Seasons of Waiting: Walking by Faith When Dreams Are Delayed

By Betsy Childs Howard

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We’re all waiting for something.

It might be a spouse or a baby. It might be healing or a home. Regardless of what we're waiting for, it’s easy to feel discontent when things aren’t going as planned and our dreams are delayed—especially when questions of “Why?” and “How long?” remain unanswered.

God uses seasons of waiting to teach us patience and make us more like himself. But sanctification is not the only purpose God has in mind. When we wait faithfully with unmet longings, we become a powerful picture of the bride of Christ waiting for the day when he returns and God’s kingdom reigns.

Published in partnership with the Gospel Coalition.

Read Chapter 1


Betsy Childs Howard

Betsy Childs Howard (MA, Beeson Divinity School) is an editor for the Gospel Coalition. She is the author of Arlo and the Great Big Cover-Up and Seasons of Waiting. Betsy lives with her family in Birmingham, Alabama, where her husband pastors Grace Church.

Product Details

Category: Christian Living
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 128
Size: 5.25 in x 8.0 in
Weight: 5.82 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-4949-2
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-4949-6
ISBN-UPC: 9781433549496
Case Quantity: 100
Published: May 31, 2016

Table of Contents

  1. The School of Waiting
  2. Waiting for a Bridegroom
  3. Waiting for a Child
  4. Waiting for Healing
  5. Waiting for a Home
  6. Waiting for a Prodigal
  7. Sustained While We Wait
  8. When the Waiting Is Over

Conclusion: What Are We Waiting For?


“The thesis of this book is simple but profound: God does not leave us alone in the many ‘waiting rooms’ of life, but uses seasons of pain, absence, and longing to draw us unto himself. Deeply personal and biblically wise, this is a book every Christian should read.”
Timothy George, Distinguished Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

“We are all in a season of waiting, even in the moments when we think we have arrived. Betsy Childs Howard speaks comforting truth to our anxious hearts, especially when we worry that our waiting will never end. What are you waiting for? Get a copy of this book and ask a friend to read with you!”
Gloria Furman, author, Labor with Hope and Missional Motherhood

“Betsy leads us with a gentle strength through some of the most difficult seasons of waiting and points us to Christ. This book will be a great encouragement to many. I hope you read it and draw near to your Savior who sees, loves, and cares about you in every situation.”
Jessica Thompson, author, Everyday Grace; coauthor, Give Them Grace

“No matter who you are, you’re waiting for something. Indeed, Christianity is a waiting religion as we eagerly long for the return of Christ. I don’t know a better book on the topic than this one by Betsy Childs Howard, one of my favorite writers.”
Collin Hansen, Vice President and Editor in Chief, The Gospel Coalition; author, Timothy Keller: His Spiritual and Intellectual Formation

“Waiting is hard and confusing; and oftentimes our longings are for good things, like marriage and children. Betsy Childs Howard has provided an excellent resource to help us wait well. She doesn’t throw out familiar advice like ‘guard your heart’ and ‘be content.’ Instead, she graciously shows us how God is working in our waiting through the parables of Jesus, the stories of others, and the wonderful promises in God’s Word. God has a purpose greater than we could ever hope or imagine and Howard gently takes our hand to help us see this to be true. You will not regret picking this up.”
Trillia Newbell, author, If God Is For Us: The Everlasting Truth of Our Great Salvation

“Betsy Childs Howard provides us with a much-needed message to strengthen us in every type of waiting. She transforms our understanding from the belief that we are not getting what we deserve, to hoping in the better life to come that awaits us in Christ. She removes the isolation we feel in our waiting and helps us see that we are all waiting for something in this life, but more importantly, we are all waiting for the return of King Jesus.”
Courtney Reissig, author, Teach Me to Feel: Worshiping through the Psalms in Every Season of Life

“Betsy Childs Howard invites readers to come and connect with real-life stories that are centered on the Bible’s story of redemption in Jesus Christ. In pointing toward the hope of the gospel, this book does not minimize our painful present waiting, it fortifies the waiter and lights up the waiting with the presence of Christ.”
Kathleen Nielson, author; speaker

“Betsy Childs Howard writes with tender empathy for those who wait with deep, unmet longings. She shows the path away from despair toward unfading hope. A humble heart can hold both contentment and grief together in ways that honor the Lord in their dependence on him, even as they point to Christ’s return when all our longings will be fulfilled in him. Because we inhabit time with a past and a future, we’re always waiting for something. Howard reminds us powerfully, from Scripture, that in God’s wisdom, it’s good to wait.”
Candice Watters, Cofounder,; author, Get Married: What Women Can Do to Help It Happen

“Betsy has written a warm and winsome book that can be appreciated by people who are waiting on God for a variety of circumstances. Even if our waiting is characterized by painful longing, Betsy encourages us that if the painful longing is anchored in a firm confidence in the goodness of God, we are waiting well. Open this book and you will find much encouragement for how to do so.”
Carolyn McCulley, filmmaker; speaker; author, The Measure of Success, Radical Womanhood, and Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?