Have you ever been a situation where you didn’t know whether you should be taking action for yourself or trusting God and letting him take control? If yes, you are not alone, many of the women I speak to and coach with struggle with this and it often comes with feelings of doubt, confusion, shame and even guilt.
Can I say that I’m not immune to this either, every time I write something I write based on my own experiences and as someone who is naturally more inclined towards Type A I am aware of this struggle especially during the times when God is telling me to be still but if I’m honest with myself those have been my most powerful, transformative moments.
We can feel this tension in a number of different ways and often the ladies I coach fall into one of two camps – the ones who wait and the ones who take action.
For the ladies who have spent most of their life patiently waiting it’s often due to teachings that they have picked up over time which has taught them that waiting is a sign of trust and faith and/or that something bad can happen if they take action and something goes wrong.
Often what happens is that I’ll hear a lot about faith but underneath it are often words and actions of fear and doubt. Fear about displeasing God or sometimes even displeasing someone they look up to if they make the wrong decision. Doubt about what it is that God wants them to do and how do they know that it’s really God that wants them to take action, so the end result is that it’s often safer for them to take no action and continue waiting.
If this sounds familiar to you then take a moment to reflect on whether the reasons for your choices feel more like faith or fear to you? There’s no doubt that doing anything from a place of fear is excruciatingly painful, and I’m always reminded of the scripture words “fear brings torment”. Many of my ladies who find themselves living life from this viewpoint are actually in torment, racked with doubt, insecurity and confusion lest they do something wrong and live to face the consequences of their disobedience. This way of living is paralysing and echoes the words of the man who refused to do anything with his talent.
Master, I knew you, that you are a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering from where you did not scatter. So in my fear, I went and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what belongs to you.’Matthew 25:24-25 (BLB and BSB)
I’ve been around people who refuse to take action unless they see an irrefutable sign from God, what is behind this is an unwillingness to take a risk to step out in faith unless there is an iron-clad guarantee that they won’t get hurt or be let down in some way.
Of course, it’s OK to ask God for a sign, but how will you know that it is the sign? Like Gideon will you need to keep on asking for confirmation to take a step forward? Whenever God asked people to take action they were often scared of how BIG and scary that action was, that’s when they needed to tap into faith and courage the most.Whenever God asked people to take action they were often scared of how BIG and scary that action was, that's when they needed to tap into faith and courage the most. Click To Tweet
In these cases, the real issue isn’t faith, but lack of belief, certainty and courage that often keeps The Waiters, waiting. But it’s not impossible to break through this, often it is a matter of examining your beliefs, your faith, your background and the stories you have accepted and been telling yourself over time. I’ve had amazing breakthroughs from my clients that have been Perennial Waiters who now feel so confident about the actions they take in a way that is more aligned to faith rather than fear. Want to know how they made this leap? Ask me about it.
In this day and age, we seem to be surrounded by the need for action, success and achievement, and people who are Doers often find themselves driven by a desire to keep moving.
I can best relate it to my own experience, what I found was that my desire to continuously be doing something only hid a deep sense of dis-ease and distrust I felt about the world. I always felt like there was something I needed to prove and something that I needed to do. When I wasn’t busy I was restless and when I perceived myself as not being where I believed I should be, I became frustrated. To be honest, I didn’t like myself much and the only way I could feel better about myself and my life was to keep busy, keep pushing and keep striving. Nothing ever felt quite enough.
I know some of my clients have felt like this, the drive to be busy and active almost always is hiding a deep-rooted insecurity or inadequacy that feels like it can only be proved wrong through effort and striving.
The sad thing about this perspective is that it doesn’t allow space for rest, and yes on one side I do mean having a time out, being gentle on yourself and taking a break but on a deeper level I mean spiritual rest.
Most of the people who have lived life constantly doing have burnt out or become ill in the process irrelevant of their faith because the truth behind being a Doer is that it is shadowed by a lack of the deepest type of trust – trusting in God.Being a Doer is shadowed by a lack of the deepest type of trust – trusting in God. Click To Tweet
I learnt this when God asked me to start resting in Him, when He gave me an ultimatum that said continue as I am and burn out or listen to His voice and be still. I’m sure you can imagine that being still wasn’t easy for me, there I was with no way to drown out my own thoughts, fears, insecurities and other emotions but to lay myself bare and vulnerable in front of God.
One thing I’ve noticed about Doers, we are very, very independent, fiercely so mainly because of the fact that over time we have learnt to rely on ourselves. Being still and resting causes us to let go and hand over control to another, to make ourselves vulnerable enough to trust someone else, and what more vulnerable position to be in than the trust the One in control of the entire universe, time and space?
But God promises us that He knows what we go through, that we are not alone, that He is for us, that He makes a way for us and desires to comfort and bless us and all we have to do is rest in His truth as Truth.
Come to Me, all those toiling and being burdened, and I will give you rest.Matthew 11:28 (BLB)
Final Thoughts on Finding Balance
Whilst Waiters and Doers can seem like they are on the opposite side of the spectrum, the truth is that there is something that links the two poles together, FEAR.
Whenever I find myself getting restless or frustrated especially in a season where God is asking me to be still, I know that buried under those emotions is fear of some sort. Likewise, when a Waiter struggles to take action and keeps second-guessing whether this is God’s will or not, fear is most often holding them back.
Whichever place you find yourself, it is important to ask yourself what is driving your action or inaction, fear or God’s love? No one can tell you what the right thing to do is in your unique situation, I believe that if you are open, honest and quiet enough you’ll know deep down what you really need to do. The real question is whether you are willing and courageous enough to step out in real faith and trust and see what awaits you on the other side?
Does this post speak to you? Are you looking for someone that can help you navigate your own inner terrain and learn how to take steps from a place of greater faith, confidence and courage?