Holding Patterns

Have you ever been on a plane that’s been put in a holding pattern? You’re ready to land, the plane has reached the destination, and all you want to do is hit the ground running in your destination city. Instead, you are still strapped into your uncomfortable seat on the airplane because someone “up there” in the control tower put you in a holding pattern. Why? Well, who knows: the airport might not be ready to accept your plane yet. There may be a bad storm beneath the clouds. You may need to use your gas before you can land (I never understood that one). So they have you fly in a circle over your destination.

That sounds like the most pointless thing in the world, right? To you, on the plane, ready to go, of course it does. But the airport controller has his reasons. He can see the other planes on approach, knows how busy the airport is, and knows what is safe on the ground. While the pilot may have actual control over where the plane goes, he trusts the controller and listens to the advice, which unfortunately means you get another round of stale peanuts on the airplane.

Sometimes it may feel like God puts us in a holding pattern, especially when it comes to love. We cry out thinking, “God! I’m here! I’m ready to love!” just like we are ready to get off the airplane and hit the ground running. But as ready as we may think we are, it may feel like we’re going in relationship circles. We may be put in a holding pattern for any number of reasons unknown to us at the time, including the fact that God may want us to remain single. But here’s a big one I was thinking of today: We may be ready, but our future significant other may not have lived out the part of his story that brings him to us yet. Much like waiting for the airport to be ready, or for the weather to clear on the ground, we may be waiting for God’s work in our future husband’s life. The best thing we can do in that case is to Pray for him.  As we wait, God refines us constantly, takes care of us, brings us closer to where He wants us to be.

Rest and take heart in this fact: God has has the control tower’s view. He will let you land when it is safe, when it right, when all is well. And if that happens, you’ll never have been so happy in your life to run towards love.

PS. Just wanted to mention this is written specifically with the girls of our (in)Courage group in mind!


  1. Thanks Natalie! So needed to read this today, and probably every day for the past month. I'm not sure that I'm totally ready yet either, but this is a unique and encouraging way to look at singledom.

  2. Hi, Natalie, was doing a little bit of exploring on your blog today and came across this post. THANK YOU. Such a great way to explain the way it feels to be wrestling with feeling ready, but still stuck in a season of singleness. I can't tell you how thankful I am to have connected here in blog world. Hope we get to meet at Influence! 🙂

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