Thoughts on Waiting, a Mini-Spanish Lesson and The Bible

Being 39 weeks pregnant gives me a new understanding of waiting.

For most of my life I have had a negative association with waiting.

Waiting at the bank, waiting for the doctor to call back, waiting for a flight, waiting for a new job, waiting for a letter of acceptance or denial, waiting to see if he feels the same way. All have left me wondering, worried and impatiently, waiting.

But waiting for a baby to come is exciting. Waiting to hold her little body against my chest and watch her tiny fingers wrap around mine as I whisper “hi, I am your mommy.” That is worth waiting for.

If you’ve been around here for awhile you know I’ve written about waiting before, in this post and this one. I feel like a large part of my 20s were filled with elements of waiting. And not the exciting kind of waiting. No, the kinda of waiting that is marked by unknowns and fear. The kind of waiting that makes you doubt God and yourself and why life is not going the way you planned. And if you’re not careful it’s the kind of waiting that can paralyze you with worry.

But learning Spanish over the past 4 years  has given me a new understanding of the word “to wait.

Esperar: actually means to wait, to hope and to expect.

Maybe you’re thinking hey, those are three separate words how can they all mean the same thing? Stay with me. In Spanish they just do. And you can usually only tell by the context which meaning it is.

Take for instance:

Espero que todo salga bien (I hope everything goes well.)

Esta no fue lo que yo estaba esperaba (This is not what I was expecting)

Estamos esperando por el bus. (We’re are waiting for the bus.)

They say when you begin to learn a new language you also develop a new way of thinking about certain ideas and words. A new way to understand an unfamiliar culture, and perhaps a new way to think about your own.

The differences and meaning in Spanish are slight. Because you could say “Estamos esperando nuestro primer bebe” and mean “We are expecting our first baby” or “We are waiting for our first baby.” See, they both work.

Reading the bible in Spanish has also given me a new (dare I say it) appreciation for the idea of waiting.

In the English NIV translation, this verse reads:

Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;

Psalm 37:7

Now how does the meaning change when I read this verse in Spanish?

7 Guarda silencio ante el Señor,
y espera en él con paciencia;

Salmo 37:7

Is it Wait? or Hope? or Expect?

Do I wait in the Lord with patience? Do I hope in the Lord with patience? Or do I place my expectations in Him? Maybe the answer is yes. All three.

Do you feel like waiting, hoping and and expecting are connected? Do our English definitions sometimes disconnect those words?

I have a new understanding for what it means to be waiting, to be hoping and to be joyfully expecting the arrival of our little girl.

Baby girl, we’re ready for you. Any day now is just fine.

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5 thoughts on “Thoughts on Waiting, a Mini-Spanish Lesson and The Bible

  1. I’ve thought about this post a couple different times since
    I first read it. I just love how even a deeper understanding of a
    word (or in this case, a different perspective) can shed new light
    on life. It’s just really beautiful (said the word nerd).

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