Everyone always finds themselves planning for the next big event in their life. It could be a student anxiously awaiting the upcoming school year, shoppers (and stores) looking forward to the next holiday season, or a hostess looking forward to the next party she's planning.

Those are surface-level expectations though, and I know everyone goes through these emotions. But what about those dreams that reach below the surface? What about the loyal employee who's been waiting for that new promotion for a long time, or the student who is always wondering and trying to figure out where they'll end up after graduation? How about the person who's been working out and eating healthy for months and has yet to reach their weight goal, or the girl who wonders every hour of every day when she'll finally meet a boyfriend?

These people, and countless others, probably feel like their prayers are simply hitting the ceiling, and they find themselves in a seemingly endless period of waiting. This time of waiting can be so incredibly painful sometimes. When a person really wants to achieve a goal, be successful, or find love, waiting for that to happen can seem to last forever.

Do you ever find yourself in situations like this?

I'm guessing you probably have. Whenever this happens to me, it feels like my life is absolutely going nowhere. I feel terrified because I wonder whether I'll ever break out of this funk where nothing changes. I wonder if God's even listening to me, and I try so desperately to trust His plan for my life.

In these moments, trusting God's plan for you feels like the hardest thing to do.

I've learned throughout my life that there are three answers God gives us to our prayers: "Yes", "No", or "Wait". It feels so great when God answers our prayers with a "yes", whatever they may be. It doesn't feel so great, however, when He answers our prayers with a "no" or a "wait". While we know God's plan for us is for our own good (Romans 8:28), it can sometimes be hard to remain in the exact place you want to leave.

But I wonder what would happen if we looked at the positive moments of the waiting period.

It isn't easy to go through any season of waiting, but there are still so many wonderful things that can come from it. After all, God hasn't abandoned you. He is simply growing you so that you come out of this season of waiting more spiritually mature and restored than when you first entered.

I've learned to think of waiting like tending to a garden. The flowers and vegetables aren't going to spring out of the ground right away. It all takes time for a beautiful garden to fully grow, all while the gardener tends to the plants and guides them into the sunlight. Your life is a lot like that garden. There's a good chance you'll be stuck where you are for a while. But that's not a bad thing at all.

God is simply using this opportunity to grow you into being a stronger and better person than when you first entered that season of growth. So next time you find yourself waiting for your life to change, take advantage of this opportunity to bloom into a beautiful flower. You can fully take advantage of your season of waiting and come out of it a better person than when you first entered. It can actually be one of the most wonderful times of your life and one of your biggest blessings from God.