Thankful in the midst of waiting

– Clara Leung

One of the most difficult moments to be thankful is when you’re waiting. That’s because when you’re waiting, you want something, you’re anticipating something, and only when that something happens is when you find the reason to be thankful.

When Pastor Eric asked me to share something in light of my recent graduation, I actually wasn’t so sure what to share. The fact that I graduated, maybe. Sure I’m grateful for that, but that was about five months ago. Or maybe the fact that I passed my nursing licensing exam. But that was so last month. I wasn’t quite feeling the same amount of thankfulness right at this moment, and that’s probably because right now, I’m waiting. I’m searching for a job and I’m waiting for responses. Since I am waiting, I have a lot of spare time. My parents can attest to this. Ask me how I am and my default answer is that I’m still job hunting. I often think to myself, ‘I didn’t work so hard and excel in nursing school just to be sitting at home doing nothing!’ It also doesn’t help that I see my friends starting jobs and having exciting experiences in grad school or medical school and traveling and getting promotions. Because I so desperately want what they have. So when you have a mixture of waiting and wanting what others have, being thankful is not exactly the priority. In fact, the priority becomes searching for more job postings, applying for more things, and most days, I hate how there are no more postings to apply to, because then, I am unproductive and all I can do is wait.

As I spent the day thinking about what I could potentially share about my graduation, God slowly reminded me of the all the moments of thanksgiving in the past four years. He reminded of first year, where I first met one of the closest friends I have today. It was also in first year where I found out that my university had the largest percentage of Christian groups on campus or that my nursing school was highly regarded in Ontario, which was pretty neat. I literally did not know that going in. God reminded me of the wonderful experiences I had living with my housemates and the fellowship we had together. He reminded me to be thankful for all the people who have supported me along the way: my mom, who prayed for me constantly; my dad, who pays the rent and reminds me to buy a plane ticket home early; Oscar, who read boring IT articles to me for an hour straight in the middle of the night when I couldn’t fall asleep because I was anxious and stressed about my nursing placements the following morning; and the friends who always ate dinner with me before my flight and always celebrated my successes when I graduated and passed my exam. There was so much to be thankful for, if only I took the time to remember and not be so immersed in my current situation.

I heard God ask me, if I could trade the past four years for a regular, stable job right now, would I do it? I know I would take the four years in a heartbeat. And I know, that being thankful doesn’t only happen when you’ve finally gotten what you wanted. It is an every day choice to be made, even amidst the waiting.