Waiting is agony. You long to share your life with someone, to connect in deep oneness-thought to thought, heart to heart, and spirit to spirit. You yearn for a soul mate who will listen to you, someone with whom you can share your hopes and dreams. As you've read this book you've become increasingly eager to put into practice what you have learned about the Gift. Between each line of text the unspoken question lingers: How long must I wait?


Waiting. It's not a pleasant subject, is it?


The mantra of the twenty-first century is: NOW! We want what we want when we want it. Our culture has conditioned us to receive immediate gratification. As a result, waiting is an unwelcome intrusion that produces within us finger-drumming, stomach-churning, brow-creasing frustration.


You know well the frustration of waiting. Your insides churn with each tick, tick, tick of your biological clock. Every friend's wedding or baby shower sets off an ear-piercing alarm. Like an icicle on a warm day, your happiness melts, leaving you in a puddle of tears. You tell yourself:


"I'll never be a bride."


"The other side of my bed will always be empty."


"I'll never have kids."


Or, for the more pragmatic:


"I'm forever destined to mow my own yard."


The following entry from a friend's journal expresses this silent ache.


Dear One,


It's a Friday evening, and my plane has been delayed. I'm returning to Nashville for business. I'm wondering if we are going to meet on this trip. I don't really know, but it's fun just to imagine a "maybe." A small part of me is hoping and expecting that perhaps this trip, this time, we may meet.


I miss you. I miss you here, in these quiet moments, among the activity of the usual routine. How can it be that I both need you and don't need you; that I long for your presence yet find myself completely without you; that I hope to have my world vastly opened by your being made real, yet find it already so intriguing and inexhaustible.


Perhaps when we first meet, I will feel right away that I have been given a gift - the gift of love that exists between a man and a woman. I hope I recognize you - not in a "love at first sight" kind of way - but something deeper, something more real. I want your heart to first belong to the Lord. He's teaching me the same. I am praying for you. I've already begun loving you...is that possible?