Waiting With God | Why Our Suffering is Never Wasted

Christian woman with her head in her hands while she's waiting with God

By Erinn Karpovck

A book with blank pages. I sometimes wonder if that’s my story. 

But if God is the perfect Author of life, this simply can’t be true. 

When I was 29, my husband left. 

He filed for divorce, and I was thrust into the starting line of singleness again. 

My feet were eager, ready to take off, yet I hadn’t caught my breath from the marathon of betrayal, pain, and suffering. 

No matter how hard I tried, I felt stuck. 

I cried out to God. How can You let me stay stuck while you watch me fight to move past the pain?

My heart was weary from all the grief, pain, and striving to move forward.

The Author of Life Knows Each Word

Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began..” – Psalm 139:16 HCSB

A season of suffering doesn’t have to be a pause or black hole in our lives. 

Our time isn’t wasted during seasons of suffering or waiting with God. 

My 20-something sister went through over a year of harsh cancer treatments. 

Her treatments made her a prisoner to bed, the bathroom floor, or the hospital. 

A Fourth of July spent gazing out the window of a sterile room, listening to the thumping of fireworks in the distance.

We imagined families sprawled on blankets, little ones waving sparklers, and the wafts of sweet summertime puffing from backyard grills. 

Life was happening outside those hospital rooms, but we felt like my sister’s days were squandered.

Two Christian women hugging as they sit on a bench while waiting with God

Dear friends of mine longed for a child through their early years of marriage, lacking the answer they so desperately wanted from God. 

Instead, their days were marked by visits to the doctor’s office to discuss why they weren’t conceiving. 

And Christmas mornings weren’t celebrated with a growing family of their own. 

Many close friends navigated through their 20s and 30s single. 

They felt unseen, unworthy, or unknown because they hadn’t found a husband. 

The stings of pain walking through the church doors alone on Sunday mornings. 

The deep ache of celebrating everyone else at engagement parties, bridal showers, and gender reveals. 

And wondering if it would ever be their turn.

Sometimes, when we walk through suffering or seasons of waiting, it can feel like our days are wasted. 

But when we shift our focus to the Author, our perspective changes.

Two hands holding open a notebook

God Writes Our Stories

We have also received an inheritance in Him, predestined according to the purpose of the One who works out everything in agreement with the decision of His will.” – Ephesians 1:11 HCSB

God wrote each page of our stories. Those paragraphs or chapters that felt like a pause—as if our book was slammed shut and tucked onto the crowded bookshelf—weren’t blank pages. 

If they were blank pages, then the pain wouldn’t have been felt. 

Tears not cried. 
Prayers not whispered.

Those days, months, or years we shook our fists and called our time wasted were just as much a part of our story as the rest. 

Yes, they were excruciating. 
Even mind-numbing.

But wasted? 

No—not even a little. 

Our storylines pulse through our veins, making a way to connect with others deeply. 

These chapters made room for our souls to listen to our Maker. 

Those pages in our stories serve as a turning point, not a pause button or the bench. 

I spent too much time waiting for the clock to start again, but that wasn’t God’s plan. 

The time I spent in my pain wasn’t a loss. 

After a few months of trying to get back to “my old self” following my divorce, I realized I wasn’t the same person anymore. 

I needed to stand up and embrace a turning point. 

My heart settled, and I looked up. 

Life was all around me. The bare twigs of my soul blossomed into beautiful flowers. 

A Christian church potluck with hands passing a plate of food to someone

Three Things to Do in Seasons of Waiting With God

In the midst of suffering and waiting for God to show us the way, know He hears us.

As we pray and seek Him, we remind ourselves that our waiting isn’t wasted. 

Here are three things to do in a season of waiting. 

1 – Find a friend who could use an extra hand. 

My friend was nesting for her twin girls. 

Together, we followed a Pinterest how-to and spent evenings with fingers in a bucket of glue, transforming white walls into a glittery Hollywood scene. 

My heart healed as I channeled my pain and energy into helping a friend celebrate her own answered prayer.

2 – Serve at church.

During the pages of my healing chapters, I volunteered at church for the first time. 

I worked behind the scenes on the security team. 

I spent time serving my church, and my grief had fewer moments to be alone in its darkness.

3 – Read the Bible.

God’s Word was fresh in my suffering. 

Rather than seeking advice and validation from friends in the depths of our pain, Scripture can mend our hearts. 

I highlighted verses and scribbled the date next to them. 

Today, those penned numbers take me back to when God’s Word met me at my lowest. 

Our suffering and waiting aren’t squandered because God holds the pen. 

He has written every detail of our story with care.

Erinn Karpovck

Erinn Karpovck is a writer based in the picturesque beach town of St. Petersburg, Florida. With a passion for crafting compelling stories, she serves as a senior writer and editor for a prominent nonprofit organization. Erinn is also a Christian author and blogger. Her daily inspirations can be found on her website, awordwitherinn.com, and cherished moments alongside her beloved yellow lab, Chappy, on Instagram.

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