Column: Life like a waiting room


Today I sat in a hospital waiting room with one of my best friends.

It’s amazing how just sitting can be exhausting. We were waiting on an MRI and it became really clear in the next few hours we would experience deep relief or prepare for battle. Don’t you love waiting rooms? Honestly I am not much for emotions, at least the teary-eyed kind, yet I found myself fighting back tears a few times over the last few days. Isn’t it amazing how you can go from one type of busy to a complete other?  Or how fast everything changes?  The last few days have been filled with listening to doctors asses symptoms and progress the diagnostic road. With every test it became more and more clear this wasn’t going to be a simple fix.  Honestly, I tried a few different ways to help: first, to talk openly about it; then I did my best to distract from the situation with lighter talk, but nothing could remove the weight in these waiting rooms.

How do you deal with situations like this?  Honestly, no amount of education or understanding removes the anxiety completely. No distraction fully turns your attention, not for long at least.  What gives you strength in those difficult seasons of life? What advice would you give to someone who is stuck in the waiting room?

You know, life is a kind of a waiting room. The reality is, we all will face the unknown at some point. We will all be in the waiting room. In many conversations I have found that eventually most of us land in two categories: those who work really hard to ignore the questions of life and those who work really hard to figure them out. There is an obscure passage I have studied and taught on.  Isaiah 26:3 states that, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Sometimes when I read passages like this I think, “Yeah, if only it were that easy.” Sometimes the leap from head to heart feels like a million miles. Some grab for a bottle, others grab for a book, but we are all looking for a way to bring peace to what we already think we know.  How would you encourage those in the waiting room?

I would love to hear your thoughts! You can email me at



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