I am a Patient Soul! No seriously!

Speaking of vision boards.

My theme for 2014 has been patience. I pasted, “I am a patient soul” in the center of my board. I was trying to do that thing where you speak life, purpose, vision… Yeah.

If you’re a Christian or have ever been around a Christian, you’ve probably heard us warn the less initiated about prayers for patience. Typically God answers that request with “opportunities for growth.” Apparently one learns patience by facing challenges. By being confronted with real-life scenarios that fly in the face of any naive imaginings about holiness and personal enlightenment. (I’m not bitter!)

I have a child with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. And, my God, it’s hard. For seven years I rejected the diagnosis. I tried to speak life, purpose, vision into my child and into our home. I prayed and fasted. I cast out demons. Seriously.

Paul wrote a letter to the people in Corinth about a troubling issue, a “thorn in his side.” He wrote about how he earnestly asked God to remove it, until finally God responded, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” In the very next sentence Paul wrote, “most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” But I wonder how much time passed between God’s “no” and Paul’s boasting. Was it a couple seconds, or days… or months? Because when I realized God was pretty much saying the same thing to me, I spent a couple years being angry with Him.

Fast forward to this year, and the whole “patient soul” thing. The anger has passed, but in the meantime, I have never been so… challenged. At least once a week I wish I hadn’t put it on my board–even though I know I had to. I mean, it wasn’t my idea to put it there. It had to be on my board.

This isn’t one of those posts where I’ve got it all figured out. It’s true, I’m no longer angry at God, but I ain’t boasting yet! I know God has invited me to call myself patient because He has something in mind. With each difficult encounter I have to choose to trust that God’s grace is enough, that my weakness is the perfect vessel for his strength. It’s hard! I sometimes struggle to believe any good can come of this.

But I’ve seen God do more with less.

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4 thoughts on “I am a Patient Soul! No seriously!

  1. Gwen says:

    Hi Tracie. The chapter I am on in Lisa Bevere’s book for my other group (Girls with Swords) was talking a little about this. So funny (well, maybe not to you as you are in the middle of this), but I realized that in each character mentioned that I thought might be encouraging, it really wasn’t. So many of the bible greats waited SO long for things. What I can say is that at least you are in good company….Abraham, Moses, even Jesus prayed to his father that his people would be unified as one and He is STILL waiting for the answer to that prayer. I can’t say that I know why God asks this kind of patience in his people but I do appreciate you being so real with where you are at. It helps to know others walking it out and allows us to be real as well. Hope you have a great week! Can’t wait to meet up with you and the group again soon.

  2. Tracie Frank says:

    Doesn’t it seem like a common theme that everyone has to WAIT in the Bible?! Not the most encouraging thing for someone who lacks patience so entirely as me! LOL! But yes, I always appreciate knowing I’m not alone, so I try to be honest about my crises. 🙂 Thanks Gwen!

  3. lionfall says:

    I understand as well. I have two challenging children; one with a diagnosis and one without. I also have been “patiently” waiting for an answered prayer. I use quotes because I know my definition of patient is nowhere close to God’s. I read stories and testimonies of people who wait 40 years or more for their answer and I think “Surely God doesn’t intend to make me wait that long. Cuz, seriously, I can’t!”. Which I know then sets me back on my waiting timeline. Sigh…and round and round I go.

  4. Tracie Frank says:

    The thing is that whenever we think I can’t wait, we still have to. There’s no choice!

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