Emma Tanner

A Work in Progress

Worth the Wait

on March 12, 2013

I am not a fan of waiting. I feel myself getting irrationally impatient with the person at the front of the queue at the supermarket who seems to be taking an interminably long time to find their purse. If I post something on Facebook or twitter (or even a blog page!) I’m looking for a pretty instant reaction. As I’m watching my children take an age to put on their coats and shoes to go out I can feel my blood pressure rising. And it seems that I’m not the only one. A 2009 study conducted by TalkTalk looked at how long it took people to reach their ‘point of impatience’ in a variety of scenarios. Apparently the average UK resident loses patience with being kept on hold after 5 minutes 4 seconds (I’m sure the 4 seconds make all the difference!) We don’t like to be kept waiting by our friends for longer than 10 minutes, and  we expect our texts or voicemails to be responded to within 13 minutes and 16 seconds. Mark Schmid, communications director at TalkTalk said

“The speed of the online world is making us less prepared to wait for things to happen in the offline world, causing people to reach the ‘Point of Impatience’ earlier than ever before.”

(TalkTalk, 2009)

Since the Princess Project was born in 2011, God has been teaching me a lot about the importance of waiting. Starting the project had been a deep desire of mine for so long, that once it finally started to become reality, I felt more impatient than ever before. It was so similar to my memories of being pregnant with my older daughter, who arrived 2 weeks late. I had been waiting for her to arrive for 40 weeks already, and being made to wait those extra 2 was almost more than I could bear! But she came when she was ready, she was healthy, a good weight; perhaps this would not have been the case if she’d been born at the time she was expected, or the time I wanted.

The same has been true of the Princess Project. Nearly 2 years down the line I can look back and see exactly why God applied the brakes on so many occasions, and be very grateful that he made me wait. I was trying to run before I could walk; God did not allow me to jeopardise the whole enterprise by going off half-cocked. Meetings kept having to be postponed; start dates pushed backwards; key people we wanted to make contact with were difficult to tie down. And all the time Jesus was there saying “Trust me, I know best, let me help; do this in my strength, not yours.” He was using the frustrations and difficulties of this time to build my character just as much as he was using the exhilaration and excitement of the journey to encourage me and lead me into a deepening relationship with him. One verse that I keep coming back to, that has sort of become my ‘theme verse’ for my Princess Project journey, is Isaiah 40:31:

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (ESV).

I love the thought that in God’s strength I can soar and fly in a way I never could alone. It is also striking that we are promised that if we do things in God’s timing and not our own, it won’t wear us out- we won’t be ‘weary’, or ‘faint’, but energised by the Lord himself.

Last week we held a big launch event for the Princess Project in Parkwood, Maidstone. It was held at Fusion Healthy Living Centre, the local community cafe with whom we have established a good working relationship. The event was supported by Golding Homes, the largest provider of social housing in the area, and attended by representatives from 4 churches as well as CAST (churches and schools together). The local paper sent along a reporter and a photographer. There was a great team of volunteers both serving on the day and helping beforehand with the preparation- delivering flyers, baking, wrapping, decorating, praying…

Praying for the event on the morning itself, I had a real sense that this was the right time for us to go forwards. For the past 2 years I haven’t been discouraged when we’ve held events that few, if any, have come to, as I have known that we were building strong foundations that God could use. But before this event I had a real sense that actually this time, if no-one came, that wasn’t alright. I had a real expectation that God was going to release something. On the way to the venue I had a call from a mum asking if she could come along. Then, when we arrived to set up, there were 2 mums there waiting already! I knew at that point that this time, it was really happening. It seemed as if God was giving us the green light.

On the day, we met more than 20 young mums. They were all open, engaging, keen to talk and find out what we were doing, and happy for us to have their contact details to keep in touch about our future events and programmes. 20 mums! I know that if we had done this 2 years ago, the timing would not have been right. We would not have had the contacts, the trust, the favour, the resources, or the confidence to have made the event a success. We would have been doing it in our own strength, not God’s. We might have been put off working on this estate at all. Parkwood was named in 2005 as having the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the country. It figures that if God wants to use us to show these disenfranchised young parents that he loves them, unconditionally, just as they are, and can give them a hope for the future, where better place to be. I come to the realisation yet again that God knows best- and that his perfect timing is so much better than mine- and really, by now, this shouldn’t take me by surprise. Some things really are worth waiting for.


3 responses to “Worth the Wait

  1. amy says:

    Fantastic Emma!! Xxx


  2. […] last posted about the Princess Project back in March (Worth the Wait). We’d just had a successful launch event in Parkwood, and it felt then as if God was releasing […]


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