Sometimes even when we have been on the receiving end of a gift, we don’t realize it. We don’t see it for what it was and is and for how it should change us.
That’s how I feel about this weeks topic of patience in our continuing woman to woman discussion. The next word in Paul’s instructions to the Colossians…
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience… (Colossians 3:12)
This one is a lot easier said than done for this soul. It may be a virtue, but it’s not one I know well enough of to speak of personally.
That doesn’t mean I haven’t seen it in action. I’ve seen the best displays of a woman’s patience throughout my life.
A grandmother whose husband drowned when her three children were all under 5 and never remarried or even thought about it. Patient to endure the cross of raising her children fatherless and working to see them fed, clothed and sent through school. Patient with grandchildren (at least this one…) who didn’t behave in public for her parents, but (nearly) always minded her Granny Grace.
Perhaps there is a correlation in seeing patience displayed and returning it?
I seem to have forgotten what that patience looked like as a child. I seem to need a reminder lately. And my children give me plenty of opportunity to practice this virtue I can’t. quite. grasp.
I’ve heard several people say recently to be careful what you ask of God, He may just give you plenty of opportunities to work on it.
I thought about that sitting through my Granny Austin’s funeral yesterday. I was getting ready to speak and my children were starting to “try” me. Trying this mamas patience in a sweaty-wrestless-small-country-funeral kind of way.
One was asleep on my left side, head hanging, drooling, out-of-this-world asleep. To get up would mean laying him down in the pew and risking him waking in a daze and wanting mama. The other child was on the right side wanting to leave the pew to get gum from her Gran (again) and then not wanting me to leave or for her brother to touch her as I laid him down so I could get up.
I could fill it rising in me hot and heavy. Impatience. That’s the word I know most about. The opposite of patience. We are very good friends these days.
Brother ended up staying asleep and sister ended up sitting somewhat quietly with Pop and then her aunt while this mama got to reflect on another patient woman who lived ninety years and never showed the least bit of dishonor or impatience to a soul.
Why has it skipped me? This ability to deal with adversity and children and husbands with patience instead of it’s ugly opposite.
I was thinking nobody will be able to say at my funeral, “She never said an unkind word about another. Her life exuded patience and kindness and humility.” Nope. Not me. And that makes me sad. But it also makes me real. Because I know I’m not alone. Even if I feel like it at times.
And just today my aunt brought me this cross-stitched photo she rescued from my Granny’s dilapidated farmhouse at the end of that potato field that we have gone through a million times and somehow missed this one piece of framed love. These words that my mother made for her mother and the first word stitched was “patient,” I feel like I’m being told something today. After I’d started to write this post and wasn’t feeling quite sure it was meaning anything. It is meaning something now.
I’ve been given a gift I’m starting to see for the first time. And now I’m holding a piece of these women in my hands, a bit moldy like me, but also stitched together with love, like me.
I’m glad to have examples of women that exuded these qualities I yearn to be. To learn. To live.
I’m reminded that the want to is as important as the journey and that’s as important as the getting there.
So, I want to be a more patient wife. mother. daughter. friend. And I’m on a journey to get there. Not perfected until He’s finished with me. And He’s not finished with me yet. Maybe that is the best reminder of all.
He’s not finished with any of us until He’s finished. And until that day, we are in the process of getting there.
A heart desire to change, to be more like Him and to gain these qualities we are instructed to “put on” sometimes takes more guts than glory. I’m ok with that. You should be too.
We are in this together, sister. Perfectly imperfect. Patiently impatient. That is hopeful, yes?
One patient step at at time. And not forgetting this,
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (Romans 8:25)
We have a lot to look forward to one day. Could be one day very soon. No matter how long the wait is, the glorious reward will be worth the wait.
Patience is not without Hope.
And as I said over Granny’s closed casket, our Hope has a name. His name is Jesus. And He’s completely worth the wait.
On Wednesday’s we have started a tradition of speaking “Woman to Woman.” Find us on twitter or Facebook with #w2w. I’ve asked other sisters to join in the discussion by adding their own links below or by adding their thoughts in the comments. If you have a blog and would like to link your post, please link directly to your permalink (ie. https://4hisgloryblog.com/2014/04/02/woman-to-woman-patiently-impatient/) and not your homepage URL (ie. http://4hisgloryblog.com) by clicking on the little blue frog below. You can go back to the beginning to see the foundation for this community here. We would be humbled beyond belief to have you join in. The more voices speaking to one another, the more chance we will be heard and the more opportunity for healing and growing as sisters. And to spur one another on in love, we ask that you visit the person linked before you and comment to encourage. Our words matter. In giving and receiving, they matter. You matter. More than you know. We matter. xoxo- Meredith