Tag: Patience

The Lesson of Making Friends Slowly

I was watching an episode of The Rifleman. Yeah, I’m that chick who watches old black and white westerns. Don’t judge me.  Anyways, there was an episode where McCain tells his son Mark,

“You act in haste son, you repent in leisure. It’s best to make friends slowly.”

I’ve learned recently the importance of allowing the friendships in my life to happen slowly. This is actually true for all of my relationships, romantic too.  If we do things in a hurry or act impulsively without thinking of the consequences, we’ll regret it.

One of the fruits of the Spirit is patience. God wants this fruit cultivated in us, not only in our character but in our relationships. 

In my own life, I’ve been so appreciative of the people who have been patient with me. The ones who have stuck by me when I wasn’t so loving. They’ve taken the time to get to know me and have helped me out of several pits I’ve found myself in this past year. Whether it was a phone call, a chocolate cake delivered to my front door, a card telling me how awesome I am, a card just letting me know they were thinking of me or something simple like a hug, I’m reminded occasionally I am so loved. There’s something special about these friendships that sets them apart.

These friendships have taken months and years of intentional face to face time and weren’t deepened hastily.

Recently, I’ve had to have hard conversations with the people in my life. The uncomfortable but needed kind.  Had these conversations happened without us deepening our relationship with each other over several years, the conversation would have gone differently. There were tears. Not from hurt, but from knowing deep down it was truth spoken in love. I also have friends in my life who we haven’t quite gotten to this point in our friendship, so it’s going to take more time. I tried but quickly learned it wasn’t the right time. Our hearts have to be prepared first.

God is never in a hurry with anything. Amazing how often we hurry through life making decisions or saying things without going to Him first. Allowing Him to work in our hearts and deepen the roots of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in us. 

Things done in haste often lead to unnecessary hurt. Which isn’t really worth it in the end. I have a hard time trusting people who do things without thinking of the consequences first. I know I was this person for most of my life until God did some hard work (He still is) in my heart. It’s none of my business though what people do with their life, dealing with myself is hard enough. But there are people in my life who I love and care about deeply, the ones who I’m willing to die for and you know what?  They deserve my patience. Patience with my words, my actions, my everything.

The important things in our life take time. Let those things happen slowly without haste. Your life will be better for it, mine definitely is.

In Jesus and with love,

Julie

 

 

Wait Patiently

18397514550_69021438ba_b

“For the vision is yet for the appointed [future] time
It hurries toward the goal [of fulfillment]; it will not fail.
Even though it delays, wait [patiently] for it,
Because it will certainly come; it will not delay.” – Habakkuk 2:3

 I’ve been waiting for this verse to show up, I even prayed for it.

This morning’s reading is an answered prayer. 

Most of my life feels like one big long wait. I can’t tell you how many times in the past month I’ve wanted to seek my own way instead of God’s. I’ve had a dream on my heart for two months. I don’t know how it will come to fruition but it’s there. I haven’t told any one my dream because I want God to lead me in obedience, though I’m impatient.

In my life, God has answered the desires of my heart in three ways.

“Yes.”

“No.

“Not now, wait.”

The last response is the hardest for me because I suck at waiting. I know anything I do on my own it will inevitably fall apart. Everything in our life is best left in God’s hands, not ours. I’ve been in many seasons of want and waiting. I’m in a season of waiting now.

Waiting on our terms feels like an eternity. God is never in a hurry, even when we are. This truth is difficult to navigate in the unknown.

Are you waiting for the desires of your heart to manifest like me? Be encouraged, God doesn’t do things on our timetable and His timing is perfect. I promise, the wait will be worth it.

How patient in the wait are you?

photo credit: Waiting for a man like you via photopin (license)

Seasons and Seeking

IMG_3218

Last season was a season of waiting and it was difficult. Throughout my life I’ve been told I have the patience of a monk, but on the inside I’m really on pins and needles waiting for God’s next move. The thing most people don’t know is I’ve only been a Christian for over a year. I didn’t wake up one day and magically become a different person. It’s been a process, a very long one. As I reflect from the beginning, I see the way God orchestrated every moment of my life to now.

In my reflection, I realize every way I take Him for granted.

The beginning was a season of learning. If I wanted to know something, I asked. If I didn’t understand something, I asked. When no one was around to give me answers, I prayed. I sought. I saw God move, I saw His hand in everything. It was beautiful.

The second season was a season of growth and it hurt — badly. God really tested me in every area of my life. Work, home, and in my personal life. It was frustrating and exhausting not understanding anything happening or why. Verbal abuse — check. Abandoned — check x2. Almost quitting my job — check x2. See, these are things I don’t talk about, because it’s pretty sad how easily I wanted to throw up my hands and give up.

I was being a baby and needed to grow up. I needed to understand God’s plans were bigger than my temper tantrums.

This season is a season of preparation. My naivety wants to say everything is coincidence, but no conversation or circumstance is coincidence when God is working. And I mean really working. I try and remain humble and not boast about all the things God does in my life daily, because He deserves all the praise and glory. It’s Him, every single day. Even when He’s silent for months. Even when we slip into our sins repeatedly and our faith lay dormant in our doubt, He’s still there.

Let that truth sink in. 

God is pursuing us every moment of our sinful life and we take His love and faithfulness for granted when we don’t get our way. I may not have understood every single moment of my walk but I know every time I stumbled and doubted, He was there. The more we’re face first in our hurt and doubts, the only place to look next is up and He’s there.

This season of preparation is different because I trust God with my whole heart. I used to think my brokenness wasn’t enough to sustain my faith all these months, but it’s been my strength. God has taken every broken piece of me and worked it into something so beautiful and tangible, I can’t put into words.

I deserve none of it, none of us do.  God doesn’t owe us anything. And yet He pursues us to prepare us for a life bigger than our understanding, our purpose.

He wants us to seek Him and see the beauty of His work unfold.

I see it now.

Matthew 6:33

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

photo credit: NCM3 via photopin cc

When Patience Hurts

 

I’m impatient. 

At heart I think I’m a patient person. There were times when I was too patient and was met with disappointment. And then there were times like last night when I let my impatience ruin something beautiful. While writing this I don’t know where things stand and the fear of the unknown is setting in.

Being patient hurts but giving up and walking away from God’s blessings hurts worse.

This is where I am right now in my life. There is a lot of uncertainty and as much as I want things to work themselves out, I can’t rush God’s plan. I can’t run ahead of His purpose for my life. I’ve always chased everything in my life … only to be left with nothing. This is where my perspective has to change and it has to start now. Because in the midst of my doubt, God listened, answered every prayer, and has blessed my life tenfold when I don’t deserve it.

I deserve nothing and I owe Him my life.

My impatience is ruining everything good in my life and I need to figure out why I’m in such a hurry. I’m in a hurry but God isn’t. His time table is rarely,if ever, the same as ours. Things takes time and I need to slow down. I can’t  give up every time life doesn’t go my way. This behavior has always been a part of me and it’s selfish. I don’t want to be selfish any more. 

Good things may not always come to those who wait, but most good things that do come don’t come right away

Where ever you are in your journey  right now, when being patient hurts, believe God is working, because He is.  Wait

 Galatians 6:9

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

When was the last time being patient hurt you?

When God Feels Distant

 

“For time is the longest distance between two places”

— Tennessee Williams

In the midst of the chaos that has been my life over the past few years, I often wonder where God was and why He forgot about me.  I used to think I was undeserving of happiness because every time I ‘found’ it, it was short lived. I remember the destructive patterns of behavior and relationships I found myself in  believing I was having the ‘time of my life’, only to feel the burden of my behavior deepen the void that I tried effortlessly to fill. All the times I’ve been depressed and even now when I feel darkness consume me, I wonder where He is and why He chooses to abandon me in my time of need. It are in these moments I try and remind myself that God never left.

Trials don’t last forever

When we go through trials, we feel like they’ll never go away.  We call out to God, He doesn’t answer. We try and figure things out on our own, it doesn’t work. We go from the heights of hope to the pit of despair and our doubt grows. Through every trial I’ve encountered in the past year, I’ve experienced the highs and the lows. Admittedly, most days I’m never high or low, I’m just ‘here.’  This bothers me.  Though I am not experiencing any real trial currently, I remember the feeling of every trial and sometimes without warning those feelings creep back in. I question whether my faith is enough to sustain me and that if God really loves me, why would He do this to me?  Then I remember –  trials are temporary, but God’s love is forever. 

God doesn’t forget us

For the past few months I have felt forgotten. By God and by others. I went through a time when every prayer I ever prayed was answered. I remember feeling incredibly blessed in watching God move and work in my life and in those around me. I remember the ‘being on fire’ feeling. So, where is it now? Even though God seems distant, I’m still growing. My faith is being stretched and I’m being challenged in every area of my personal life. Even when we feel forgotten, God’s still perfecting His work in us. 

Trust in God and in Him alone

A year ago I remember going into every Christian book store, scouring every top ten Christian book list and wanting every self-help book that would help me spiritually. While I enjoy reading, those books never fixed my issues or made me learn trust in God alone. This is an area of my life that I am improving daily. It’s not always easy to trust God and His plan. There are times when I put all my trust in myself and try taking control over  areas in my life I completely gave Him over a year ago. Because the truth is, waiting is hard. When we want something as bad as I do, we force pieces that aren’t meant to be together and we fail to let God do His work. God allows us to come to the end of ourselves so we can learn to trust Him.

When God seems distant, He is only taking us through difficult times to develop us spiritually. Even if it takes months or years, God is working. God builds things to last and it times time.

Be strong and wait.

Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Does God feel distant to you?

Love in Slow Motion

 

 

 “From where we are there is always a path toward love. What takes discipline is continually choosing that path.”

— Jesse Pender

Love is patient.

I’ve been told that I have the patience of a monk, but at heart I’m probably the most impatient person ever. As I’m growing spiritually I realize that everyone deserves to be loved and the best love given to others is done through patience. When I take time to examine my heart I have noticed the areas in my life that I am not very patient. I can count numerous times in my life when my impatience hurt good friendships.  Impatience hurts everything. The Spirit who is patient with us helps us in our weaknesses to grow. Everyday we are faced with the temptation to be impatient, be patient with others and watch love grow.

Take time loving others.

When we take time to love others it shows we care. People need our voice, our encouragement, and more importantly our heart.  We don’t always need to agree or always be attracted to someone to love them. Loving others isn’t about us, it’s about giving up the benefit of self.  Not everyone will return the love we give, this doesn’t mean we have failed. It ‘s not our goal to make others and the world  love us, but for us to love everyone.  Love is an action.

Stop and enjoy God’s love.

In the busyness of life we sometimes forget to appreciate God’s blessings. We get wrapped up in the “bigger and better” that we neglect the simple things in life. We block God’s blessings with our expectations and disappointments. Be thankful for another page to your story.  No matter the circumstance or condition, God takes His time revealing His love to us.  Stop and enjoy it.

The best thing done slowly is love. 

1 John 4:19

19 We love because he first loved us

Who do you need to slow down and take time to love today?

Being Sick & Slowing Down

 

A new week is upon me and I am thankful. Last week will be remembered as …. well forgettable.  Two years of my life came to a close last week Wednesday and I made the decision that I was moving on with my life and I was going to do it over the weekend.

God had other plans. 

I got sick. One thing about me is when I’m sick, I’m pretty much incapacitated for a few days. I started feeling it a bit Wednesday morning but kind of ignored it and then the stress of my situation took its toll and I started running a fever and didn’t want to do anything but sleep. My daily routine was completely non existent and all I wanted to do was scream. The only thing that I kept replaying in my head was that I wasn’t going to let being sick drag me down and I would tough it out.  God was trying to tell me something.

He wanted me to slow down.

I was trying to get ahead of Him. I was trying to make my own decisions about my life without consulting Him first. Even though I  pray and I know He listens, I am still trying to play my own hand in His timing and it doesn’t work.

I need to slow down.

I think it became apparent to me when I was coming home from the store yesterday and a woman tried pulling over in my lane. Luckily, thanks to reflex I saw her in the corner of my eye and slowed down. Of course I beeped my horn at her because clearly she wasn’t paying attention.  It was obvious she was in a hurry.

I wasn’t and don’t need to be.

Truth is, life is already happening and God’s hand is in it all. We’re just along for the ride. I’m impatient and I’ll be the first to admit that. Especially when there is something going on in my life that I pray about and want God’s answer right away. Whether it is answered right away or not, life is still happening and I need to stop and enjoy it.

Being sick made me realize how much I haven’t slowed down in life.

While I’ve spent time in bed because I haven’t been able to do much else, I’ve unplugged more. I think I’ve stayed offline more this week than I have in years. I’m almost done with a book that I started reading almost a month ago and when I am feeling 100%, I am going to go out more and enjoy the life that God has given me. Life is way too short to do anything but what God has put me here to do; to live out my purpose.

I don’t need to rush towards my purpose, I need to slow down and enjoy the ride getting to it.

This past week has definitely been a reality check for me. Being sick is never fun, but this is the first time being sick had significance in my life. It also made me realize how alone I really am.  No one in my inner circle would take a bullet for me, but there is one who already died for me.

Jesus.

It’s time I slow down and enjoy Him.

Psalm 139:16

16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.

The Drive-Thru Christian

 

Our relationship with God and faith are a lot like a fast food drive-thru.  We want everything in our life “fast, fresh, and friendly.”  We want life our way and our prayers made to order.

We are the “Fast Food Nation of Faith.”  We “pull up” to our Bibles or sit quietly in prayer and ask God for more happiness. Maybe for some of us, just a little happiness.  More money, a better job, a better marriage, or an “extra value” meal with all of the above. Every prayer is an order we place before God thinking that He will fill our order correctly and quickly.

We order food from a drive-thru because it’s quick and convenient. We don’t feel like taking the time to cook a meal at home. We want our food and we want it now. The same can be said about our faith and our prayers to God.

God doesn’t work on fast and convenient.

We may like things our way and want our prayers answered quickly, but what would we learn? Where would we find strength?  Our strength and hope lies in Christ and in Him alone.

Life may be fast, but it certainly isn’t friendly.  

Life is at times inconsiderate and inconvenient and that’s the harsh reality of living in a broken world. Our faith in God is more than that. It’s more than fast and convenient. Our faith in Christ should be consistent.

If we spent less time in a drive-thru and more time in the kitchen, less time in wanting and more time needing God, maybe then we’d realize our purpose.  Maybe we’d learn to be a little more patient.

God doesn’t take our orders. He works everything in our life for our good and for our intended purpose. He works on His terms. While this realization and reality may be hard for us to come to terms with, it’s important as we grow in our faith and relationship with Him.

Life isn’t made to order our way. It’s God’s way, all day, everyday.  

What was the last thing you “ordered” from God?

Romans 12:12

12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.