In the Waiting Room
She sat in a corner of the waiting room, tapping her feet and constantly looking at her watch. Others were being called in ahead of her. She asked the front desk person what the delay was and was told for the twentieth time the doctor was with a sick patient. Just then the door opened and her name was finally called. She went in upset and did not have a good visit. She left very dissatisfied, swearing at everyone she met on the way out.
Jane had also waited a while for her appointment. The front desk lady just told her it would be a little while longer since the doctor was busy with a very sick patient. She picked up a magazine and was surprised at how long she had waited when she was finally called in. She went in for her appointment in a good mood. The provider was happy she was so understanding and diligently answered all her questions. She had a wonderful experience. Same scenario, different response, different result!
1. Attitude Matters
How often in life do we find ourselves behaving like the first patient? Teens also go through seasons in life where it seems like nothing is going right. They apply for college and it seems like forever before they get a response. Then they have to wait for the financial package. When they apply for internships or jobs, they have to wait to be called for an interview, and then a second interview. It seems like an endless process.
And then there are seasons when everything that could possibly go wrong does so. You got passed over for the promotion at work which you were more than qualified. Your child did not get the basketball scholarship she had worked her whole life for. The family is going through a significant financial strain which could possibly lead to bankruptcy. What does one do? In the waiting room of life, or during the waiting period, the way one responds makes all the difference.
2. Don’t give up
It is really hard when you’re in the middle of the storm to not give up. Having friends who empathize with you and a good family support system is essential in this waiting period. It is vital during the sunshine days of life, to write down our experiences and our wins. Reading through your journal when life is particularly difficult helps you the difficult season. It changes the story and your mindset and helps you realize all is not lost and there is hope. Failure only happens when you give up. When you decide it is all over, it really is. Don’t give up. Shore up your faith and become a stronger person as you sit in the waiting room of life.
3. Believe there is a silver lining
No one currently going through any trial wants to believe everything will work out well in the end. The bible tells us “to trust in God with all our hearts and lean not unto our own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5). Have you tried telling your teen or young adult God is working behind the scenes, when they are going through any crises, be it the loss of a boyfriend or girlfriend, loss of a job or not doing well in an exam? It never goes down well. They may lash out at you and say how can you even say that? Life as they know it appears to be over. I caution you to be patient with them and keep praying. God is really working behind the scenes even if we don’t see it or feel it. That is what faith is, believing God is in control even when all seems lost. And that is when the surprises happen, when we are willing to believe for something greater. When one door closes, many more open but you must be willing to go out there and look for those doors. Believe all is not lost. Have faith, look for the silver lining and you will be amazed at what ultimately happens.
4. Keep a good attitude.
How hard it is to congratulate friends when they land the prized possession. How can our teens be happy for a friend who gets into the college of their dreams or gets the job they both interviewed for, but your teen was not chosen? As hard as it is, keeping a good attitude makes all the difference. Life is not a race. We should not be in competition with anybody but ourselves and we should teach our teens not to compare themselves to others. Keeping a good attitude makes it easier to go through the crises. Do what you can about the situation. Thank God and live your life, one day at a time. Be happy for your neighbor when they are going through their mountaintop experience. Keep a good attitude and live your life even as you are in the waiting room. It’s only a matter of time before it’s your time to be called for your next great experience.
Life is full of waiting room experiences or waiting times. It is challenging when one is sitting in the waiting room of life and everyone else appears to be called ahead of you or appears to be having a better life experience than you. The way you respond during this season makes all the difference to yourself, your family and your friends. Teach your teens “a setback is a setup for a comeback.” TD Jakes. Believe God is in control and is often times working behind the scenes. Believe even if you cannot see. Keep a good attitude and be happy for those around you. They will be around to congratulate when your days of glory return.
Whilst waiting, enjoy the scenery. Read the magazines in the waiting room. Be thankful for today and live your best life today. Tomorrow has promise all its own, but it only happens if you believe and do your best today.