My WORD for 2019 is CHOICE. Every Sunday I choose what quality to develop for that week. This week I chose PATIENCE.
Patience is a spiritual practice that when embraced will result in strength, trust and peace.
Of all the definitions that I found on patience, the one that resonated the most for me defines patience as a quality of being willing to bear adversities; to calmly endure misfortune and suffering.
There are irritants that test our patience - waiting at the DMV, sitting in traffic, being misunderstood…. These are frustrating, aggravating and maybe even maddening.
Then there are the adversities, the misfortunes, the trials and the sufferings that really test our patience. Can we WILLINGLY bear and CALMLY endure waiting to hear if we are a candidate for a job when we don’t have a job, waiting for biopsy results on a “concerning” lump, waiting up for our teenager to drive home on a rainy Saturday night?
What all of these have in common is WAITING.
PATIENCE is NOT:
~ being passive - Patience is active. You should continue to work towards your goal, towards uncovering your answer, achieving your dream. Even if all you can do is to pray, then actively pray for God to move.
~ being on hold - Sometimes we have to press the pause button on 1,2 or even more areas of our life while we wait with PATIENCE. But this does not mean that we have to press pause on all areas of our life. There are many things and people in our life that will continue to move, grow and develop while we wait. We also can continue to grow as we wait patiently for the light to turn green on the paused area of our life.
~ control - We also need to be aware of how much control and/or manipulation we are exerting over the situation or answer. It is a fine balance between movement and inertia. Some people when waiting tend to become completely apathetic and believe that there is nothing they can do but wait passively while the “Universe” sorts life out for them. Others crave controlling their future, they react without thought and discernment.
Isaiah 40:31 states that those “who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
That while we actively wait we also grow stronger - this is PURPOSEFUL PATIENCE!
Right now I am in a season of waiting. I actually thought I was doing a pretty good job with purposeful patience- prayer, journaling, trust, gratitude -have all been helpful in growing strong while I wait for an answer.
Yet on Friday fear crept in - I became panicked and the worst case scenarios kept replaying in my mind. I grew stressful, fearful, emotionally and physically exhausted. Then I was reminded of the verse that says “Be still and know that I am God”.
So I stopped.
I breathed in peace and I breathed out panic.
I breathed in trust and I breathed out fear.
I breathed in strength and I breathed out weakness.
I reminded my self that I am right where I am supposed to be and that this season of waiting is developing perseverance, strength, trust and faith.
When theses fears creep in:
3)Act - with discernment
4)Share - with a confidant
6)Get enough sleep
8)Pray, pray and pray some more
9)Trust - in your higher power, in yourself
10)Choice - you get to choose how you wait
I know that in this journey I will have more moments of fear and panic as I wait. But I also know that I choose to have PURPOSEFUL PATIENCE.