The Art of Waiting

Advent teaches us the art of waiting and gently reminds us that waiting is not passive, but rather, waiting is work we do and work that is done in us. Over the years I’ve experienced Advent seasons, those seasons that stretched my faith and tested my resolve, but nonetheless, reminded me of God’s ever-abiding presence.

There was that Advent season following seminary graduation when most of my classmates received calls and I was left waiting to be ordained and begin serving as a pastor.

There was the year of long distance engagement and marriage between Stephen and me until we were able to live in the same town.

There was waiting for the birth of my children.

There was waiting on a diagnosis for my daughter and her speech.

The process of writing a book, too, entails much waiting: waiting to hear back from editors and agents, waiting for emails, waiting for edits and designs, waiting for pockets of time to actually write.

Yet, over and over again, in seasons of waiting, I learned that those times didn’t call me to stop and let life unfold before me, but rather, I was called to continue to live and to love.

So what do we do while we wait?

We light candles. We read books. We write. We reach out to friends and family. We cry out to God. We sit in the silence. We put one foot in front of the other. We text friends, “How are you doing?” We offer words of hope: “You’re not alone.” We look up. We sing songs. We shake hands and offer hugs. We search for blue skies and feel the warmth of the sun on our faces. We bake cookies and share them with neighbors. We write letters. We go to church. We pray. We wonder. We doubt. We open our hands. We lift our hearts. We live. We love.

And that’s the heart of what it means to wait, to live Advent seasons in our lives — to love. We trust that God’s love first claims us, envelopes us, and sends us into the world to love. 
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is a mother, writer, and pastor living in Central Missouri with her family. She’s the coauthor of The Beauty of Motherhood: Grace-Filled Devotions for the Early Years (March 2023). You can read more at her website: If you’d like to read more from Kim, you can sign up for her monthly newsletter, Walk and Talk here. As a gift to her readers and subscribers who sign up, she has a free downloadable resource: Walk and Talk with God: Reflection, Scripture references, and a how-to for your own contemplative walk.
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