Help Me To Wait For Your Timing And Purpose
7 Clever Ways to Say “I Look Forward to Hearing from You”
You sent an important email and you’re eager to get a reply. You end your message with “I look forward to hearing from you.” Did you make an email faux pas?
Is It Okay to Use “Looking Forward to Hearing From You”?
Whether or not to use “I look forward to hearing from you” or “I’m looking forward to hearing from you” depends on the context and purpose of your letter.
- It’s friendly and familiar.
- It lets the recipient know that you’re hoping for a response.
- It’s a bit canned. Everyone uses it, so your recipient might ignore it.
- In certain contexts, it can come across as passive-aggressive code for “Get back to me, or else.”
- It puts you in the waiting position, unable to move forward until you hear from the other person.
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Although plenty of business emails end with this phrase, there are better options. At best, “Looking forward to hearing from you” is invisible—a standard closing phrase that recipients tend to disregard.
(When was the last time you read “I look forward to hearing from you” and thought Gee, how nice! I think I’ll respond immediately? Right. You see what we’re saying.
) At worst, it’s presumptuous and even a bit snarky.
RELATED: How to End an Email: 9 Best and Worst Email Sign-Offs
1 Use a call-to-action
Good email communication eliminates guesswork for the recipient. The problem with “I look forward to hearing from you” is that it removes you from the active role and puts you in a subservient one. Now, you’re just waiting passively for a response rather than moving the email thread forward, and your recipient may not even know what you want from them. No bueno.
Instead, prompt your recipient to make a specific move. Here are a few examples:
I plan to hand off this graphic to our design team by Friday. Would you please send me your feedback by Wednesday?
Let’s meet at Emilio’s for lunch. Does 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday work for you?
Would you me to send you our research when it’s finalized?
Please pass this info along to your teammates. Thanks!
Good email communication eliminates guesswork for the recipient.
2 I’m eager to receive your feedback
If you don’t have a hard deadline (“Get back to me by Wednesday”), closing your email with a request for feedback is perfectly appropriate. Just keep in mind that this sort of closing is a bit softer than requesting input by a specific date. It works best if you’re hoping for a reply, but you’re not necessarily expecting it.
A more casual request would be something , “I value your feedback, so let me know what you think!”
READ: The 15 Most Common Email Mistakes of 2017
3 I appreciate your quick response
It’s okay to use this alternative when you want an answer as soon as possible, but you don’t have a time constraint. It gives the recipient a bit more of a nudge than “I look forward to hearing from you.”
This is another closing that can sound pushy in the wrong context. If your email has a friendly tone overall, then the sign-off will sound friendly. In a more business setting, it could seem more a stern warning: “I expect a reply.”
4 Always happy to hear from you
This one says “Hey, my inbox is always open!” It’s breezy and informal, and it works well for recipients you have an ongoing dialog with. This closing doesn’t insist on an answer, so use it only when you’d welcome a response but you don’t need one.
Here’s a tip:Which one is grammatically correct: “I look forward to hearing from you” or “I’m looking forward to hearing from you”?
They’re both correct, but one of them uses more active language. Am looking is weaker sentence construction—looking requires an auxiliary (helper) verb, (am), in order to make sense. I look forward is a better choice.
Sometimes, you need a reply only when the status of a project changes. In these cases, it’s appropriate to end with something “Keep me informed of any updates.” Go ahead and be as insistent as you need to be. If it’s critical that you receive project updates, say so.You’re not messing around here. You need a reply yesterday. Save this closing for when your recipient has delayed and you need to be firm and no-nonsense.
But be aware that this closing conveys a serious, even angry, tone. When you use it, you’re doing the written equivalent of glaring at someone while tapping your foot and saying, “Well? I’m waiting.” Use it sparingly.
Unless, of course, you work in the collections department.
In less formal emails, “Write soon” is a cheerful sign-off that lets the correspondent know you’d to hear from them without actually demanding action. Use it for friendly communication, such as writing to a close friend or relative. Just keep it your business communication; it’s far too casual.
God Is Working in Your Waiting
Most parents would agree that their children don’t want to wait for anything. The last thing kids want to hear is Mom say, “Not now.” It can prompt anger, frustration, even hopelessness. This “dis-ease” of waiting follows most of us into our adult years. We may not respond with the same emotional outbursts as children, but most of us still hate waiting for what we want.
And our modern society just makes it worse. We want everything done quickly — and new devices constantly spring up to meet those demands and encourage our impatience. We are not used to waiting, and the more our technology caters to our immediate desires, the less we feel willing to wait.
Such is our dilemma as Christians. While society makes every attempt to make our life easier and faster, God works on a very different timetable. In his mind, nothing is wrong with waiting. In fact, waiting can actually be a positive good that he often uses to make us more his Son.
God Works While We Wait
Something actually happens while nothing is happening. God uses waiting to change us.
“There is actually something happening while nothing is happening. God uses waiting to change us.”
The story of Adam and Eve is a story of rebellion against God. Once they believed that God didn’t have their best interests in mind, they decided to go ahead without God and do what they wanted. They became, in effect, their own god. Too often, this is exactly what we do today. When God tells us to wait, we don’t trust him, but go ahead and find ways to accomplish what we want to happen.
This tendency to push God to the side goes against his plan for us. It creates distance in our relationship with him. It causes us to get into trouble and brings pain. What good is it to gain the whole world now — whatever it is we think we want — and forfeit our souls’ intimacy with God (Mark 8:36)?
God wants us to learn how to follow him and put down our demanding selves — to calm that screaming child in us. One way he helps us do this is to say, “Wait.” That miserable, uncomfortable, sometimes painful state of silence is one of God’s most powerful tools to set us free.
If we are willing, that is.
Choosing at the Crossroads
We don’t start out willing to wait. Our natural response to waiting is often anger or doubt. Fortunately, God is gracious and merciful, understanding of our tendencies. Simply feeling deep, complex emotions in waiting — especially for significant things, a pregnancy or a job — is not necessarily sinful in itself. But we can decide where those emotions take us.
We can decide to exalt these feelings. We might act on them by taking matters into our own hands. Or perhaps we will not act, but we’ll make an idol the good for which we are waiting — every passing day is another log on the fires of bitterness, impatience, ingratitude, perhaps even resentment against the God who won’t give us what we want.Or, by God’s grace, we can choose to wait as he intends. “Waiting on the Lord is the opposite of running ahead of the Lord, and it’s the opposite of bailing out on the Lord,” writes John Piper. “It’s staying at your appointed place while he says stay, or it’s going at his appointed pace while he says go. It’s not impetuous, and it’s not despairing.”
We have the choice, then, to take a deep breath, release our clenched hands, and let God be God. And we are invited to continue hoping in his greatness.
Pray for God to Work in You
Certainly, only one of these options will bring us joy. As we seek to accept and rejoice in God’s handling of our lives, including his timing, we can ask God to work in us two main things, so that our waiting is not in vain: humility and trust.
Sometimes, when I’ve found myself getting impatient and upset, I will remind myself that God is the one who put me here. My life is not my own. This is humility. It is coming to realize that we are a breath and God owes us nothing (Psalm 39:5; Luke 17:7–10).
Then comes trust, which means believing at least two things about God: he is powerful, and he is loving.
“That miserable, uncomfortable, painful silence is one of God’s most powerful tools to set us free.”
Believing God is powerful means that we know he is in charge of what’s happening; things are not arbitrary or his control. He is capable of both helping us and changing things. Much of our anxiety in waiting is because we forget that “God is able to make all grace abound to you” (2 Corinthians 9:8). You are not at the mercy of your circumstances.
Believing God is loving means that there is care and purpose behind all that he does. It means that he is faithful to help us right now and bring us blessings later. It means that his judgment and timing is always perfectly good. True, he owes us nothing, yet he has promised to give us everything we need (Philippians 4:19).
Even during that long road of silence, God cares deeply for us. We can be David and remind ourselves, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14).
Blessing of Waiting in Faith
Some of the greatest figures in the Bible — Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David — had to wait for many years for God’s promises. Everything that happened in the meantime was used to prepare them, inwardly as well as outwardly. Then, when they reached their promise, they were blessed beyond measure.
God invites us to trust in his goodness today and his faithfulness tomorrow. Relinquishing control to him is the main route to experience his love and peace. It unites our hearts with his. It creates a level of maturity and character that we will take with us into the future, and it enables us to enjoy his future blessings all the more.
How to Wait (For Anything) Well
It’s a reality I try to ignore most of the time: Life is full of waiting. I’m not talking about the kind of waiting that bothers but doesn’t overtake me: the time in the grocery store line, the time at the post office, or even the miles crawling through construction. I mean the deep soul waiting, the kind that threatens to undo me with its consistency and pain.
We all know this type of waiting — the type that causes our hearts to ache and our minds to unravel:
The wait for a spouse who hasn’t yet materialized.
The wait for a job that will fulfill and not exhaust us.
The wait for a desired child when our womb is barren.
The wait for stability when our mind betrays us with anxieties and depression.
The wait for reconciliation in a relationship that still strains with hurt.
The wait for healing in a body still weak and broken.
In our own ways and through our own experiences, all of us know the deep yearning that waiting births in us — the ways that waiting makes us question our purpose and our dreams and our hopes. Left to linger for months and years, waiting can become a place of sorrow, even of fear.
So how do we wait well? How do we learn to live in these seasons of waiting — knowing we have no clear end in sight — with hope? Even with joy?
I’ve waited for healing from a stubborn medical condition for over twenty years, and I’ve shared my story on the page: There’s no easy answer. But here are three ways I’ve found to wait well, no matter how long we’re waiting for what we deeply desire:
1. We wait well by acknowledging our desire rather than ignoring it
In the long seasons of waiting for the things we can’t always control — a spouse, a child, healing, wholeness — one of the best ways to wait well is to embrace the longing rather than run from it. It seems counterintuitive, to accept what we can’t (yet) have, but it’s part of living wholeheartedly rather than locking our hearts away.
This is because waiting unlocks our truest desires, and we can only uncover those if we sit in the waiting long enough. We might truly want a spouse, but beneath that desire may be the deeper desire of wanting to be loved for who we really are — the longing for acceptance and delight from another person.
That’s a good desire, but it won’t be ultimately satisfied through a wedding or a significant other. No single person on earth can meet that longing completely. But the waiting can help us reach a place of being willing to see where else we can have that longing met — in friendships, in community, in God.
We can’t usually create the answer to what we’re waiting for. We can’t make a husband or a child appear thin air. But we can let the waiting show us what we want most of all, and from that place we can pursue that longing with an open heart and a hopeful spirit.
2. We wait well by choosing character over immediacy
One of the hardest tests that waiting offers to us is the test of character. If we aren’t getting what we want when we want it, how do we respond? Who are we when life is hard and unbending?
Waiting well requires choosing the less-traveled path of character over immediate gratification; it means pursuing integrity rather than a quick fix.
It means doing excellent work in your current position and refusing to cut corners, even if it feels nobody notices you and your dream job is a million miles away.
It means learning how to love and support your friends when they’re having the engagement parties and baby showers and you feel unseen. It means choosing to be thankful for what we do have rather than becoming bitter about what we don’t.
This is where the rubber meets the proverbial road, and if we allow the painful seasons of waiting to shape us into women who are refined under pressure, we will be closer to becoming the truest and most whole versions of ourselves that we can be, no matter what happens in our waiting seasons.
It seems counterintuitive, to accept what we can’t (yet) have, but it’s part of living wholeheartedly rather than locking our hearts away.
3. We wait well by discovering the gift of resiliency in ourselves
When we live in the tension of longing for something but not yet seeing it fulfilled, we can ultimately respond in two ways: in hope or in despair.
It might not feel a choice, but it is, and it’s one that is always before us: Will we give in to the fear that what we most dearly want might never happen, or will we embrace the life that we do have and plant our feet in the garden of hope?If we choose despair, every day will feel drudgery, walking through waist-high sand. But if we choose hope — if we choose to embrace this life we’ve been given with gratitude and love, and if we choose to believe that what is ahead can be far better than we might imagine — we will find within ourselves a resiliency that can’t be bought or manufactured.
We will find that what we have, right now, is enough — because we know our worth and purpose in our hearts, no matter what it is we’re waiting for.
Are you waiting for something right now? Where does your hope come from?
Images via Yuri Orozco Rivera