About the Author

Jennifer Dukes Lee is the author of several books, including Growing Slow. She and her husband live on the family farm, raising crops, pigs, and two humans. She’s a fan of dark chocolate, emojis, eighties music, bright lipstick, and Netflix binges. She wants to live life in such a way...

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  1. I have read this several times this morning partially because I couldn’t believe that the Lord Jesus would send such an intimate encouragement to me personally, to let me know He is with me…it has ministered to my spirit. Thank you.

  2. Thank you for this, Jennifer! In as tomorrow is my birthday, this article came at a perfect time for me! My waiting room occupancy has comprised a good portion of my life! Our life journeys teach us many qualities; growth, perseverance and, yes, patience! At 62, I am still a “growth pattern” in the works and, good Lord willing, I look forward to many more chances to grow and improve while I am in my waiting room. Blessings to you and yours and to everyone! 🙂

  3. Dearest Jennifer, I do recall some of this from your wonderful book (and I would surmise you likely talk about waiting in your upcoming book, because farmers wait for things to grow. 🙂 ). I’ve been in my share of waiting rooms, too, most recently for beloved parents through life-threatening surgeries. Though it’s hard to wait, I prefer silence to all the noise that comes courtesy of hospitals who attempt to do anything to distract the waiters. I find it disconcerting to hear blaring, vulgar television shows imposed on my soul, which I am trying to quiet. The noise rattles me. So often, I withdraw to the chapel to wait. In the chapel, I find a refuge and my Refuge . . . and my Strength. I talk about armor in my own book, and when mine cracks and crumbles, it’s then that I know that He alone is my armor and shield. Ps. 33:20 “Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.” In my last waiting room, not knowing if my then 89 1/2 y/o mother would pull through horrendous surgery, God ministered to me deeply through a book I was reading on Rom. 8:28 . . . “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” God used that truth as the anchor that held me, the armor that shielded me, and I rehearsed it in the chapel of my heart, where I wait best. I love how your family draws together in the wait and tells their stories and laughs at what they hear. That is such a productive, comforting kind of waiting. We’ve done this, too, especially it seems, in funeral homes. It is not a disrespectful distraction, but a remembering of the good times we experienced with the one we’ve lost and loved, and that have strengthened us as a family. This remembering will make the long wait till the rest of us “go Home,” more bearable.

    I’m in my own personal waiting room now, and those aren’t easy either. But I too have found that God shapes us in the waiting and draws us closer to Himself. I just know I don’t want to waste the waiting time.

    I love you.
    Lynn

    • This is beautiful. And yes, I absolutely agree. Laughter in places like hospitals and funeral homes is not disrespectful, but can very much call us to remembrance of special moments with the loved one who passed on. Grateful for you, as always, Lynn.

    • Oh, I loathe the blaring TVs, too, in waiting rooms. I’m fine with “elevator music” (and was also fine with the DMV TV, which served up “classic” sitcoms from the 1950s/60s/70s), but please, no “talk” shows or angry talking heads or anything where people screech intermittently, and please keep the volume down…

      That said, I’ve found that if we’re the only people in a waiting room, the receptionist is often quite happy to turn off or mute the TV, so that’s worth a shot, sometimes, if no one is actually appreciating the noisemaker. Other times, someone *is* using the TV to distract them from their worry, and… well, I’m not going to deprive them of that, however annoying the yelling is. Different people, different coping mechanisms. But often! Not always, but often! The TV can be muted or just plain turned off…

  4. Jennifer,
    When I read phrases like “I waited patiently on the Lord…” in the Bible, I’d squirm because I envisioned the “patiently” part as sitting idly by with no angst – twiddling my thumbs. I’ve since learned “patiently” involves pain, perseverance, and even suffering. Waiting patiently is hard work. It’s in the most painful moments of the “patiently” we are ushered into the inner sanctuary of God’s loving heart. He meets us in the hard and gives us grace and strength we don’t possess. I am at a crossroad in my life – waiting with angst for an answer. This confusion combined with the world’s daily confusion gets a bit much at times. I know, however, that God will use this moment to grow me so that I may give Him greater glory. Waiting is hand-wringing, not thumb twiddling, work. Taking this time to lean into the Lord. Thank you for this beautiful post of encouragement.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  5. Thank you for this message. It is giving me a different perspective on these weeks and months. I, as so many people, are in a waiting room in our own homes. We wait until it’s safe to leave our homes because of the pandemic. Maybe it is safe to go for groceries one day, as long as we are wearing our masks and social distancing. Maybe it is even safe to eat in person at a restaurant one day. But then there is an unexpected spike in the virus and we have to wait at home again. Then the vaccine is coming and we wait at home until it is our turn to try to make an appointment. We do a lot of waiting these days. Since Feb. 1 I have been doing a lot of waiting on the weather. Snow after snow and very cold. Wait until the snow stops so I can shovel the driveway. Wait until the plow comes by and the street is safe to drive. Wait until the other streets and parking areas are cleared so that I can do errands or drive to my dad’s house and find a parking space. It’s a lot of waiting in the home waiting room, for one thing or another, for the last year. My patience runs thin and I remind myself that this is in God’s control. It is his timing for when everything is safe. The snow is pretty and a sign of one of God’s miracles, it reminds me to slow down and enjoy the view. Find other things to do and occupy myself and my mind. Time to read God’s word, enjoy music, watch an inspiring movie that brings joy and love. It is good to wait on God’s timing.

    • Judy, That is such a good point. The whole past year has been one of waiting and waiting and waiting some more. If someone had told me we’d still be “waiting” due to this virus, I wouldn’t have believed it! Blessings to you in the wait. Praying for light and warmth and FREEDOM up ahead!

  6. Amen & amen! Your list of the armor we typically put on had me reciting our church’s verse of the year, Ephesians 6:10-11…Put on the whole armor of God…I’m encouraging my friends to remember the armor of God as we put on our ‘face armor masks’. Thank you for that connection.

  7. Bless you for this post. This waiting reminds that we are all waiting for God. Love Ruth Ann.

  8. Thank you! So encouraging as I’m laid up with an injury. What if God doesn’t heal. But I’m hanging on to Proverbs 3:5-8

  9. I know the waiting place well. What I didn’t always know is the hope of God that is found there or that His presence is near. Thank you for sharing your waiting room story.

  10. Today the people in Texas have been in the waiting room for power to be restored, heat, food, and water to reappear in their homes, and healing to be restored. What is God trying to tell us this past year? Add the people in Texas to your prayer list today as they continue to be in the waiting rooms which are dark and cold.

  11. Beautiful reminder of how gracious our loving Father is to us. May I take these words to heart and enjoy the waiting in a new way. I am in the midst of “waiting” right now. Oh how I want to be faithful, no matter how the waiting ends!

  12. Our part to play is to trust and obey. This is always our part to play. We can’t control outcomes, we can’t change human beings. Only God can change our hearts. When we finally accept our place in the journey of Christianity, the waiting room will be for our growth and development.

    Thank You Lord for taking care of Your children.

  13. Jennifer,

    I have a saying “patience is a virtue but waiting stinks.” I am one of the least patient people I know. Yet God had me in waiting rooms for 10 years caring for my parents dementia & other health issues. The part I hated most was not being in control. After dealing with geriatric psych issues twice my faith & trust muscles had grown immensely. God did a wonderful work on me during that time. Now I readily trust God with any situation that comes up. It’s in the waiting that God does His best work in us.

    Blessings 🙂

  14. Dear Jennifer, thank you for your text that spoke to me so much. I have known many periods of waiting in my life, and I am going through another one presently. Thank you for saying that while we are waiting God is at work. How profound that He will give us clarity while we wait and tell us what He wants us to do when the wait will be over. I needed to hear this! Those that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength and soar like eagles… Isaiah 40:31