I started writing this post last week, but as I was still fighting myself and God on this issue, I never got around to finishing it, because nothing had come to a conclusion. But that has changed.
Let me start out by saying that I am freaking exhausted. I kind of wish I could go into like, a 3 week coma, just to catch up on sleep. That should be a thing, scheduled comas. They could like, liposuction your arms while you were unconscious, too, because, hello. That would rock. Someone make this business happen. My cut is 40%. This is a binding contract.
Anyway, do you know what happens when I’m exhausted? I become a screeching heap of impatience. I scream my way through traffic, I roll my eyes through the work day, and I bite my fiancé’s head off. It is not cute. It is not ladylike. And, as God seems quite keen on reminding me, it is not Christian.
The Lord is trying to teach me patience, and boy am I fighting Him. The thing is, when I get stressed, or tired, or, heaven forbid, both, I start trying to bully things into happening. It’s partially my nature. I naturally very easily see solutions to problems, and so I become frustrated when someone or something blocks me from being able to immediately fix things. I like to solve problems, fix them, and move on to bigger and better things and THE GOOD LORD HELP YOU if you bring up something I feel like I’ve already resolved.
This takes a toll on my relationships, as it causes me to be harsher with the people I love sometimes. It’s just so easy for me to see a solution or a “way out” that I become impatient when others aren’t on my level. Not to mention the fact that it’s not happening to me, and problems are always harder to deal with when you’re in the thick of them.
So I’ve been in this beastly mood for the last… two to three weeks, I’d reckon, and God has been trying to tell me to be patient. Be patient with my fiancé, love him the way he deserves to be loved. Be patient with my friends, listen to them the way they listen to you. And, be patient with myself. Because, ask anyone, I am apparently very “hard” on myself. I think it goes back to that whole seeing the possibilities and the easy way to “fix” matters thing, and that makes me hold myself to higher standards. But anyway, I have not been loving myself very well either. And, in my typical stubborn way, I was getting all these whispers and these feelings and KNOWING I needed to be still and realign my heart, but I was all, “TROLOLOLOL, whatever master creator of the universe. Bridezillas is on, so check ya later.”
And then on Monday, God punched me in the face. And it was awesome.
One of my Facebook friends posted this verse as her status:
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1:2-4 NKJV)
And it hit me like a ton of bricks. Oh. OH.
So I did the typical thing. I shared the verse with a couple of friends and my fiancé, and moved on. But the message had not sunk in, because I hadn’t really applied it to my actions. When my fiancé had the (perceived) audacity to point out that that lesson was part of growing up, I flipped out. I pictured the entire world, sitting haughtily above me, laughing at my childishness. I got angry, as people are wont to do when confronted with absolute truth. I wanted the accolades for finding a new lesson to learn. I did not want to be told that I needed to learn it. But that’s the great part of a Godly relationship, isn’t it? Holding each other accountable and lovingly helping your other half grow and change. And doing it together is such a rewarding gift.
I continued about my day in the haze of an adult temper tantrum, only to check Facebook later in the day and see that a biblical page I like posted this little diddy, which might look familiar:
“But you must learn to endure everything, so you will be completely mature and not lacking in anything.” — James 1:4 (CEV)
So then I really felt awful. And I started to reevaluate my heart with this lesson in mind. Lyrics to Heather Williams’ Hallelujah came to mind. “In spite of it all, Hallelujah.” I’ve been so silly, moping around, wasting time on negative things just because I don’t have the patience to trust in the Lord’s plans for me. Plans that have never failed and have always been above and beyond my wildest dreams. Siiiiigh. Oh, Kaitlin. Grow up.
But of course it’s not that easy. Nope. I had a great night out with one of my best friends, Patricia, and she helped and encouraged me. Really, she did all day as I moped to her. But I was still in a mood, but I was able to pinpoint what I was doing and why. And I perked up. My heart was in a better place. But God was not quite done with me.
I got in my car to drive home at around 9:15, and I had randomly tuned my radio to KSBJ on my drive home from work, never happy to settle on one station. The DJ launches into a little message, concluding with, I kid you not, James, Chapter 1:2-4.
“2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”- James 1:2-4, New International Version (NIV)
And I was overcome with awe at the persistence of the Lord in His pursuit of me. And after I shed a tear and took the DJ’s words to heart, I think I can say I finally get it. And so, with a new heart (yet again) and a new faith, and a great joy in all the blessings of my life, and in the spirit (and season!) of Thanksgiving, I will wait upon the Lord.
And, in Paul’s words, brought to me by the beautiful Patricia, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” –Philippians 3:13, New International Version (NIV) Which I think ties in beautifully with my conviction to live purposefully, and to know, no matter how many times we stumble, we are forgiven and we are loved. And that, my friends, is joyful news indeed.
Our Strength Will Rise,