I’m an impatient person. Anyone that knows me already knows I have this sometimes-not-so-attractive trait. Been this way since I was a little kid. If there’s something I want or something I want to do, I tend to “want it now.” I’ve tried over the years to rise above this trait, and as an adult, I think I’m much better than I used to be. The last three months have tested my ability to be patient, that’s for sure.
I was impatient, wanting Mark to have his surgery back in May (he waited until he was ready for it, and that was in late July)….I couldn’t make that decision for him, and it so frustrated me. Looking back, part of me wonders if he had gone ahead with it earlier, if the outcome would’ve been different….and I think probably not. He was wiser about these things than I was, and I think deep down within himself, he had an inkling that all was not well. He just chose not to bother me with the details.
I remained impatient during the week he was in the hospital, praying for hours for him to be healed, so we could go home together, raise our sons, retire, and head into the beautiful sunset, the four of us, in two short years, in Kansas. But it wasn’t in the cards.
I’ve been impatient with my grief, wanting to move through whatever stages that manifest as quickly as possible, because it hurts so damn much. God and my wonderful counselor have convinced me otherwise…I must walk through it in God’s time, not my own, so that I can heal. My boys deserve no less than a parent who is strong, resilient, and prayerful; if I’m not whole, I can’t expect them to process their tremendous sorrow, either. Right now, they are doing wonderfully, despite the crappy circumstances, both had high straight As on their report card, and are the student council reps for their respective classes. If someone didn’t know them, and observed them in any of their activities, they would have absolutely no clue that they have lost their daddy. And as long as I can keep them in a routine, where we keep up with our daily responsibilities, but allow time to grieve and remember, I will be satisfied.
God is working with me daily, sometimes minute-by-minute, as I struggle with insecurities, grief, impatience, sin, and envy. I see other “whole” families and wonder why them & not me? I see little gray-haired couples at the supermarket, and think how I got the short end of the stick….Mark & I were supposed to grow old together. But the more I pray & study, the more I see that we have no guarantees about anything in life, except that God will be beside us. What I desire and what I get are many times diametrically opposed.
I, for one, am thankful that my God is not impatient. If He were, He would’ve given up on me a very long time ago. I’m sure He’s thought thousands of times, “Is she ever going to learn? Is she ever going to let Me work My plan in her life, her family’s life, without trying to hurry? You’d think as smart as she claims to be, that she would be intelligent enough to trust Me, because I will not fail her nor her boys.”
I bought both boys dogtag-type necklaces at our local Christian bookstore. The verse inscribed is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” They wear them often. They believe God’s promise, and are a heck of a lot more patient than their mommy. Last night, my neighbor, who is dealing with a heart-wrenching divorce and a young adult child that is acting out, got a hug from both boys, “just because” they thought she needed it. Andrew, who was wearing his necklace, showed it to her and read the scripture aloud. I think we all teared up just a little. My sons are so filled with God’s spirit that I am continually amazed and astonished.
Thank You, God, for being constantly and continually patient with me, your lowly servant. Thank You for blessing me beyond my mere human comprehension with two fine boys from a man that I loved completely. Thank You for friends, family, and strangers who pray for all of us on a regular basis. And most of all, thank You for supplying me with what I need, when I need it, to forge ahead on this unknown path.