Woman Alive’s deputy editor explains how she managed to keep trusting God when it felt like her prayers weren’t being answered.


Source: Godisable Jacob / Pexels

I recently saw something on Instagram that said: “Joseph waited 13 years, Abraham waited for 25 years, Moses waited for 40 years, Jesus waited for 30 years. If God makes you wait, you are in good company!” It’s true, we know it’s true. So then why is waiting so difficult? I’ll tell you why. It’s because it’s refining. We all like to be refined when we can look back at it in hindsight, but in the process, it’s horrible.

When we are waiting for any promise God makes to come to pass in our lives, we often question three things; God’s love for us, God’s power to change the situation, and God’s goodness. I waited until I was 44 to get married. If I had known when I was 24 that I would have to wait that long, I may well have collapsed in a heap on the floor! Learning to trust God in the waiting was a journey…

I am a naturally optimistic person, and waiting to meet my future marriage partner in my twenties was not so hard. Everyone is in the same boat, having fun, I assumed it wouldn’t take long before I would bump into the man of my dreams, and fall madly in love. That did not happen in my twenties, or my thirties.

“Jesus waited for 30 years. If God makes you wait, you are in good company!” 

When I was 38 I felt God give me a promise that I would get married, it came with a verse from Zechariah 4:1: “Not by might, not by power, but by my spirit says the Lord Almighty.” I felt the Lord saying he was going to do it, and it would not be my strength or power. But I still had to wait.

I remember when I turned 42, I had moved back to my parents because of COVID. I was sleeping in my teenage bedroom, feeling like a Jane Austen spinster. There was a loud voice shouting into my head: “You were foolish to trust God, He won’t come through for you.” I felt like my life was a failure, and the pain and disappointment of the waiting was too much.

So I battled with God on my daily COVID-allowed walks. Hebrews 11:1 says: “Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see.” God said it would be by his might and power, but it seemed impossible – could the Almighty fulfil his promise even in COVID lockdown?

But one day on a walk, as I was nearing the top of a particularly steep hill, some words came to mind: “I surrender to your story, let my life give you glory.” I started speaking them out, declaring them. I had been trying to write my own story in the waiting, and getting broken-hearted in the process. Trying to cut short the waiting and “make something happen” had not worked well for me.I truly surrendered, and choose to trust that however bad my situation was, my life wasn’t over, so God wasn’t over.

God would remind me of the words of the worship song, Waymaker: “Even when you can’t see it I’m moving.”

In January 2021 God gave me another promise. He loves to help us in the waiting. He said: “Your husband is coming in spring and coming from Africa…” I heard it twice in that month, but I was scared to hold onto it, after all, maybe he meant Spring 2052? Turns out, my husband did come in Spring 2021, and from South Africa, and we married six months later. Looking back, I remember when I was asking God what he was doing, he would remind me of the words of the worship song, Waymaker: “Even when you can’t see it I’m moving.” Now I see the intricate detail in which he connected me to my now husband.

So if you are struggling to trust God in the waiting, let me remind you of His character - He is able and He is faithful. In fact, He is in the waiting, refining you and making you more like Him, so you can carry the blessing that is to come. He is definitely worth the wait!