Why Waiting Is Just as Important as the Finished Art


I put off downloading my iPhone’s new software for over a year. I can be stubborn like that sometimes.

Yesterday, when I finally bit the bullet and downloaded the newest version, I found that my phone was even faster at accessing apps and uploading pictures than it was before. I take a photo and instantly it is on the wide world of social media.

When my phone doesn’t perform properly, I get antsy and irritable. It’s amazing how dependent I’ve become on this little device that I didn’t even have four years ago.

Oh, patience. Such a seldom sought after virtue in today’s world.

Three weeks ago, I received a not-so-subtle reminder how important waiting is. Even when we don’t want it. Even when we complain and whine and push our way through the line because we simply can’t stand still another moment.

I sat in a room filled with over eight hundred women and listened to Christine Caine of Hillsong Church talk about the dark room. You know, the place where they used to take photos to be developed? With the right chemicals and the right amount of time in the dark room, a beautiful image appeared.

If the image was taken out of the dark room too soon, the picture was destroyed.

As I listened to this woman of God drive her point home, I felt like she was speaking directly at me. I knew I needed more time in the dark room, but somehow I hoped I was wrong.

“I love being in a room of women who are filled with vision.” Everyone clapped and smiled. But until the Light within you is greater than the spotlight on you, the spotlight on you will destroy you.”

The image of Christ needs time to be forged on each of us. Time in the dark room. Time spent with Him, sometimes in the midst of trials. Time waiting. Time praying for him to move and act with faith that He will, at just the right moment.


Two weeks after the conference, my sneaking suspicion that my time in the dark room wasn’t over arrived in my inbox. A rejection letter from the one publisher who’d taken my proposal back to the house to read. I knew how seldom it was that a first-time proposal was accepted, but it still stung.

It felt like the death of something I’d carried inside of me for months, hopeful and anxious and excited all at the same time. But after a few days in prayer and the company of a beautiful community of friends, I realized something.

I read the email again. It wasn’t a “no.” I just needed that final piece to the puzzle.

Sometimes what feels like a “no” is actually God saying, “Not yet.”

When we see that dream in front of us, we feel as though if we don’t seize it immediately we will crush beneath the weight of broken expectations and a sense of failure. But that final piece of the puzzle is just one piece.

Getting there, and the journey along the way, is just as important. That is where the growing takes place. That is where the faith builds.

That is where God forges his image on his creation, irreplaceable by anything that is in the world.


*photo source 1

*photo source 2


21 thoughts on “Why Waiting Is Just as Important as the Finished Art

  1. I share your thoughts Abby about the dark room. It is really a great place to be. I still wake up thinking about her message from She Speaks. Deep! But my heart goes out to you as you wait for God’s perfect plan. Waiting is not easy, but I would rather have my Isaac (the promises of God) than settle for Ishmael (second best and usually my plan). Keep writing my friend, you do it well, and one day when you are out in the field tending to your flock, God will come find you. 🙂


    • Amen, Jodie! I don’t want to settle for second best either. Thank you for your encouragement today. God is teaching me so much through this writing process and my prayer is that I will continually reflect his glory. Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Abby, I think one of the hardest things for me to do is hang out in the dark room. To wait quietly, patiently, and with stillness. And because I struggle with that, I focus on the “no’s” without considering the possibility of a “not yet.” I’m so glad that you are able to hear the “not yet” in that letter and from God. I am convinced that when God says “not yet,” it’s because He has something even greater in mind for us, but our human nature makes that so hard to wait for!


    • I agree, Katie. Right now I need to focus on building my platform, so that’s what I’m going to do. I am convinced that God is using this as a learning experience for me, and that my faith will be stronger because of it. Always thankful for your encouragement!


  3. Oh I’m so thankful I found your blog today. I’m just starting out on my journey of writing a Bible study. Oh so far from being done, but I feel as though my slow beginning is indeed God saying I need more time in the dark room. I need more time to draw closer to Him and ensure the words I write are within His will and for His glory. Thank you for sharing!


    • I’m so glad you were encouraged. Thank you so much for stopping here and I pray that God continues to reveal his perfect plan to each of us in his time.


  4. gosh – those no’s do sting. that is for sure. but the not yet has always prepared me to me be a better vessel and the product for God’s best yes is always so much better. we always “know this” but trusting and waiting and then finally seeing it come through – takes so much patience and trust. try to keep a journal of these times when God has come through. when trusting HIS timing over yours has paid off. i’ve been so grateful for the no’s looking back because truly, truly – his plan blows my mind. hang in there!


    • That you for your encouraging words, Courtney. I think that it’s normal to grieve for a day or two but then it’s time to get back on the horse, as they say, and move on. And that is what I’m doing. I know God has a plan, and it’s so much better than anything I can imagine. Glad to meet another sweet soul from She Speaks!


  5. I loved reading your post.. and that message by Christine still resonates with me daily. I can’t wait to get the audios! Into the dark room I go.. i’ve been making more time for the Lord in my life since I got back… so much more time.. I need to be in there.. I need Him to mould me into the perfect child He wants me to be. Sometimes I wanna rush ahead.. and I just have to be still before Him… I loved all you shared.. and next year, I really wanna come with a few book proposals in hand… not knowing where it may lead.. but you are right.. we are faithful in the doing, in the trying. God sees it all. xo


    • Bonita, it’s such a pleasure to hear from you. Yes, if there was another thing that I walked away from the conference knowing, it’s that God has seen seen it all. And I just need to be faithful in continuing in obedience. The rest will fall into place. Thanks so much for stopping here today.


    • Thank you for visiting today, Juli. I look forward to checking out your blog as well. Yes, Christine Caine’s message blew my mind. Being patient is hard, but I’m learning that God’s plans are better than mine. Every time.


  6. Thank you for sharing. Found you via the SheSpeaks link-up and added you to my Bloglovin readings. All of these stories are making me feel like I missed out on something HUGE. I love this–> Sometimes what feels like a “no” is actually God saying, “Not yet.” Thanks for sharing.


    • Thanks for visiting and following, Toni! Yes, that statement is what God has been teaching me over the last few weeks. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but He is faithful. I think next year’s conference is slated for Jul 23-25, so you’ll definitely want to look into it. It was a wonderful experience in so many ways.


  7. I keep thinking about the dark room and wonder if not only is it a place of growth and developing, but also a time of rest and rejuvenation. It is hard to get off the hamster wheel of life, but when you let yourself stop, it feels so good. Enjoyed your post!


    • That is a great insight. Yes, rest is so needed and often overlooked. I took a blogging break before and during the conference and it did me so much good! Thanks for visiting today.


  8. I very much dislike the dark room, but that’s where we must be in order for God to use us. I loved Christine’s message so much. I got the “not yet” as well. But I’d much rather let God do things in his time, if we harvest veggies before they’re ripe we end up wasting what has grown. It’s not any different with our callings and those dreams God gave us. We’ve got to ripen up!


    • That is a great analogy, Gina. I know God’s plans are far greater than mine. I certainly get impatient sometimes, but I’m trusting that those dreams and callings are his. Thanks so much for stopping here and have a great weekend.


  9. I was touched also by the dark room. What a blessing Christine Caine was and the words you have shared here. I personally prefer things to happen quickly because the world makes everything happen quickly. But God’s ability to grow us through His timing and patience are painful but priceless! Blessings on your writing!


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