This past week has been a huge lesson in patience for me. I guess, I could say that about every week if I was truly honest. But this week especially, I feel like God imparted some much needed wisdom on my heart -- hard truths coupled with a freeing comfort that I can't quite put into words yet.
I hate the fact that I need more patience. Every time I lose my patience, I'm so disappointed in myself. I'm especially upset if I lose my patience with my girls. Now, sure, they are absolutely the primary vehicles with which God gives me opportunities to learn patience (*translation: they can drive me insane sometimes*), but they are my precious daughters. I want to have the utmost patience with them above all.
But something that Beth Moore said about patience really hit me hard the other day, and I've carried it with me since. She explained that one reason most people don't have patience (with others) is because the people that try our patience bring out the worst in us, and we don't want to see the worst in us (even though we know it's there). We want to be happy with ourselves; we don't want to confront what it is in us that needs to change.
Wow, that is SO me! It is the exact reason that I lose my patience with my girls, but also with everyone else. I hate the fact that I'm not perfect, that I still need to work on things, that I'm sometimes prideful, judgmental, selfish, etc. And when another person comes along and does something to really drive me nuts, I lash out (usually internally, but I still do it). How dare they come along and show me how terrible I can be?! How dare Elizabeth spill her drink AGAIN and show me how much of a control freak I can be about being the "perfect parent?!" How dare Stephen get home late and show me how unhealthily co-dependent I can be on him?! How dare that person cut me off in traffic and show me how selfish I am about my time?! And the list goes on.
Understanding this cut me to the core. The truth about myself hurt at first because I was finally forced to look at myself in the mirror and admit that I'm way not as awesome as I pridefully believed myself to be. But then, miraculously, I felt more free than I have felt in a long time. Maybe it's because I had been so desperately trying to hide the truth from myself (which is a tiring and useless waste of effort). Maybe it's because knowing why I lose my patience will help me to learn from daily frustrations and change and grow as a person. Maybe it's because I was able to set the others in my life free from the ridiculous expectations I had been wrongly placing on them. It's probably all of the above.
I think what really brought me to my knees, though, was another thought that Beth Moore shared on the subject -- Could it be that the very people that frustrate us the most, are the exact people God places in our lives to force us to face our ugliness and get rid of it? Could it be that He loves us enough to drive us just crazy enough to change us and make us complete, lacking in nothing?
Remembering that God cares about me enough to keep working on me, to keep changing me, to keep helping me become who He knows I can be... that freed my heart in ways I just can't describe.
So with my new found freedom, I'm going to face myself more honestly, and continue on this crazy journey that I'm on, thankful that God has not given up on changing me into the person He wants me to be. :)
And just for fun, here are a couple of "outtakes" from the other day when I was doing a little photo shoot of the girls. They really are a blessing even if they do drive me nuts sometimes! ha!
Love to you all!