In Others’ Words: Patience and the Willingness to Stay

What Patience Brings 2016

Sometimes the situations we are in don’t change. We look and we look, and there’s no door marked EXIT.

Okay, yes, I’ll make this blog post personal.

I’m dealing with several ongoing situations that, by definition — ongoing, right? — haven’t changed. Circumstances haven’t budged for months.

Chronic health issues? Still here.

Strained relationships? Still here.

Some things I can’t fix. I can’t demand an end date. I’m on hold … waiting … learning patience, yes. Or, as Henri Nouwen said: I’m learning to be willing to stay where I am and live these situations out to the full believing that something hidden here will be revealed.  

Willingness is an odd combination of faith in God’s presence in the midst of these difficulties and releasing my preconceived ideas about my life. Holding on to trust and letting go of expectations. An uneasy balance, that.

One of the things I’ve learned in all this waiting is to stop being so quick to take the blame for everything … and to stop being just as quick to cast blame. Shouldering blame or expecting someone else to bear the burden of blame are equal sins. I’ve taken far too much credit for far too many problems, which has separated me from God, from others, and from a true estimation of myself.

Yes, I need to own up to my wrong actions. But guilt is not a mandatory and I do not need to carry that weight every time someone offers it to me.

And the waiting times? That’s often when God does His best work in my life — if I let Him.

In Your Words: What hidden things have been revealed to you during times of waiting? 

 

 

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8 Comments

  1. March 1, 2016, 5:38 am   /  Reply

    Reading this and knowing and appreciating you from sunny, warm NC, the picture that instantly comes to mind is from my first ever recent cruise. We moved forward through gray slightly choppy seas, no other craft or land visible on any side, but we steadily kept on going. Though our movement did not appear to make a difference, at last there was land and safe arrival–wonderful.

    • March 1, 2016, 10:58 am   /  Reply

      Dee:
      Thank you for sharing that perfect word picture!

  2. Susan
    March 1, 2016, 8:25 am   /  Reply

    This! Thank you for posting this today, Beth:) “Holding onto trust and letting go of expectations.” Yes.

    • March 1, 2016, 10:58 am   /  Reply

      Susan:
      Always so happy when you are part of the conversation, my friend.

  3. March 1, 2016, 9:49 am   /  Reply

    My tag line on my blog used to read: I asked God for patience and He gave me a book to write.

    Patience isn’t just sitting and waiting for something to happen. It’s doing what you’re supposed to be doing until…

    • March 1, 2016, 10:59 am   /  Reply

      Pat:
      We both know patience is partly waiting and doing … balancing the “both-and” parts of the dream. 🙂

  4. March 1, 2016, 11:39 am   /  Reply

    Beautiful post, Beth. Yeah, that waiting time. Sometimes it feels never-ending. Discouraging. Soul-draining. That whole “holding onto trust and letting go of expectations” is a challenge. I guess it’s when I choose to cling to the Lord more than to my expectations that I can truly hold onto trusting Him through the waiting time.

    Most recently, He’s been showing me I’m doing my recuperation in my own strength, not looking to Him for guidance, not holding onto His hand as I limp through my days.Yeah, that was a bit humbling. But, it’s also becoming freeing. I need to hold tightly to Him in all of my waiting spots in life.

    • March 1, 2016, 11:49 am   /  Reply

      Jeanne:
      You and me … we’ve known each other for a long time. And the one thing I know about you? You’re heart is for God. You are always seeking to draw closer to Him. Praying for health and healing for you.

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