It was a Skype interview I knew would change my career for the next 6 months. I was waiting for a mentorship program that I was excited about as it would help me improve my skills. When the call got through, the news was not one that I was expecting. “You’re on the wait list. We’ll contact you as soon as a slot becomes available.”

Needless to say, I was disappointed. A wait list? Why am I on the wait list? I passed every requirement, submitted the best portfolio I can ever come up with, spent hours answering questions just to make sure I get a spot, and prayed fervently to be qualified. What did I do to be placed on a wait list?

In the midst of my frustration, a thought came into my mind. It’s as though I was transported back to the time I presented my first Family Home Evening Lesson. “The Lord answers our prayers in three ways,” the 10 year old Giulia said, “Yes, No, and wait a while.”

There’s that word again – wait. I would have gladly taken the No. Waiting was another story.

Is that familiar? Have you – like me – ever felt like you were also on a wait list for the Lord’s blessings? Do you also have a goal – like completing school, finding your eternal companion, landing a great job, finding peace – that seems to be so elusive no matter how hard you’ve worked for it?

Waiting is an essential part of the Plan of Salvation – it is not easy, but it will help build our patience and faith. The Lord will ask us to wait – He asked me to wait on the day I was informed I was on the wait list. After that, my mind began to think about the many times I was asked by the Lord to wait and the lessons that came with them. Here are four important lessons I learned only through waiting upon the Lord.

Waiting Upon the Lord Helps Me Understand His Will Better

When a blessing is withheld from us, it’s easy to question “Father, why me?” You could be a young woman who’s patiently waiting for an eternal companion; a young father struggling to find jobs to make ends meet; or a new member of the Church that awaits revelations that will strengthen your testimony. Tears and doubts can come with delayed blessings. But through these challenges, we will realize that if we are true and faithful, we will begin to see the will of the Lord unfold. It may not make us understand everything easily, but it will help us trust the Lord’s will more.

Waiting Upon the Lord Helps Us Develop Christlike Attributes

In the scriptures, to wait is to hope and to trust. As we wait with hope, we echo the hymn “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go” — “so trusting my all to thy tender care, and knowing thou lovest me,… I’ll be what you want me to be.” Understanding and trusting the Lord’s timetable can help develop important Christlike attributes such as humility, patience, hope, and gratitude for the Lord.

Waiting Upon the Lord Provides Us Opportunities to Serve and Improve

If we view waiting in a negative light, it will make us feel down in the dumps. But if we learn to build the faith that waiting is a blessing from the Lord, we will learn how to make use of it. When the Lord asked me to wait, I discovered He gave me more time to prepare and improve so I can qualify in other mentorship programs.

Another blessing is the ability to serve others who may be going through the challenges of waiting. Because we can understand what they’re experiencing, and because we have already developed the faith that waiting upon the Lord’s timing can bring blessings, we are given the ability to succor and serve them.

Waiting Upon the Lord Can Bring Us Happiness

I won’t deny it – waiting can test one’s faith. It tested mine and for several weeks, I was singing Lead Kindly Light in my heart. “I loved to choose and see my path but now, lead Thou me on.” I wanted to be a part of that mentorship program so bad, but there’s a high possibility I couldn’t make it.

Still, I held on to faith and my testimony that the Lord knew what blessings to give to me. After 3 weeks of polishing my application, and doing everything to qualify, an offer came – a local mentor was willing to include me in his class. Unlike the other mentorship program, I will be paying a lower price and fewer hours away from my toddler. After receiving the call, my testimony was strengthened – “But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.” (2 Nephi 2:24)

The Lord took away the blessing I wanted, and made me wait for a while for a better blessing – the blessing I needed.

When we’re in the process of waiting upon the Lord, let us remember that the Lord has plans for our success (Jeremiah 29:11). He may take away a blessing now, but in His own time, He will compensate with another that will bring us more happiness.

If you’re currently on the process of waiting for a blessing, remember this comforting statement from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

“Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come.” We may not know when or how the Lord will give us blessings, but let us always remember that our prayers do not fall on deaf ears. Like the Lord and His love for us, His blessings are eternal, and not temporary. May we continue to wait upon Him and never give up on the blessings which He has in store for us, both in this life and the life to come.