The waiting is the hardest part. (Tom Petty)

Waiting room


Man, I hate this.

My EC is asleep in the next room. Not so much as asleep as unconscious – sedated. Nothing major! Just a quick procedure (Nunya business), and we should be on our way later today.

Should be.

Man, I hate waiting rooms. I have spent a lot of time in waiting rooms over the course of my life. Most of the time, things turn out great, and life resumes its normal, frantic pace.

Most of the time.

There are those times when they don’t, and for unexpected and inexplicable reasons, things go wrong. Everyone I know (myself included) has shed tears in a waiting room, and that sits in the back of my mind like a tiny dark cloud.

I’m not frightened, or making a big deal out of my concern, but the process itself does not inspire confidence. As is always required, the intake procedure ensures that those dark cloud thoughts get acknowledged. Living wills, DNR orders, acknowledgment of risks have to be discussed, and forms signed. No matter how confident or casually you arrive, letting doubt and fear rear their heads is an unavoidable part of the process.

I believe that some of the greatest collisions between faith and fear that we experience occur in quiet waiting rooms.

Thankfully, we are entitled to gifts of the Spirit to bolster our faith: the presence of the peaceful calming influence, and the reassurance that can come from priesthood blessings.

And of course, the ultimate long-term fear antidote: the sealing power of the priesthood binding us eternally. I can’t imagine navigating the worrisome events that our mortality guarantees will come without that reassurance and testimony.

So, as reminded by Elder Neil L. Anderson, “Faith is not a feeling, it is a decision,” I have decided on faith. I will spend this short time in this waiting room planning on what I will do to take care of my sweetheart this afternoon, rather than wondering what I would ever do without her.

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UPDATE:  All is well, all is well.




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  1. My waiting room four days ago was outside an operating room where a tumor in my large intestine was due to be removed. A blessing two days earlier had promised life and vitality. I knew that promise would be kept whichever side of the veil greeted me on waking. I am home and rapidly recovering, but I cherish those minutes to ponder.

  2. “Most of the things I worry about never happen anyway.” Also Tom Petty.

    I’m glad everything turned out okay!

  3. I think waiting rooms are high on the angels priorities list of places to be. At least it felt like that at Primary Children’s Hospital. I am all for making memories with our loved ones rather than contemplating their mortality. Very tender subject to me these days.

  4. As a frequenter of waiting rooms, I can attest that your statement is true. I, too, believe that some of the greatest collisions between faith and fear that we experience occur in quiet waiting rooms. Thanks for reminding me to always make the faith decision. Glad to hear all is well.

  5. Keeley,
    I can completely agree. I have always found it ironic, and my FOML tease me about it, that the “big tough soldier, turned EMS pilot” gets weak kneed and light headed when he sees one of his family members on a gurney. Been that way since FOML #3 was born. (I wasn’t there for #2 and #1 was a completely new and unknown experience)
    One of our daughters had an MRI consult yesterday with the diagnosis being “we don’t know, here is a two page list of referrals to specialists that you need to see by the end of the year” this is especially hard since she has two toddlers.
    As I sat with her this afternoon I told her that the Lord knows what is going on and what we will learn from this trial. There is no reason to worry about it or dwell on it because Father loves us and it will all be OK in the end. If you spend your life worrying, you end of wasting your life.

    My entire adult life has included the likelihood of an untimely or unexpected reunion with Father. My EC was often asked if it bothered her. She always said that she doesn’t think about it. I go to work, I come home. She would go crazy if she dwelt on it.
    Ultimately, it is the Plan of Salvation and knowing that this life is “but a moment” that makes the uncertainty of the waiting room tolerable. I am glad for it. I have seen what not having that knowledge does to some people, it is terrible and breaks your heart to see their anguish.
    I am not in a rush to get there, but I am sure looking forward to the reunion with my parents and grand parents, but dreading the tongue lashing I will get from Granny for not having enough faith sometimes. 🙂

  6. I’m glad all is well. Reminded me of this awesome statement from Preach My Gospel “All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”

  7. You know, I think that’s the difference between people who are more likely to get to the Celestial Kingdom and myself. Those more spiritually minded will ponder deep thoughts in a waiting room and come out with something nifty. I, however, would probably just attempt to immerse myself in something brain numbing in order to get through it – like playing Plants Vs Zombies for hours on end or something. Run away and hide when things get uncomfortable, that’s my unhelpful modus operandi.

    So glad your EC is ok. Much love to you all. It’s a little known fact that chocolate speeds recovery. Just sayin’.

  8. Our thoughts and prayers are with you! Such a timely post for me. We will be in a waiting room tomorrow waiting for Mom!

  9. Love yuh, , and pray for the best. Heavenly Father obviously loves y’all, to have blessed you with such wisdom. If He had promised this school would be a snap, I’d be angry about life. Mine IS an easy life, compared to most of humanity. Let’s hang in here, love as much as we can, and enjoy the miracles of love. It’s worth it, and the best is yet to be.

  10. I’m so very grateful that all is well. You are a sweet, caring and wonderful husband and EC for your own EC. May Heavenly Father’s choicest blessings continue to be yours. You touched my heart and made me cry.

  11. Could you do us, your faithful following, the favor of a couple buttons to push, for you and your commenters? Or maybe just icons….a smiley face, a face with tears, & something to represent rolling on the floor laughing.

  12. This is why I knit in waiting rooms. I can knit and pray, knit and ponder, knit and plan. But the only thing I allow myself to worry about is, did I bring enough yarn. Very glad that all is well in your little corner of Zion.

    Kathryn, I’ve walked the path you and your sweetheart are now walking. It is rocky and strewn with blessings. God bless you and yours.

    1. Lynn, loved “I’ve walked the path you and your sweetheart are now walking. It is rocky and strewn with blessings. God bless you and yours.” Bless you for remembering the blessings! I’ve recently had a close family member fighting cancer and have felt so overwhelmed sometimes, even in the midst of sadness and uncertainty, by all the Lord’s blessings! Love that you focused on that part for it is very, very true!

  13. I have been in the waiting room recently, twice actually, waiting for my EC. Three weeks ago when he was diagnosed with colon cancer and then a week ago when he had surgery to remove a section of his colon. Faith and fear can play a big part there, but if we do our part and ask and believe with Faith, He will help us overcome that fear.

    My EC’s father gave him a blessing before each procedure, he said that before the colonoscopy the words just wouldn’t come that all would be well; he said after he gave him the blessing before surgery he felt much better that all would be well. He is now home recovering.

    Continue to have Faith!

  14. Concentrate on the idea that your underwear has gone viral and everyone you know (and don’t know) has seen pictures. It’s what is helping to keep my perspective today, and probably all week.

  15. “I believe that some of the greatest collisions between faith and fear that we experience occur in quiet waiting rooms.” Profound and true. Could you imagine what the nurses and administrative assistants see as they work around waiting rooms? Collisions between faith and fear, no doubt.

  16. My wife was tike twice in two different wars that I had been killed. I sure she would agree with the sense of this article. Oh yeah, “I got better”.

  17. As I read your line about quiet waiting rooms, my mind was taken to the Temple. What joy and peace we find in those quiet waiting rooms! May you feel our love for you as you ponder the next time you’ll be with your EC in one of *those rooms. 🙂

  18. Love can bring these worries..but love and faith is what also will diminish them. Hoping all goes well and your lovely wife is soon restored to health.It is inspiring to see the strength of relationship you have. May God bless you,and comfort you both!

  19. Former Bishop quoting Tom Petty. MMMM just won the Mormon internet today, Brothers and Sisters.

  20. Large or small, worry is unsettling and the spirit will bring us through it. You are in our prayers.

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