Patience {An Untimely Post}

“If I have not the patience of my Saviour 
with the souls who grow slowly; 
if I know little of travail (a sharp and painful thing) 
till Christ be fully formed in them, 
then I know nothing of Calvary love.” 
 ~ Amy Carmichael
Holding back tears again, I stare at the framed print on the wall.
 It shows two cherubs and the Love verses from Corinthians.
 Ugh. I am weak and weary. 
I feel sick. 
Jealousy and envy tag-team me, 
I double over, 
wincing as I imagine the lovely mother-daughter scenarios 
taking place everywhere else. 
Anywhere else. 
But here. 
I forget sweet memories and truth.
I hurt deep.
There seems to be no consolation. 
Just walls erected.
And one mom feeling defeated,
as her daughter reclines, throwing cheerios
across her bedroom.
Defiant rebellion.
Glorying in her seeming victory.
“I hate you”, she smirks. 
The words fall to the floor as a 
Cheerio bounces off my chest.
Good times. 
I’ve already read enough words that should have me feeling all-powerful.
Quiet time, prayers, Scripture, wisdom, encouragement.
I shrink, and see the images again dance across the screen of my mind…
happy mothers, smiling, relishing their seemingly completely compliant children.
I remember her small. 
Still defiant.
Hands on hips in the yard, looking at the house next door.
She stares long and hard. Her back to me.
She is wearing only undies or is it a pull up?
The memory gets blurrier with the years.
She looks back and huffs these words: 
“I’m thinking about buying the house next door, so I don’t have to live with you.”
She is 4.
I ask God why He hates me.
Love is patient…
I am angry that this is the first line of 1 Corinthians 13. 
I find myself seething.
I take a walk to get out of the house. 
Dog walking is like my version of Cheers.
Free Psychotherapy. 
I step into a role where I am loved, cherished, outright idolized- 
let’s face it those dogs worship me.
I am the giver of walks!
My neighbor, Kevin with his wife has raised two girls. 
Every time I walk by he shares a bit of wisdom.
Today I walk, and almost pass without conversation.
Not happening, God wants my ear.
We say hello.
We make some small talk. 
I am not a good hider.
I just don’t do fake well.
He catches me, and somehow he is sharing wisdom again.
He says, “Ya know, I had two girls and it’s not easy.
If I had to give advice I would say this: patience.
I cringe.
He says a few more things about choosing my battles, 
winning the war and we admire 
the beautiful, unfinished, carved table he is sanding.
I know wisdom when I hear it.
I know God loves me.
I am that table.

God is sanding me.
I am not enjoying it.
I am not sure how I am going to look at the end of this journey.
I am not feeling beautiful.
Kevin comments on the detail,
“I’m a stickler about the sanding.”
He points out a mark on the leg. 
“It takes time, but it’s worth it in the end.”
The table is exquisite but will be a treasure when he is finally satisfied 
with his efforts and attention.
He sees the beauty yet to be revealed.
I know.
Lord, I know you are not finished with me yet. 
I know you love me with an everlasting love.
I know You love the daughter You have given me as well.
Help me to remain in your love, steadfast and true.
Forgive me my weakness, failure and sin.
Make me beautiful in your eyes.
In Jesus name. Amen.
“Cast not away your confidence because God defers his performances. 
That which does not come in your time, will be hastened in his time, 
which is always the more convenient season. 
God will work when he pleases, how he pleases, and by what means he pleases. 
He is not bound to keep our time, but he will perform his word, 
honour our faith, and reward them that diligently seek him.” 
~ Matthew Henry

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