Hi friends and welcome to the Arise, Beloved blog. We have an amazing team of writers behind this blog and our desire is to speak truth into the lies that cripple us and shine light into the darkness that isolates us because we believe that now, more than ever, the Church desperately needs women to be restored so that the world can be set ablaze. Our hope is that you find comfort, solace, and peace in knowing that you are not alone, you are not too far gone and there is ALWAYS hope to be found.
By Megan Byers
I learned this past summer that I am not a patient person.
I was in the car with a friend. As I was about to reverse out of my parking spot, I noticed a sweet, old couple getting into the car next to me. It seemed like it took them an eternity. I made a comment like “sure, take your time” and my friend did not hesitate to tell me “you’re impatient.” Those words stuck with me.
I took this to prayer and Jesus just chuckled. Over time, Jesus corrected the way I approach patience. He taught me that patience is not passive, it requires activity. It requires choosing to recognize the freedom others have to live, even when they act differently than I would like.
However, when the Lord asks me to wait, I remember the time I spent 7 hours just sitting at the DMV to get my permit. I remember rereading the same 4 posters on those boring white walls. I remember watching strangers look relieved when their numbers were called and feeling slightly envious of their luck. I remember the disappointment of not hearing my number called. I get too caught up in the inconveniences of waiting that I disregard the ways I can actively live the virtue of patience.
Instead, I become frustrated when others slow me down, interfere with my plans, or don’t act in the way I expect. I become anxious when I notice I am no longer in control.
This is no different when the one I’m waiting on is the Lord. Frustration and anxiety often accompany me during seasons of waiting. The past few months have been full of doubts and fears and many opportunities to practice patience. Ugh.
Just the other day I complained to my mom about being sad because what if, what if, what if… In the most loving, motherly way, she looked at me and said, “you’re feeling sad about something that hasn’t even happened. You don’t know if that will happen; you don’t know God’s plan.”
When I am faced with the unknown, I think of every possible scenario, but I focus on the negative outcomes. I tell myself that I am just trying to be prepared. I don’t want to be let down or heartbroken if things don’t go the way I want, but this mindset eliminates hope.
By trying to protect myself from disappointment, I am telling God that He doesn’t know what is best for me. I am telling God that His goodness runs out eventually. Can somebody please take me by the shoulders and shake me every time I start to believe this????
God cannot be outdone in generosity.
The unknown, whatever it holds for each of us, will be full of God’s goodness. The Lord wants to give us the most thrilling life, one that we cannot imagine. He asks us to wait, not to grow anxious, but trust that He knows our deepest desires. I have to be reminded every once in awhile that to wait doesn’t mean I get a free pass to sit on the couch and not actively participate in my own life.
Before I knew the truth about patience, I sure did actively choose to stress out about a whole lot of nothing. It seems I cannot wait without growing frustrated or anxious or fearful. St. Paul exhorts in 1 Corinthians 13 that patience is a characteristic of love, “Love is patient. Love is kind…” While I like his list, I decided to add some of my own characteristics that help me actively live patience with love.
Love is not envious of others. Love is not anxious. Love does not doubt. Love surrenders control.
Love allows the elderly to take their time while getting into their vehicles. Love waits to be called.
Love is not passive.
In this season of waiting, I am learning to be patient. I am learning to love others instead of growing frustrated by the ways they live. I am learning how to stop overthinking the “what if’s.” I am learning to trust the Lord. I am learning to align my will with the Father’s. I am learning to surrender control. I am learning not to fear the unknown. I am learning to believe that the Lord desires my good.