I used to say that people meant well when they said it, but now I’m not even sure I believe that anymore. I heard it when I graduated high school and the world was my oyster. I heard it when I’d just said “I do.” I heard it when I found out I was pregnant, and when I took two hours to get out of the house with one baby. I heard it at the grocery store when I tried to keep eyes on the kids and the cart and the list. I still hear it when I meet a couple who has been married twenty years.
JUST YOU WAIT.
Just you wait until you get out of college with all of that debt and can’t find a job. Just you wait until y’all start having babies. Just you wait until the birth. Just you wait until you have more than one kid to look after. Just you wait until they’re asking to borrow the car. Just you wait until you’re a homeowner and the water heater bursts. Just you wait until you have an empty nest. Just you wait until the arthritis sets in and the hearing starts to go.
Can we just not? If our only job as Jesus-followers is to shine his light, can we just not talk like that to people? And while I’m on my soapbox, why do I hear the phrase coming from more women than men? It ain’t cool. It ain’t pure. It ain’t lovely.
I would’ve given anything for a sweet college grad to lead me in deep-breathing exercises while I filled out applications. This is so important, yes, but it’s not life or death. It’s just not.
I would’ve given anything for a married woman to squeeze my newly-engaged hand. It’s gonna be great. It’s gonna be so hard, and so holy.
I would’ve given anything for a seasoned mom to rub my pregnant belly – no, my back. Or my feet. It hurts so much, doesn’t it? Your body, your brain, your heart. This is what lovesick feels like.
To this day, I would love to run into a nice couple while I’m out on a date with my husband, a couple who stays quiet when they find out how many kids we have and instead, tells me everything with a smile. You’re doing great. These are good years.
Always the clarifier, I must do so here. I’m still in the thick of dealing with my own pride and defensiveness. Heck, I’ll probably always be in the thick of dealing with it. The last couple of years have been ones during which I’ve learned to receive correction and constructive feedback. And I’m still on that journey. I’m letting the Lord lead me to see how humble can I get, how vulnerable can I get, how soft I can get.
I know I can’t be found out. I know I’m seen and loved. I know I don’t need approval from anywhere or anyone else and yet at the same time, I try to live in a space where trusted people have the freedom to speak truth into my life and choices and relationships. But I’m not talking about the folks who have patched you up in the trenches and sent you back out to battle. I’m talking loose lips. I’m talking flippant speech. I’m talking “if you can’t say something nice…”
I’m talking about taking James 3 seriously. How powerful would it be, to shift a generation of naysayers into a generation of encouragers? What if we turned “just you wait” from a negative to a positive? What if women moved through seasons of life feeling empowered and spurred on by other women, instead of challenged and threatened? What in heaven’s name would that look like? Can you even imagine?
Just you wait, it’s gonna be incredible. Just you wait, you’ll look back on this and smile so hard. Just you wait, you won’t regret what’s coming next. Just you wait, God is mighty in you and he’ll blow your mind if you let him.
JUST YOU WAIT.