Patience.

Patience.

Patience.

Just writing that out kind of frustrates me. It’s such an aggravating concept because it requires me to sit still…

It requires me to acknowledge things that I am not super fond of. And things are so much better on the other side of patience, you know!?

Like when you go to an amusement park, you don’t go to wait in lines all day— you go to ride the roller coasters! Or when I go out to eat, I don’t just go to order food so I can sit and wait! Gosh dangit, I can barely even wait for my food to be done heating up in the stupid microwave!

To be 100% honest and absolutely transparent...waiting sucks.

There is not a lot that is fun about it.

In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to it.

Yet, I think for many of us, it feels like we live the majority of our lives in the waiting.

In lost dreams.

Broken hearts.

Crushed spirits.

Uncertainty and disappointment…

It feels like God is constantly calling you to a life of waiting. And how are we supposed to find peace, contentment, faith, and patience, in the waiting?

One of the hardest things for me to acknowledge as I experience disappointments is my anger.

Anger that things had to happen.

The frustration that I have—to let go of something that I thought was going to be constant.

Aggravation that I am waving goodbye to something my heart deeply cared for.

And I’m supposed to find patience in it all?

Um, sorry God that’s a little hard….

It makes sense to my head that I need to be still and “wait on the Lord,” as they say, but my heart longs to mourn the loss of what could not be.

I tell myself, “Just move on already, Christy. You really need to get over this.”

Then all of a sudden not only do my dreams require patience, but I need patience with my own recovery.

Ugg! And everything is so aggravating and messy and imperfect!

When I was about twelve, I was waiting for the PERFECT missions trip to go on and finally an opportunity to go to Mexico came up. My parents were considering it, we were all praying about it, and the answer came back pretty clear:

Not yet.

I was upset for a while about this one. As soon as my parents finalized the answer to the group leaders that I wasn’t going, I went to my room, sat on my bed, and cried my little eyes out. My mind had created the perfect scenario for the trip already. It was going to be beautiful. My first time on a plane, my first real adventure, and not to mention, my first experience in a different country.

But disappointment hit hard.

When we express our hurt and disappointments to people we get really nice-sounding things in return like, “His timing is perfect,” or “It just means He has something better in store.”

These things are completely true, but at the same time, not a super comforting thing to tell someone who is extremely impatient and overwhelmingly angry.

I understood all that good stuff, but my prayer that day sounded a lot more like this:

“But God I had it all planned out! Couldn’t you just have played along just this once!?”

Anger and frustration came rushing in as reality collided with my dream.

But there’s nothing like a loss of control to knock my prideful, stubborn-self, back into reality. A reality that stings and hurts, but also brings me closer to my Jesus.

Honestly, when I need to have patience with myself or a circumstance, anger often is all I can feel.

Why did this have to happen God!? Why this particular thing!? You honestly could have chosen anything else!

My heart mourns the loss, and my head aches with frustration. And both my head and my heart, grow tender and long to be gently cared for, though my spirit is stubborn.

And God, in my bitter disappointment and His great compassion, gently whispers to me, “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart…” (Isaiah 40:11).

If you are like me, your mind is stubborn with pride and resists comfort from your Father, but in your heart you simply long to sit in His strong and steady arms.

In the midst of my letdowns, this is what I have to give into. I have to be able to lay, broken and bruised, in my Father’s arms. I need to be reminded that though He is the one who gives and takes away, He has only good in store for me. He knows that patience is hard, and that I will fall.

He knows that I need to release my anger and let go of my plans.

He knows exactly what I need to surrender.

I recently heard the lyrics from this song by Ellie Holcomb called Find You Here,

Here in the middle of the lonely night
Here in the middle of the losing fight, You're
Here in the middle of the deep regret
Here when the healing hasn't happened yet

Here in the middle of the desert place
Here in the middle when I cannot see Your face
Here in the middle with Your outstretched arms
You can see my pain and it breaks Your heart

These lyrics blew me away because I forget so often that my heartache is God’s heartache. After all, we are His children whom He loves dearly.

Yes, of course my pain breaks His heart. Of course He would want me to acknowledge this pain and disappointment - He feels it too.

So in the midst of strong disappointment when we are yelling and screaming in our heads that we need patience, perhaps what we really need in order to get there...in order to experience peace, and contentment...in order to return to a heart of worship...maybe what we need is to realize that our great Father understands.

He understands where we’re at, and He sees us as we wait.

As we learn patience, and as we sit still, we don’t need to have it all together. We don’t need to seek perfection, we need to seek Jesus. We need to stop beating ourselves up for feeling broken and gross.

He understands you, He understands you, He understands you.

Even when you feel that you don’t make any sense, and you feel like a stupid fool for dreaming...you’re Father sees your broken heart.

As you experience disappointment, lean into Him.

My friends, be reminded…

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:27-31).

I pray that your weary, thirsty heart, finds peace, contentment, faith, and assurance today.