We have a piece of paper hanging on the back of our front door. On it is a picture of two doors, a closed one and a slightly open one with a bright light shining from inside. Above that door, it says, "Until God opens the next door, praise Him in the hallway."
We've had this piece of paper up there for over a year now, and I always notice it. I notice it every time I leave the house. I know that's why Brent put it there. So we would see it. So we would remember what to do while we waited.
I'm excited because the wait is almost over. The door is about to open. We are standing in front of it, and we are about to step out of the hallway.
If I would have told you we decided to launch a company when I was 8 months pregnant and only a couple years out of my most recent of several cancer diagnoses, I can imagine the funny look you would have given me. You. Your raised eyebrows, your scrunched up face, holding your breath for me like, "Oh, Erin. Umm really? Do you really think that's a good idea?"
I can see you, and that would be a reasonable reaction. After all, it doesn't sound very safe. It doesn't sound very responsible, by the normal standards of This Is How A Person's Life Is Supposed To Go.
But because of the terrible and beautiful way that God has moved in my life, I am going to step out of this hallway.
I won’t necessarily feel ready when He tells me, “It’s time,” but until He does I will wait here and think about many far away memories that still feel close, many significant moments that apart from each other seem unrelated, but together reveal a beautifully orchestrated plan for my arrival to the hallway.
My childhood and never really feeling a connection to God.
My adolescence and letting fear, insecurity, and self-doubt guide my thoughts, words, and actions.
My youth, when I screamed, “There is no God!” at my dad and lived the next several years in a wild, reckless tear of existence, willfully separated from any consciousness of Him.
My breakdown, when I cried out for His help, protection, and deliverance from an awful, terrifying disease.
My struggle years later to accept romantic love and my resistance to accept His plan for me as a wife.
My heart slowly softening and the moment when I finally turned back toward Him to listen.
And the miracle of bringing a life into this world after discounting completely any chance I might have to experience what it means to be called mama.
These and other blinks and flashes of my life’s memories have brought me here, inside a hallway staring at a slightly open door. Soon I will see what is on the other side. I’m in the hallway, and I will listen for Him. When He calls my name to move, I will move. I will praise Him because for all the times I violently wrestled to get away and tried to rip myself out of His arms, He never dropped me. And I will thank Him because He never let me go.
Maybe you’re in a hallway, maybe it’s so dark that the nearest door seems light years away. Maybe the only sound you can hear are the taps of your shoes as they echo down a neverending corridor, on your way to a destination completely uncertain. Maybe you’ve found yourself in this place and it’s all you can do not to fall apart as you wait for any sign of the moment to move.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that waiting on God’s timing is not easy. Waiting for anything is hard. It’s an exercise of patience, and a wearing on our nerves. When we wait, we have two options, and many of us find ourselves in the arms of worry. But you and I are called to be different, so we must choose the other option: We must praise.