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  • Writer's pictureBeth Hildebrand

That ugly 4-letter word | Wait and See Day 6

It’s one of those afternoons where you have to go from the post office to Target and the grocery store, along with the coffee shop to get “thanks, teachers” gift cards.   And you have a little over an hour to do so.

I’m remembering that particular day was a few days before school let out for this past summer.  I had an afternoon where I could take a break from work and didn’t have to be at school for an end-of-year-something so here I go in the family mini van around town.

My first stop was the post office.  I’m of course tapping my foot on the floor because I’m thinking of all of the other places I need to go before school’s out – I don’t have time to be waiting in line.  But since there’s really no choice in the matter, I start looking around the old, dingy room at the pictures of stamps on sale for the collectors and the different patterns on envelops you can purchase.  But a white piece of paper taped to the door stood out to me.   “Your patience is appreciated…there may be a wait time in line.”

There may be a wait time…



So, I wait.  I buy my stamps and venture on to Target.

Have you ever felt like someone is following you around?  It can be a little daunting.  What’s that 80’s song?  “It always feels like somebody’s watching me – who’s playing tricks on me?  Whoooa-oh-oh.”

That’s how I began to feel that afternoon.  Every place I went it was there.

It’s a 4-letter word that causes you to make an ugly face or roll you eyes or even stomp your foot.  It’s a word you don’t have time for and a word that wears your patience very thin.

It was that word that had started showing up in my life a couple of months earlier.


I try to ignore it though and in the car, I distract myself by flipping through radio stations to find a song with a good beat.  I stop at one with a beautiful blend of trumpets and a banjo twang. (I’ll stop to hear a banjo anytime!) I tap my foot again but this time because of enjoyment.  I start singing“…use my head alongside my heart.  So take my flesh, fix my eyes and tethered mind freed from the lies. But I’ll kneel down and wait for now…I will wait, I will wait for you.”  

No joke.  That was the song I heard and sang before I realized that’s what I was singing.  Sigh again.

Into Target I go and pick up some toothpaste and sunscreen and walk through the store in search of a few other items.  Happening to walk by the décor section, the wall hangings catch my attention.  The first one I saw screamed at me – “If you were WAITING for the right time, (it’s now)!”


Seriously?!  What’s up with all of this?

I have to move on though and try to focus on my task and head over to a happy place.  Greeting cards.  It’s time to get those thanks you’s.

I could spend an hour at any card rack and read them all.  Some can make me laugh out loud and some seriously make a little tear roll down my face. Some are pretty dumb and some really not quite appropriate for little ones to read.  And others you’d have never imagined being made into a card: Sweetest Day cards?  What is Sweetest Day?  (Thanks Hallmark.)

I’m in the baby section because they’re so cute.  Low and behold: I see this.

“You’re wishing, waiting, and hoping – and wishing some more.  Waiting for everything to fall into place and hoping that time will go just a little faster…”


Really?!  Again?!

Then this card topped it off.  “It’s not a matter of IF, it’s a matter of WHEN.”  Most people who read that card probably wouldn’t be wiping the snot off their face when reading it but a hot tear rolled down from either frustration or confusion.  Or maybe because I felt Jesus standing right there beside me on that card isle.



No joke! That IF,WHEN card not only was in one slot on that rack but it was in 3 different ones.  It was as if God was trying to get my attention and make a point.

I’ve been waiting for a few months for something to start happening.  To know what it is God wants me to do for Him.  I know three months isn’t a long time in most life spans but when I feel passionate about something and things aren’t happening the way I think or hope they should, I get anxious.

And when anxiety kicks in, waiting becomes even harder.

Wait for when?

It’s not IF.  It’s going to be WHEN.

The wonder of these why’s, what’s, if’s, and when’s will be recorded in this book of life I know one day I’ll read them again and my sigh will be because my breath was taken away for a moment as I see the reason for it all.

As Mumford and Son’s song says, “I’ll kneel down and I will wait, I will wait for You.”  I’ll wait for HIM.  Lord, fix my eyes on the unseen; the beauty of the unseen. 

See the beauty of waiting in unexpected places and see Jesus right there beside you in the greeting card isle.

See other Wait and See series posts here

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