(Prefer reading to listening? Download the Episode #33 transcript right here!)

Wendy Pope, author of Wait and See, shares a new perspective on waiting. What most of us see as distressing or discouraging, Wendy has learned to see positively. God wants to use our waits to do something wonderful.

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Your Turn

  • What is your current season’s wait?
  • What “sheep” has God given you to tend while you’re waiting for Him to take you to another pasture?
  • How is God equipping you during your waiting season?

 

Today’s Guest — Wendy Pope

Wendy is the wife of Scott, mother of Blaire and Griffin, author, speaker, and Bible study teacher. She loves lazy Sundays watching golf with her husband, thrift-store shopping with her daughter, and watching building shows with her son.

She is the author of Wait and See: Finding Peace in God’s Pauses and Plans. Wendy writes devotions for Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Encouragement for Today, is a content provider for the free online devotion app First 5, and is a member of the Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker team.

She leads women all over the world to life change through her in-depth online Bible studies. She has led thousands of women through her Read through the Word study of the One Chronological Bible. Down-to-earth and transparent, Wendy teaches in a way that women feel she is speaking directly to their hearts.

Check out Wendy’s website and follow her on Facebook.

Transcript — scroll to read here (or download above)

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Grit ‘n’ Grace: Good Girls Breaking Bad Rules

Episode #33: Waiting Well — Leveraging the Time Between the Birth & Fulfillment of a Dream

 

Cheri:
How good are you at waiting?

 

Amy:
Oh, I LOVE waiting! I mean dipping my toes into those refreshing cold streams in the Rocky Mountains…

 

Cheri:
Not wading … waiTing. Like when you have a plan, and you’re TRYING to move forward, but nothing seems to happen when you want it to.

 

Amy:
Awe…that? I’m not so good at.

 

Cheri:
One of our listeners recently emailed us to share this concern: “My biggest struggle with perfectionism and people-pleasing is how upset I get when my plans or projects or timelines go awry.”

 

Amy:
Ugh…that sounds so much like me…

 

Cheri:
Well, I’m Cheri Gregory…

Amy:
…and I’m Amy Carroll…

 

Cheri:
…and you’re listening to “Grit ‘n’ Grace: Good Girls Breaking Bad Rules.”

 

Amy:
Today, we’re talking with Wendy Pope, author of Wait and See: Finding Peace in God’s Pauses and Plans

 

Cheri:
Wendy writes and speaks for Proverbs 31 Ministries. She loves lazy Sundays watching golf with her husband, Scott, thrift-store shopping with her daughter, Blaire, and watching building shows with her son, Griffin.

 

Amy:
Wendy’s going to share some great strategies for not just surviving but actually thriving when your “plans or projects or timelines go awry.”

Cheri:
Well, my first question here is when I saw your book title, my first reaction was, “OH!!” And then I thought, “ohhh…”

<Laughing>

So of all topics that you could have possibly written a book on why wait and see? Why a book on waiting?

 

Wendy:
It’s funny that you asked that because I didn’t set out to write a book on waiting. I had some other really, really great ideas along the 13 years that I waited to have a book published and I had no idea it was on waiting – that my first book would be on waiting. It’s actually kind of funny because I’m not a good wait-er.

 

Cheri:
I love it.

 

Wendy:
I never have been, Not a patient person. I’m better at it. It’s funny because people look at you as an author of a book come in – Amy, you can speak to this, too – they think you’re over being a perfectionist, right, Amy? And they think that I no longer have the waiting issue. But Kathi Lipp says this, she says, “we’re only two or three steps ahead of our readers, really.”

 

Amy:
Right, so true!

Wendy:
And I believe that. So yeah I didn’t set out writing this to set out writing this book honestly. It was really just sort of prophecy the way I like to say it. A friend of mine came to me, Renée Swope, fellow author that you know, and friends. And she said to me just kind of, just kind of out of the blue she said, ”I really think that your first book is going to be your wait and see message,” that she knew I was speaking about. And I was, like, yeah, I don’t think so.

<Laughing>

Yeah, here’s God trying to tell me something, and I’m trying argue with them.

 

Amy:
Don’t speak that over me! Right?!

<Laughing>

 

Wendy:
Yeah, so I was like yeah I don’t think so, I don’t feel that. I promise I didn’t plan it because I would’ve never wanted to put myself out there in a vulnerable way. I wanted to be the expert! But the best books are not written by experts, they’re written by people who are in the field struggling. So I felt like that’s what wait and see does because I’m still struggling with that as well.

 

Amy:
Yeah, I was about to say all three of us have experienced this that you write a book and all of a sudden you’re re-living that message, usually. Did you experience that?

 

Wendy:
I did. Absolutely I did. Because it was one little wait after the other. It was just one little hurdle after another, one little obstacle. I was still reliving the principles of the book and I’m glad, I’m thankful for that because that just shows that gods grace is continual even though that I’ve written this book through his inspiration, I still have coming he’s still not finished with me. And I love that about God.

 

Amy:
Well, okay, so our show, and you may have read a little bit about us, but we, Cheri and I have some common issues. We are reforming perfectionists and people pleasers and Cheri writes a lot about being a highly sensitive person and I didn’t think I was that but the more I listen to her, the more I’m like oh I might fall into that category too. One of the things that perfectionists really struggle with is obstacles. We don’t like obstacles because that’s not perfect and obstacles tend to shut us down. And in Wait and See you talk about that there are obstacles in our waiting and that there are some weapons to fight those obstacles. Tell us about that.

 

Wendy:
Well I list five obstacles that I believe we face when we’re waiting. And it’s – when you think about, how do I conquer those obstacles and how do I overcome those obstacles and it’s just simple don’t do them, right? This is an obstacle, don’t do it. It’s that simple and is that complicated as well. And it’s because so much of them have to do with just our humanness. The first one that is a big obstacle for me and I didn’t really recognize that it as much of myself until I saw it in my son and, yeah I don’t like it when myself comes back at me in my children.

 

Cheri:
Ohhh! Wendy: That’s just wrong. That’s just always wrong right there! Amy: And I just happens so often, doesn’t it?!

<Laughing>

 

Wendy:
You know it does! But we waver. We tend to waver on um on what we heard God say. And what we felt God assuring us about. And we change our minds back-and-forth because we, if we are made to wait at all, one little minute, then we’re thinking, “hmmm, yeah, let me, let me, This can’t be right.” And we just change our minds on whether or not we’re going to trust God.

And, with my son, I tell him all the time – my verse for his life is, “Trust in the Lord your God with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding,” right? Because for him he will go out there and He will do the leaves in our yard. We have like a gazillion leaves in our yard. I wish we had a dollar for every leaf we have in our yard. But he will go out there and we will say go do the leaves and he goes and does the leaves but he doesn’t do them the way he knows he’s supposed to do them. And I’ll say, “Griffin is that the way dad needs you to do the leaves?” “Well, no, but I was thinking I could…” fill in the blank. So he doesn’t trust in the understanding of his earthly father and what his earthly father has asked him to do. He’s changing his mind, he’s justifying it and so he’s just wavered. And I find that I do that with God a lot as well. I just waver in my opinion about whether or not he’s trustworthy.

Another obstacle that I face is the unknown. And probably perfectionists are the same way is, um, I certainly want to follow God and I certainly want to obey God but it would just be so much better for me if I can see it. And it would be known to me. And I think a lot of times, if God, well, for me, if God did that, Honestly I would do everything I could – and I did this in the beginning of my ministry – I did everything I could to make it happen. So I believe that’s probably why he keeps it a little bit unknown because he doesn’t want our interference. Thank you very much!

But Corrie ten Boom says, “never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” And I go back with that, I go back on that a lot, “alright God I don’t see this, but I can trace you and I can see you and I can trust you in that. So fears a big one. Lack of confidence is another one that we just doubt ourselves and who we are and who God created us to be and that’s just a big ole fat life from the enemy. He loves to play those mind games.

And another really big one is that we consider self. And for me, I had my eyes on so many other people that were living my dream. And I just didn’t like it at all, that God had given me this dream, but he was making me watch other people live it.

 

Amy:
Oh gosh, what did you have to say that Wendy?

Wendy:
Well, you are one of them! Remember?

 

Amy:
Yes!

 

Wendy:
So…

 

Amy:
We have a little story that goes with that.

 

Wendy:
We’re selfish people. I mean that’s who we are, that’s our nature, that’s our human nature. But when we take our eyes off the person of our faith and we focus on the object of our wait our pause is going to be longer. It’s going to be longer. We have to keep our eyes focused on the person of our faith. And then lastly the obstacle is that we don’t believe. And that’s simply going, “Yeah, God I heard you. And I hung around with you for like a week or so but because it didn’t happen fast enough, yeah, I’m not, I’m not feeling it.” And we just, we just give up on God way too quickly. Because there’s a lot to work out in our situations.

And God wants the best for us. And sometimes the best just takes time. And were not conditioned in the world that we live in to wait. Because let’s just face it the best food just doesn’t come out of the window on the side of the building right? The best food doesn’t come out of the microwave. The best food is savored, it’s cooked, it’s seasoned, the best spaghetti sauce probably takes 24 hours to prepare, right? And that’s the way God’s plan is.

 

Cheri:
Okay, tell the story, you’ve got to tell the story. You to know some story that involves you and Amy, and I am on the outside. So tell me and our listeners.

 

Wendy:
Amy, do you want me to tell them?

 

Amy:
Yeah, tell it!

 

Wendy:
I work with some intimidating Christian women at Proverbs 31 because they’re super, super awesome, godly women that I love with all of my heart and love to see live out what God has put in their heart and love to see them have ministry successes coming not big numbers, I mean reaching people for Christ, that’s what when I mean that. I love to hear Amy talk about India. And I love to hear him you know whatever the passion is for each person.

And it seemed at one point that Amy and I were the only ones left who had not published a book. It was just really hard. And I had lots of really hard conversations with God about like Tracie Miles and I’ve spoken to her about this so I know she won’t mind me mentioning her name. But I said to God, “God, she’s only been in ministry two years and she’s already getting a book?!” And then she comes out with some like something of a second book and the third book and I’ve not even a written one – and God, really this isn’t fair!

And I watched Melissa Taylor have great success with online Bible studies and that’s something that I had been doing from my home for many, many years, long before Melissa Taylor ever came up with online Bible studies.

 

Cheri:
Oh, ohhhh….

 

Wendy:
Right God?! And really just throwing my friends under the bus. But, no wait a minute, I just want to say to that I do believe it’s okay to go to God with these things because if you don’t get them out there going to eat you up.

 

Amy:
That’s really good, Wendy.

 

Wendy:
I took this only to God. It wasn’t like I was going around, you know behind their backs going, “I can’t believe this is happening with Tracie she doesn’t deserve this.” Not at all! And I was truly, in my heart I really was happy for Tracie and I really was happy but there was a part of me and I think your listeners will agree that we’re just like really going, “Seriously God?! I put in my dues, I’ve served my time. Isn’t it time?”

And so, how this relates to Amy is I was feeling all of these feelings and God just finally whispered into my spirit and in my quiet time one time that until you learn to enjoy the success of others and celebrate the success of others, this is not going to happen for you. Enjoy the success and celebrate the successes of others. This is not going to happen for you. This is a huge lesson are you that you have got to learn. And it wasn’t long after that that Amy, sweet Amy Carroll – who could be upset with Amy Carroll about anything – announced that she was going to write a book. And I was like, “Oh dear.” And in that moment I had a choice to really celebrate Amy and be truly happy for her or just wallow a little bit in it. And I could honestly say I had gotten to that point where I could really celebrate Amy and be excited for her.

And, its, I’m not bragging on myself, I’m bragging on God because God had to do it. And he still works with me on these issues. That one success doesn’t make me conquering that obstacle.

 

Amy:
It was such a gift to me too because Wendy and I had had conversations about, “Hey, we’re the only ones kind of left here.” We had these conversations and shared with each other and kind of commiserated compared notes of what I owe and so when I got that book contract it was really hard for me to tell Wendy because I wanted it for her as much as I did for myself. And, yet, when I told her, she was completely joyful for me. And what a gift to me too. It really was a blessing.

 

Wendy:
Thank you Amy! I hadn’t heard that part of the story.

Amy:
Oh, it’s really true!

 

Wendy:
I hadn’t heard it from your side. I’ve only heard it from my ugly, jealous side.

 

Amy:
I should’ve shared that!

 

Cheri:
Then let me throw in another aspect is that, Amy, how much did you want to write a book?

 

Amy:
[Laughing] Not at all! This a perfectionist do. Wendy can comment on this. I had decided that I was just like, “Oh, this just isn’t going to be my thing. And so, I’m just going to umm…”

I was happy with my coaching I was happy with my speaking so I just totally gave up on it. I totally gave up on it.

 

Wendy:
And that’s the very thing that I did too, Amy. In all of the wait, I just thought, you know, if this is what God wants to do he’s going to have to do it. I’m going to do what he’s instructed me to do and that is do my online ministry at my house because that is what God has called me to do and then the rest of it will fall into place.

And I think that we have to get to that point. And I’m so glad that you mentioned that because when we’re waiting we really do have to continue with life. We have to continue with what God has called us to do in the interim. And we have to, I call it tending to the sheep.

David when he was anointed and appointed, he didn’t muscle his way to the palace and go hey, yo, Saul you’re sittin’ in my seat.

<Laughing>

He went back to the pasture. And what did he do? He tended to sheep. He tended his sheep and he got to know God in a more intimate way. And that’s what I advise in the book is take care of your sheep until you’re ready to move to that next pasture.

 

Cheri:
Amy and I have a couple of interns to submit questions, and we don’t mean to put you on the spot, but we would love any wisdom that you might have or even just the first step of guidance for them. Kimberli said, “I’ve been through two huge long waiting periods and one thing I always question in the way it is is my dream that I thought guy gave me is dead?” How do we know if it’s dead or just a waiting period?

 

Wendy:
Wow, that’s a great question! I really believe that if the dream is dead, I believe that God would take that desire from me. I think that he would satisfie that desire was something else. I don’t believe that God is going, “Yeah, yeah nevermind,” out there to us. That’s not a loving attribute. That’s almost like toying with our emotions, toying with our lives. And that’s not who God is. So I truly believe that if it really is from God, and how do we know that? That’s another question within itself because there’s many times when we’re waiting and that’s one of the misconceptions is that that, “Did I hear God correctly?” So that would be the first thing that I would advise is to make sure that I know that I did hear God correctly.

I would go back to journals, I would go back to notes that I had written in my Bible, I would go back to conversations that I’ve had with people because I invite people along the journey to pray with me about certain things – and not everybody I know prays about everything that I have – but I have certain people that I say I need help with this and I believe that you’re the one that God has laid on my heart to ask you to pray about this for me. And I’ll go back to that person and say, “Now, help me, go back with me through this again.” And so I will get some confirmation back to that doubt that I had and I’ll go okay I know that I know that I know. So that’s really important is getting that confirmation and holding onto the confirmation. And then, just making sure that you know that God is not going to dangle something out in front of you only just to go, “yeah nevermind.” He’s not just a yeah-nevermind-God.

 

Cheri:
I love your description that God isn’t just going to dangle a desire in front of us and then yank it away with cruelty.

 

Wendy:
He’s equipping us as we wait. And sometimes we forget that, girls. Sometimes we forget that waiting is not wasting time. It’s training time. He’s preparing us for what he has prepared for us to do. We’re not ready for it so we’ve got to look at that time as an investment into our relationship with him, to knowing his voice, knowing his word, being completely confident in obeying whatever he asks us to do and that way when the time comes and he says, “Yep that is your seat, Saul’s out you’re in,” you’re ready to take the seat.

 

Amy:
You know, Wendy, you said two things in this interview that have been so helpful to me. You gave the analogy of the food and that there’s something really good at the end and then you talked about just now does the waiting time is the training time. And that is so helpful because I think so many of us feel like that wait is some kind of punishment from God, it’s God’s displeasure. And so we see it as a negative. And it helps so much for you to show us how to frame it as a positive.

We’re giving away a copy of Wendy’s book, Wait and See. To enter to win, be sure to stop by Grit n Grace Girls.com/episode33 There you’ll find A FREE download of Chapter 1 of Wendy’s book, this week’s Digging Deeper download, and the transcript of today’s podcast.

 

Cheri:
We hope you’ve enjoyed Episode #33 of Grit ‘n’ Grace: Good Girls Breaking Bad Rules!

 

Amy:
Join us next week when we’ll be processing what we’ve learned from our time today with Wendy.

 

Cheri:
For today, grow your grit, embrace God’s grace, and when you run across a bad rule, you know what to do! Go ahead and BREAK IT!

OUTTAKE

Amy:
We just interviewed Shaunti Feldhahn about her new book and her 30 day kindness challenge and I asked her, “Well, is 30 days like a magic number?” She said, ”Well, I know everybody wants the two day kindness challenge!” And I was like, “Yeah, that’s the one I wanted! That’s what I was asking for!”

<Laughter>

 

Wendy:
Exactly! Or can we stop after 30 or is it just 30 days? I can do anything for 30 days. I can do it for just a month! But don’t make me go 31, right?!

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this podcast!!
    Waiting on the Lord to mend a marriage and reunite a family.

  2. What is your current season’s wait?
    Like these ladies, to finally do “that thing” that legitimizes me as a “real” author – published, paid and platform!
    What “sheep” has God given you to tend while you’re waiting for Him to take you to another pasture? A pretty big flock, actually–recently He has anointed me to take a significant leadership role in our school district. 8,000 students + 1,100 staff + 1,000s of families = a LOT of “sheep!”
    How is God equipping you during your waiting season? To help me learn the kind of servant I must become if I am to be the leader He would have me be,

  3. Lauren Wycoff says:

    Love this book! Did a recent OBS with Proverbs 31 Ministries and would love to gift my sister with a copy! Already bought for my mom as a Christmas gift

  4. I loved reading Wendy’s book during the Proverbs 31 online Bible study. If I win a copy, I will use it as a giveaway for my blog readers. Loved the extra info in this podcast!

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