Waiting with Ambiguity: When what you thought was right, turns out to be wrong…or was it??


The quality of being open to more than one interpretation; inexactness.

synonyms:ambivalence, equivocation;

“I just want to know, was I right or wrong?”

“You just need to learn to hold ambiguity.” Replied my counsellor.

I was confused about this whole two year journey I had been on where I had assumed I knew what the outcome was going to be and convinced myself (despite obvious evidence that was contrary to what I believed) that it was going to play out the way I had envisioned it in my head. So safe and secure was this little dream in my head that I had built a case and circumstantial evidence that defended my case down to the most minuscule detail. Little room had I given, to the possibility that I was “wrong”.

To be honest, I didn’t even know what that meant to “hold ambiguity” and I didn’t know how to do it, but I could tell from her body language that it was going to be something that this stubborn heart was going to find it hard to do. So I took up her challenge and became a student of this learned art. Held in suspense around a situation that made no sense to me, I had to learn to be okay with the not knowing. It messed with my head and challenged my ideals…and Lord knows, I have high ideals. Yet I was forced to release my attachment to a desired outcome and undergo a huge awakening. So in the process, I wrote a poem:

Its not easy to hold ambivalence
And to burn in deep suspense
But when fear starts to accuse you
Jesus comes to your defence
For ambiguity, it beckons
For a solid sense of trust
But the unknown is still known
By the God who fashioned us
And in His wisdom and His Grace
He left the known beyond our reach
So that in the waiting seasons
New lessons He could teach

We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Hebrews 6:12

When you are waiting for a promise, a measure of patience needs to be added to your faith. Patience, while it is a fruit of the spirit, is not one that is produced easily- you can’t be lazy about it. Patience means you actually have to do the work to keep you from rushing ahead of what God is going to give you in His time. Patience means that you have to live in the limbo between the vision and the fulfilment of the vision and in that space, your character will be tested. In that space, you can find your old default settings and addictions tempting you to soothe the pain in the wait. To give our minds and our hearts permissions to be suspended in this air, with no tangible reality in which to cling, allows freedom for our eyes to be fixed on, and our souls to be anchored in Jesus. His way of escape is found in running to Him when we’re tempted to numb our pain in superficial ways. Waiting is inevitable but patience is a choice.

To give our minds and our hearts permission to be suspended in thin air, with no tangible reality in which to cling, allows freedom for our eyes to be fixed on, and our souls to be anchored in Jesus.

This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. (Hebrews 6:19)

As human beings, we have an innate desire for power and control. Its built within the hardwiring of our brain so that, at its maximum potential, it is utilised to operate our spiritual inheritance for self-control. However, when we can’t control our circumstances and are left in the waiting season of our lives, there are three things to remember:

  1. Know Yourself. What motivates you to want to know and activate what you desire? Take a SWOT analysis of yourself and decipher whether or not your motivations are healthy or stem from a history of fear and trauma. What are your strengths? If you’re like me and your strengths are about knowing the vision and strategising a way to work it out, then this ambiguity thing will mess with your head. But Jesus knew this even when He was leaving His disciples in a confused state when they thought He was going to take over the Roman Empire and set them free. When things didn’t turn out the way they had envisioned and He came back FROM THE DEAD, some of them still doubted!! But He said to them in Acts 1:7 “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.” Ouch! God has the final authority on all things, and even when we don’t understand, we have to remember that He knows all. Be kind to yourself in the process, and breathe in the spaces where anxiety tries to dictate your season of ambiguity.
  2. Know Your season. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:” Ecclesiastes 3:1 Waiting is just a season. Not knowing, is just a season. So while you’re waiting for one thing, look around to what the delay of that thing is making way for. Utilise this season to maximise your next. If you’re waiting for that life partner to join you on your journey (ie. your single and are waiting for the right person), do the things that you wouldn’t be able to do when you are married. Once you’re married, you don’t get a break from it! If you’re waiting to be a parent- there isn’t a holiday break from parenting- it’s a constant responsibility that you have to carry, yet it too, takes on different seasons. Embrace the season you are in and capitalise on it. Do the thing that will make you a better candidate for the next season. If you’re believing for a promised position at your job, go and do some professional development courses; if you’re wanting to travel the world, get your health up to a standard that will facilitate the travelling life; if you’re believing for the child you’re waiting to come out of addiction, get involved with others who are helping people who are working in that field so that you know how to handle your child when they are going through recovery.
  3. Know Your God. He is patiently working on your behalf. He loves you and wants the best for you. He’s not working against you in this season but working all things together for you. He’s a good Father watching you navigate the road you are on. He watches you like a daddy watches his child try to start walking. He sees your heart to explore your options and test out the waters of your life. He doesn’t cringe at your decisions but more likely smiles down and watches you correct yourself in the process. He’s not the god of the right and wrong. He’s the God of Light and Love. Darkness is His enemy, and our enemy, NOT being wrong as wrong is subjective. Anything that we don’t understand, He is able to turn around. My mum recently bought a journal and she shared a quote on it that perfectly fits this situation: When we have a situation we feel is “wrong” we can “Give it to God and let God make it right.” He is a God full of grace and mercy and He ” works all things together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose”. Romans 8:28. He loves our faith and is pleased by it, even if the result we were expecting was not as we had planned.

Give it to God and let God make it right – Joyce Meyer

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My faith… — Image from @worshipgifs

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