The Waiting Room Adventure

The Waiting Room Adventure
I know you have all had the experience of waiting for something!
There is that paradox of anticipation mixed with frustration, hoping it will happen today and knowing it may not happen for a long time. God tells us patience is a virtue and as much as we try and let things play out there are also moments we get fed up or lose hope.
What comes to my mind is the obvious…..
like waiting in the ER department
You come in with the hope of being seen quickly but you never know when your name will be called. So you sit and wait…………………., finally you pull out a magazine, then another one, still waiting………… you start playing a game on your phone or answer your emails.
Finally you hear your name called, you are relieved and excited but then you find out it was just to get your health card number and complaint.
Then its back to your chair for another wait which could last 15mins to 8 hours. You’ve already exhausted the magazine rack and you’re all caught up on your emails and texts, now you start people watching.
Sometimes the room is very empty and that leaves you wondering why you are waiting so long. Other times the room is full to capacity and you try not to stare at the man in the corner who cant sit still and keeps going up to the info counter every 5 mins.
The mom beside you looks exhausted and is trying to entertain her crying, runny nosed, 18 month old and you hope and pray your immune system is up and running. Fully aware that it isn’t or you wouldn’t be here in the first place.
Then the automatic doors open and in come two paramedics with a stretcher holding a white haired frail man with an O2 mask and IV hung high over his head. Your heart goes out to him as your emotions flip flop from one scenario to another.
As you continue to look around there is something else you begin to see.
You notice that People, who look like nurses, or maybe they’re Doctors, or they could be cleaning personnel, whomever they are, they keep going in and out doors looking like they are busy or not. Maybe they are waiting for the next big thing to happen or maybe they are on their break _ you don’t know _ but _ it makes you wonder if you have been forgotten. And why is it that you are waiting so long anyway?
And the excitement doesn’t ever really end because you finally get called to “come on back” and they put you behind a curtain on a bed and someone asks you questions. again – usually the same questions. Then they disappear and your left to listen to the goings on around you.
My daughter in law just spent some time in the ER with my 4yr old grandson and let me tell you, she has a new appreciation for hospital staff. Her comment to me after they arrived back home was one of disbelief and awe for the medical staff.
-They witnessed someone having to be put in a separate room because they were out of control and kept banging on the window of the locked door,
– They had an elderly gentleman next to them who was having bowel issues and the nurses were so good to him but he obviously couldn’t control things.
– They heard someone wretching and someone else screaming and cursing. It was all very educational.
You have all experienced something similar I’m sure.
I have come to realize that waiting is a part of life whether the wait is long or short lived.
As a kid, the time from one Christmas to another was eternity.
We have to wait 9 months for the baby to arrive.
We’ve been waiting for Spring to really arrive.
This kind of waiting is really only temporary and we know with certainty that Christmas will arrive, the baby will come and Spring is around the corner.
But the wait is none the less long.
What about the wait time for things we really don’t know will happen in our life time. Like the unanswered prayers for loved ones, or a wayward child, or the addicted spouse, or relief from pain be it physical or mental or spiritual.
“What are we to do about these wait times?” We do not know they will have an end.
Life goes on even when we are waiting! But what does that life look like?
There have been times when I feel like I have been wasting away my time as I await the next big adventure. Then I slap myself on the side of the head and get focused.
Sometimes I want so much to be out there helping but there are soooo many places I could get involved that I become paralyzed and step back because I don’t’ know which one to choose.
At times I have felt far away from God and unsure of what He is asking me to do. But when I do go to Him in prayer I keep coming away with the same words over and over. Wait for my timing and just rest. Meet each day and do what is in front of you. BE in the PRESENT.
He reminds me of some of the old testament stories and how Abraham and Sarah waited 80 years to have a child!! Oh Lord I hope I don’t have to wait that long!
Or how Joseph, falsely in-prisoned, waits for a freed inmate to fulfill a promise to remember how good Joseph was to him, and bring it to Pharoah’s attention.
I love the story of Joseph because it hits a cord of reality with me. Life is not promised to be an easy road. Joseph new that well. He was sold by his brothers as a slave. I can imagine he felt great pain during that time of rejection and uncertainty – obviously not the life he thought was laid before him as the favored son. But God knew why He was allowing this.
Things then get a little better because he is trusted with Potifar’s business and he is loyal, and integral. Potifar’s wife tries to seduce him and he refuses to succumb to the temptation. That fact is what put him in jail. Misunderstood!!!!! -more hurt and rejection.
Did he lament his situation – we don’t know – we do know he was human. I’m sure he had questions for God. But what did he do with his misfortune. He used the gifts and talents that God gave him – gift of administration and caring – he was good at that and wasn’t afraid to use these gifts wherever he was, – and it didn’t go unnoticed. The guard entrusted Joseph with all the day to day of the prison regime. The day finally came when he was free from prison and he was placed in a very prominent position.
The rest as they say is history. We know how the story ended.
I don’t’ know how my story will play out – neither do you.
I take great encouragement in knowing that Joseph didn’t know how his story would end either.
I believe that we are called to do what is set before us. Some days for me that is babysitting my grandchildren and being the best grandma I can be. Other days it is reading reports and writing minutes or making bank deposits for a committee or board I am serving on.
God places us where we are to bloom and so I try to be the best neighbour I can be.
All the while I feel like I am in the waiting room. Waiting for the next major thing that God has for me to do.. and I know it wont’ be a major event in the world’s eyes but it will be for me.
The bottom line, the thing that I am learning, is that I must be faithful in the everyday for that is the adventure I am on. I must admit, somedays it is not a very exciting adventure, and I know I have to be proactive not just reactive. But I have to learn to listen more to the nudges I get in my mind and spirit and act on them. For the most part that is praying for whoever comes to mind that day, or dropping off baking to a neighbour, or making that phone call.
Not big things in this world’s eyes but big in God’s eyes. And all the while I wait………… Hoping I am faithful to what God is calling me to.
What are you waiting for? What unanswered prayer is ever present in your mind? Give it to God and actively begin your adventure.


About nanandfam

Judy is a retired Registered Nurse of 40 years and a Parish Nurse for 10 years. With a heart for helping people to truly be the Hands and Feet of Jesus, Judy has helped restructure and guide congregations to give meaningful care to their members. Judy is involved in teaching and mentoring Parish Nurses. For a detailed CV please contact via email
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1 Response to The Waiting Room Adventure

  1. Mary White says:

    Hi Judy, As I wait for our CAPNM AGM and conference this week-end I found this article timely to read/ to-day. Thank you. Looking forward to seeing you as Parish Nurse and those interested gather together to meet and discuss “Expanding our horizon,, Extending Parish Nursing Ministry.”

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