Holding Patterns!

2013 (5-26-2013) The Words - Holding Patterns Have you ever been on an airplane to hear the pilot say, “Folks, we are in a holding pattern and it will be a few more minutes before we are released to land?  Thank you for your patience.” This is not what we want to hear when we are scheduled to meet someone at our next destination.  God places all of us in holding patterns from time to time.  It may be to have us listen, to test our ability to obey His voice, or to provide a reprieve for you to enjoy the ride.  Yes, the pilot just said we are in a holding pattern and would be landing shortly, not that we would be flying aimlessly.  A holding pattern is delaying aircraft that have arrived at their destination but cannot land yet because of traffic congestion, poor weather, or runway unavailability.  Our holding pattern may be our blessings in disguise – preparation, protection or provision.

 My husband, Steve, and I have been in a holding pattern for a little over two years as we care for his 84 year old mother.  It would be easy to place her in a nursing home, have someone come each day and take care of her but Steve made a promise to his dying father.  On his death bed, his weary bewildered father had the strength to ask Steve, “What is going to happen to your mother?” A son, tenderly speaking to his dad knowing it would be one of the last conversations which would have brought comfort to his father.  He replied, “Dad, we are going to take care of her.”  And with this said his father was at peace.  Steve just created a holding pattern for our lives by honoring his father.

2013 (5-26-2013) Clouds for Holding PatternsDuring this holding pattern, God has given us an opportunity to prepare and refine our talents and gifts through writing and art.  He has protected our family. He has joined us with Godly people to encourage us and reaffirm his hand is leading us.  He has introduced us to new opportunities to serve and release our gifts.  He has made provision for us through various creative streams of income.  He has given us areas to quietly serve.  He has not left us during this holding pattern. 

If you find yourself in a similar place, ask yourself a few questions.  First, God is this the place you want me to be? Second, are you redirecting me or giving me a reprieve? And Thirdly, Ask Him to show you new places to release His glory.  It could be through a friend, a family member or a total stranger.  Remember, your holding pattern doesn’t require you to stay in your seat.

We haven’t been released from our holding pattern yet; but I am grateful to know we are serving the Lord and eagerly awaiting the new announcement – “You will be landing at your destination momentarily.” 


Robin Shirreffs

About Robin Shirreffs

While her artistry comes from her God given gifting, she has studied under various instructors; Professional training includes painting with acrylic and oil under a Master Artisan Ji Ye of China, photography training under Cheri Hamilton, and Digital Painting training under Victoria Hutson.
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5 Responses to Holding Patterns!

  1. Robin ~
    “Holding Patterns” spoke to my heart in some very personal ways. I admit there have been times in my life that I know certain directions of my life was in a “Holding Pattern.” And… the Lord was the One orchestrating the entire process. My main objective has always been NOT to try to become impatient and move in certain directions before that ‘Holding Pattern’ was released and God gave me the knowing of what was next on my life’s journey. Now, that isn’t always so easy to do ~ waiting patiently! 🙂
    Thank you for a very timely word here on Memorial Day! I honestly believe that all people at one time or another have “Holding Patterns” in life. We must recognize when this happens and learn to lean on and totally trust the Lord for His timing before we move forward in whatever that “Holding Pattern” has been. God is the One who gives the release…thanking Him right now that He does!

  2. Ronda says:


    Thank you for sharing your experience related to God and Him putting us in holding patterns. I think we can all relate to one time or another that we have been in holding patterns or parts of our journey has been in a holding pattern as Sheila related to your article. This article is a good reminder to be patient for He has only the VERY best in store for us.

    • Robin says:

      so true…Ronda. I’m enjoying the hold but look forward to the release. I think it is time for you and Steve to make a summer trip South..

  3. melissa says:

    Thank you for your post. I have been here several times myself and I currently know those who are here. When you are in that place “Holding pattern” is sometimes when you find out who you really are in the Lord as well. I believe this is a word that our young men and women need to hear for this generation jumps into things instead of waiting on HIM.

    • Robin says:

      It is interesting that we find ourselves “busy in well doing” when we should be resting and waiting on the Lord to speak instead of saying. “Hey God, I got this one you can sit it out.” Ha! Those holding patterns are put in place for purposes we may not be able to see. For young people jumping into college may not be the right time; pursuing a relationship because everyone else is doing it; it may be as simple as living with Mom and Dad for one more year…I agree this generation is a “Gotta Have it Now” Thanks for your reply.

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