The Season of Waiting

How to use the season of waiting to grow in self knowledge


Today on Her Free Spirit, Helena Heffernan shares her thoughts on finding strength and using our time of waiting wisely:

If you are single and frustrated that you still have not found Mr. Right, you are not alone.  I am a single, 30-year-old woman who has wasted so much time being bitter and frustrated about still being single.  Gosh, it hurts to even admit that!

Why is it so hard?  Because there is a strong desire to give myself to another and to be loved in return.  All women have that desire: it’s what we were made for, not something to be ashamed of.

I, like you, have tried everything.  I have gone to single events, parties, weddings.  I’ve tried online dating, I have been set up, I’ve randomly messaged guys, I have even dated some and still, no husband in sight. But the constant obsessive question remains…Where the hell is he?

One night, as I sat on my couch, completely emotionally drained from thinking about this subject and wondering if there was something possibly wrong with me…  I suddenly realized a very simple truth: it just is not my time.  So rather than waste time being frustrated and bitter about being single, I decided to make the best of it.

 In my opinion, the gift of self can be “rehearsed”: the love I am so eager to give can be channeled somewhere else. I started thinking about the people around me: at work, my friends, and my neighbors.  I was so self-absorbed I wasn’t even noticing them. I began reaching out, little by little (and believe me, I was forcing myself a lot of times), and I realized how awesome the people I come into contact with nearly every day really are.

I started checking in on friends I have not spoken to in months and investing time in new friendships.  Two things happened: (1) unexpected friendships began to grow with people I never thought I’d be close with; and (2) I saw others’ sufferings and hardships for the first time. It not only put my own suffering in perspective but made me realize I had the power to cheer someone up.  For the first time in a long time, I started feeling fulfilled as a woman.

I don’t remember where I came across this idea, but I was challenged to think about my future in 20 years: Where do I want to be when I am 50?

I want to be wise.

I want to be someone people respect, look up to and seek advice from.

I want my kitchen to be full of people every day, whether with my own children or with friends who just want to hang out.

I want to have done most of the things on my bucket list.

So honestly, what books do I want to have read?  What countries do I want to go to?  What friend do I need to make amends with?  I have always wanted to learn how to shoot a gun and do other outdoorsy things I have never done.  I want to illustrate a children’s book.  I want to go on a mission trip…

I want, I want, I want.  See the pattern?   I am sure you have a list of things you want to do too. Why not spend the time we have right now planning out the things we want to do as opposed to later? Not only will this fill the time as we wait for Mr. Right, but it will also help us grow as a human.   A little effort will transform us into better versions of ourselves.

Fate or providence will bring Mr. Right along, we cannot force these things. My best advice is to channel your energy and thoughts into something positive that will stretch you in some way. The “season of waiting” can be refocused into a “season for growth.” It may not be the time for Mr. Right, but it is our time to work on ourselves. When he shows up, we will have a better understanding of ourselves, our needs, and our desires. We will be able to give ourselves more freely and more deeply.

Life is short, let’s get out there and live it to the fullest!


Helena Heffernan is a church secretary, fitness coach, and big sister to four awesome siblings in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is passionate about her faith and the Catholic Church. In her free time, she enjoys listening to Adele or watching Downton Abbey.

What areas of your life need growth? What are some ways you can stretch yourself and go outside of your comfort zone?


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