Patience And Waiting: Knowing I Don't Have All The Answers

Patience And Waiting: Knowing I Don't Have All The Answers

"These are birth pains, and you will come out of this born anew. Remember you are a Beloved child of God, and God is walking with you."

Ryan Fan
Ryan Fan
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Patience is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as "the ability to bear pains or trials calmly or without complaint." I am writing this article because of the negative dispositional traits of what makes me who I am, that I'd like to tackle and ameliorate: being impetuous and being impatient. I am a deeply impatient person, sometimes, walking through life with a chip on my shoulder, working in quick spurts, expecting results and expecting them now, rather than later. Life, unfortunately, does not cower to my sense of urgency all the time, and the answer for me, now, is to seek and find patience for elements of life outside my control.

I like to think I walk through my life with the best of intentions, with a keen sense of justice, with an eye for empathy, with a constant and unwavering pursuit to become a better person and servant. I am not aware if this mission is a simple case in self-deception, but I realize, in writing this article, that I cannot look outwards for answers in how to be more patient. I need to look within, and use the tools I already have, the experiences I've already gone through, to realize what patience is, and how I can acquire more and more of it.

I do not walk through my life self-righteous, and that's the least I can say. "Lord forgive me, a sinner," I pray every single day. It's tough for me to be patient when I am in this much pain and this much confusion. But there has to be a way, some way, to acquire and find it.

One way that I truly believe in is the ability to listen, to empathize with other people who feel the same level of pain. It is the role of helpers like counselors, ministers, and social workers to not afflict the comfortable, but to comfort the afflicted, to provide every person a listening ear when they're in need. I like to believe that I have a gift for comforting the afflicted, a gift for listening to people who feel as if their voice does not deserve to be heard elsewhere, because who am I to pass judgment?

The natural question that arises, therefore, is why I cannot do that for myself, why I find it so difficult to practice what I preach about the gift of vulnerability, to share the same amount of suffering others do with me as I do to others. I go back and forth all the time about what I'm allowed to share and how much I'm willing to spread my pain.

I secretly wish for quick fixes, tricks, and mantras that can be panaceas to every problem I am facing, every challenge I have to face in my daily life, from the assignment I have due in an hour, to the conversation with a friend I have to confess how much better I am for their friendship. I am very well-aware that life does not work that way, that there are no easy solutions and quick fixes to many of these problems, but that does not stop me from being tempted towards them.

And maybe that temptation to look for quick fixes and easy solutions is a symptom of a problem rather than the actual problem. I do not know why I do, and if I did, maybe I would be able to stop and do something about it. But I cannot, and the goal for this article, perhaps, is to be at peace with my circumstances and my tendencies, to be comfortable where I am. They say to live in the present, but they never tell you how, or at least I have never personally discovered how.

So how do I live in the present, and stop being impatient about things happening in the future, the things that will happen tomorrow, that are of pressing nature? The things that have worked for me are strategies of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings - reminding myself to take life one day at a time, reminding myself that I am not alone in my pain, suffering, and impatience, to remind myself that my struggles are part of some greater plan, purpose, and community than myself. Today is a new day. Tomorrow is another one, far in the future.

I will be honest in that if I were to live life as an individual, only for myself, I would have no reason to go on living. I have written before about how I have seen it as my life mission, of late, to get others to believe in themselves. I live my life for my family, for my friends, for my God. I live not to afflict the comfortable, but to comfort the afflicted, as a supporter of the downtrodden, as someone who has made it his life epitaph to break the power of shame. And I want action and want it quickly: that is just the state of being a 21-year-old college student. Maybe I will be patient one day - but I am not now, and that's fine.

In writing, I know I don't have all the answers, and perhaps I never will. Perhaps impatience is just the state of affairs, and acceptance of that human impulse is just natural. But in closing, I would like to reference the wise words of my pastor, Reverend Lisa Garvin: "these are birth pains, and you will come out of this born anew. Remember you are a Beloved child of God, and God is walking with you."

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

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As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

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When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

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4 Things I Wish High School Me Knew

Every day has a purpose.

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People don't give high school enough credit for having the ability to shape your life. It can build you or it can break you and often times there is no in between. As I enter into my senior year of college I have reflected a lot on my college career and how it really has been the best years of my life up to this point, but I know that without a doubt my life would have been so different in I would have known these things as a high schooler.

1. Your life is valuable

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. - Ephesians 2:4-7

2. You aren't defined by your singleness. 

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. - Song of Solomon 2:7

4. You aren't going to fit in

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. - Romans 12:2

4. Your clothes aren't going to fit forever, don't spend all of your money on them 

Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions." - Luke 12:15

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