Wings and Waiting

I see a therapist. I love her. To all the people who think therapy is for the weak, you can keep being sad. She gives me perspective and helps me think outside of my narrow field of vision. She doesn’t let me lie to myself. She tells me if I’m being too hard on myself, or if my priorities are out of whack, or if I need to examine something a little more closely. When my mom died, and I was having so much trouble with surviving my life, she suggested that I write psalms. I didn’t want to at first because it sounded a little nuts, but it has been pretty helpful. Sometimes when I start writing them, things come flying onto the paper that I didn’t even know I was thinking. It’s like my side of the prayer comes out, but then I’m reminded of what God says about things too, just like David had to remind himself over and over.

Today I was writing, and I had this image of a bird the was slamming itself against glass, beating its wings over and over, unable to get anywhere. One who so desperately wanted to fly but felt trapped, and was doing such damage to itself that it was hard to figure out if, once the bird was released from the glass, it would actually be able to fly. Maybe the wings would be too damaged. And by the end of the psalm, I had reminded myself of this verse in Isaiah—40:31: “Yet they who wait for the Lord will gain new strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weary.” I was just letting my words wander, and I reminded myself that God promised me I would mount up with wings like eagles, but by the last line of my psalm, I realized that the way that happened was for me to wait.

Because being a nerd is who I am as a person, I looked up the Hebrew word for “Wait” in this context, and it’s a word that means “to bind together by twisting, to expect, to depend on and order things around a future event.” It’s not just the act of sitting and waiting on something to happen. It’s the twisting of threads, as in the process of making a rope. It’s the idea of knowing that the expectation one has is going to come. It’s a sure and definite happening. There’s no set date, but it’s a done deal.

I’m waiting right now. I don’t care for it at all, if you want to know the truth. I am the bird flinging herself against the glass, and God is watching, with a look of compassion in his eyes, trying to get me calm enough to listen to what he said.

“If you wait— allow the stands of all these loose ends to be twisted together— then you will soar,” he says. I’m trying, God. I’m trying. One day I’m really good at it, and I’m hopeful, and I know that I know that things are going to work out. And my wings get a little more still. Other days I’m back to straining against invisible walls. But either way he’s faithful. And either way I’m going to fly.

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