Grant Me Patience, but Hurry….

Patience. It’s a beautiful concept. Really. But reality?! Nope. Hashtag: notmything. I get it. My mind says:

  • “He’s in the waiting.”
  • “His timing is perfect.”
  • “Don’t rush anything.”
  • “Trust God.”
  • “His plans are good.”

My impatient inner self screams: “Well, just let me…..”

I swear it’s part of being a single mom. You’re the single point of accountability for your kids. If you fail, the family fails. That’s a lot of pressure, even with faith. As NASA once proclaimed: “Failure is not an option.”

I found out early in life that delays led to things not working out as I had planned. Things changed. Priorities shifted. Love ended. Wait. Whuh? Yeah. So love – true love, anyway – doesn’t end, but that immature, conditional kind of love certainly ends. Usually when things change. Ever so slightly. Or might change. Loss sucks. Period…. So, I learned to act swiftly to prevent the end from coming. (Strike one.)

Change is scary, but – if you embrace it and get ahead of it – that helps. You can keep poking at the embers of your situation to keep it alive. I embraced change, with the caveat that I was able to control said change, and that it happened quickly before anyone could settle in. In other words, I. Was. In. Charge. (Strike two.) #controlfreak

Constant movement keeps you from taking things for granted. You have to keep moving, keep adjusting, keep adapting. All in the name of being grateful. Use what you have. If anyone resists change, they clearly are not grateful. (Strike three.)

Over the past year or so, I am slowly (and sometimes with better results than at other times) learning the value of patience. If it’s something you want to last (friendships, habits, relationships, etc.), you have to put in the work and W.A.I.T. Painful, but necessary. You grow. Others grow. You all learn. You learn peace and patience because you realize you want these things to last a lifetime.

I’ve realized I am definitely NOT in control. Of anything. Anywhere. I’m along for the ride and I cannot enjoy the journey if I’m trying to control every aspect of it. Let go of the steering wheel, occasionally, amiga. Sheesh.

Finally, I’ve realized that you are grateful regardless of whether or not you are moving or stable. Giving thanks is a mindset. You don’t have to be “in front of the change”, or “off-guard”, or “shaken up” to be grateful. You just have to show up and give thanks. Simple, but true.

As I struggle with patience, I realize I have to trust God more and relinquish my control (or my illusion of control) in order to not take the reins during the waiting. Ironic that I need to put more trust OUTSIDE of myself in order to experience patience and peace, but it’s true. The Lord works everything for His good. Nothing is wasted. He uses it all, but I have to surrender first. If I hold control, I have to be IN control. I cannot be patient when I think I’m in control. That’s not how my mind works. Fortunately, our Lord realizes that people struggle and loves us anyway, right where we are, in whatever situation we have created.

Romans 12:12 (NKJV): 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;

 

 

 

 

 

Stay in Your Lane

There have been so many distractions this week: spiritual, work-related, future-thinking, health-related, etc. So. Many. Distractions. I’ve done better at refocusing on God during these things, but I still am nowhere near perfect. I still want to handle things myself. I still want to explore the train of thought. I still want to have my say….. However, deep down, I know that these distractions are really none of my business. I’m supposed to turn away from them and fix my eyes on my Lord and Savior.

I can toss my hands in the air, raise my voice in praise, and get lost as I fully worship Jesus, yet – two hours later – I’m second guessing my future. Why? He has it under control. He knows what will happen. It’s out of my hands.

It doesn’t matter who chooses me first (or last). It doesn’t matter who thinks I’m a great (or a horrible) human being. It doesn’t matter if I’m happy (or scared). It doesn’t matter if I have the world (or nothing).

I have my role, and Jesus has His. I am supposed to lean on Him. Listen for Him. Follow Him. Most days, I do a decent – albeit imperfect – job of following. I spend time in the Word, in prayer, in worship. The more time I spend in awe of His presence, however, the more time I also want to spend “fixing” my life.

Staying in my own lane is a challenge some days. I should be dialed in to my assigned focus areas, but I’m still drifting toward the median at a high rate of speed while I try to fix what’s going on around me and inside of me. The enemy is trying to distract me from what I have been called to do. The distractions keep coming. In fact, they are increasing the closer I draw to God. The distractions increase to try to divide and conquer truth.

Quiet time with God in the morning serves as my divine winter traffic report: “Main roads are congested and side roads are impassable” without that time versus “No delays or incidents along your route” when I seek Him first.

Have you ever prayed on the Armor of God? It’s powerful. The mornings where I start with prayer time are the best, but when I pray on His Armor….. Well, those days are amazing. I can handle whatever comes my way those days. I can deal with turmoil and drama. I can understand where the distractions begin. I can stay in my own lane and let God be God.

On the mornings where I do not spend time in prayer and do not pray on my Armor, though…. Oooh. Those days are the days I cannot escape fast enough. Days where I cannot understand how I missed a step and I understand how that one step can impact my entire day. I’m uncentered, quick to anger, slow to forgive, and filled with anxiety.

Taking the time to pray on His Armor in the morning helps to keep my eyes focused on my path for the day.

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“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
Ephesians 6:10‭-‬18 NIV