congrats on your adoption. All my siblings are adopted so adoption holds a special place in my heart.

  22. Astrid, your post speaks to my heart today because my closest friend is waiting a little longer than she expected to have a baby. She’ll be 36 in August. I waited together with her for 8 years while she waited for a husband. And I would have thought, “Lord, she waited so long to marry, surely she’ll get pregnant quickly.” But God’s plan is different than mine… I love this: “We don’t wait to be blessed, we are blessed while we wait.” Amen to that! #livefree

    1. Astrid Melton

      Yes- what makes great sense to us does not typically happen. We live by faith in a goodness we can’t always taste on our daily plate.

  23. Astrid – I loved this post. It’s one to read and re-read, and bookmark and then read again. Thank you!

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thanks, Glynnis. We’ll have time to re-read this while we wait ;).

  24. Astrid,
    What a beautiful perspective on waiting. “We don’t wait to be blessed, we are blessed while we wait.”

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thanks for sharing what spoke to you- I need to remind myself of this line too.

  25. This is so good! Exactly what I needed to hear today! I’m in a season of waiting right now too and it is so hard some days to get past all of the well-intentioned thoughts and comments and to remember that waiting is not because we’ve done anything wrong or we aren’t ready.

    1. Astrid Melton

      Yes! Those who wait understand! Thanks for stopping by.

  26. I love this post, Astrid. I have a friend who is going through a difficult season of waiting and I think she will find encouragement in your words.

    1. Astrid Melton

      Great. Thanks Tammy.

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