March 5, 2014

THE VIRTUE OF PATIENCE

It hasn't been all sunshine and daisies for me lately, is it really for anyone? BUT I usually find that when I start to feel alone or sorry for myself during times of trial, there's usually a much needed lesson to be learned. And, let's be honest, there are MUCH better and more important things I should be doing than moping around.

The lessons I'm learning (and have been learning for who knows how long) have to do with patience. I mentioned in my last post that I got to spend some quality time alone while I waited for my flight to Denver. I did. I really needed that time to slap myself around a little bit. Jk. But really.. a serious, self-evaluation was necessary.

I thought about patience and how we're not great friends. Sometimes we can be besties. Other times we're perfect strangers. I feel like I've been working on my relationship with patience since...

FOR. EV. ER.

You see? There I go. I'm impatient with learning patience. Why can't I just learn it already?!

So yes, I've known for a long time that this is something I need to overcome. And despite the fact that I'm really not a horribly impatient person and I've certainly improved in this area (even just from the past couple of months), the need to improve even more became very apparent during this time of pondering.

Some main questions popped into my head.

The biggest question that came to me was why is patience so important for me to learn? I need to fully understand that things aren't always in my control, yes. But what else? What do I need to know beyond that? I'm reminded of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk Continue in Patience from April 2010. He emphasized that patience is not just about waiting, it's about being proactive and working towards goals and resisting discouragement. It's about not only enduring, but "enduring it well." I'm not always awesome at this with anything in life. Anyone else guilty of wanting instant results when beginning a new workout program, taking on a challenge, learning a skill, etc.??

Like President Uchtdorf stated, patience isn't just about waiting. I've got to trust in His timing for me. My thoughts kept coming back to His plan. Was I doubting His will? I think--through my impatience--I was. President Uchtdorf also spoke about how impatience is a "symptom of selfishness". What a wake up call! It makes perfect sense. I've spent so much of my life stressing about my time and what I want rather than taking each day as a gift--to learn something important and use my agency for good.



That brings me to my other main question: so what can I do right now? I'm given this time for a reason and I already know the things I want to control are out of my hands. So what are some things I can control? I can work on the areas I need to improve on (Mr. Patience being one of them). I can make my home a happier place. I can focus on my husband and help us set and accomplish goals as a little family. I can concentrate on my health. I can make the most of the time I have with my family and friends.

Beyond all this, I've been thinking all along that this whole deal was about the improvement of me, myself and I. But I think it's not really about me. In fact, it has nothing to do with me. It's about everyone around me and how I can make their lives better. This is what I can choose to do with the time I have.

Another thing that really stuck out to me from President Uchtdorf's talk (I'm basically in love with every word) was that all of us are called to wait in our own way--whether that's answers to prayers, obtaining something we feel is right and good, etc. Heavenly Father requires it. It all comes in the right timing, and we may not see this immediately, but eventually it will all fall into place. I'm definitely seeing some clear reasons for my own waiting period already!

Lots of people are probably going... well, duh! Didn't you already know all of this? Well, I did, and who knows how many times I've heard this. But it took really experiencing and pondering this myself to fully grasp it. Really, I'm just grateful. Grateful that I don't know everything and that I'm wrong most of the time. It allows me to be a constant student and fills my life with countless aha moments. Yet another miracle my friend patience is teaching me.

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