Since learning this ab
Patient Endurance, it’s been on my mind for the last 2 months. As I look back on the last 8 1/2 months it is what I think I needed the most specifically the last 4 months. As I have neared the end of reading the New Testament it’s the phrase that seemed to jump off the page the most.
Those passages talk about trials, persecution, and struggles. As much as I don’t necessarily experience persecution as the early church did, I do think that time is coming.
We have been living an adventure. Honestly, it’s not always been an easy one! Living in a camper for 7 months and a few weeks is the longest we have ever “camped”. Homeschooling 4 kids while doing that presented a whole other side to the adventure and over time this introverted mama got bogged down! It’s not that I was angry or upset or sad about my circumstances because we LOVE where we are
What does getting bogged down look like?
Well for me it looks like a whole lot f impatience….with myself. I’m not….and I can fill that blank with all sorts of things like-
- strong enough
- smart enough
- influential enough
- I’m failing at…
- balanced enough
- in God’s word enough
- I’m too distracted.
The list can go on and on and on.
When I come to the place where I am impatient with myself I find that I stop enduring. I quit. I GIVE UP.
When I give up… I become more impatient with myself. It’s quite a nasty cycle. A nasty cycle that I spent the last 4 months battling. Distraction became my everyday fight. I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t write, and I had lost purpose in my everyday. I just kinda felt lost because there were some things that were a normal part of my everyday life that I had intentionally let go of for a season. Sometimes we have to do that and for a number of months That is exactly what needed to happen BUT if it’s a part of who I am, part f the gifts God has given me Then I need to fight for them. HOWEVER, I DIDN’T.
I just didn’t understand!
It’s ok to let go of something for a time BUT when it’s time we need to bring it back to the best of our ability. I had convinced myself that I didn’t have time for writing and art. It’s my happy place. It’s how I process my life. I was ok letting go of those things because space was limited. Time was limited.
I would sit and stare at a blank computer screen and no words would come. I would sit and look at my journal for my Bible study and I couldn’t focus on what needed to be read. Matter of fact I couldn’t read much of anything.
So what Changed?
One day I sat out at our picnic table FIGHTING my way through prayer and I asked God “how can I get back to my normal self?” I sat there staring out at the fog rolling in across the hills and a memory came to mind. It was of a 21-year-old me sitting in a booth at our college’s student center before it became ” the Cafe” I was sitting in a booth and no one was there. I had a notebook in front of me and a LARGE stack of schoolwork off to the side of the notebook. I was bent over the notebook furiously scribbling words as they poured into my mind. All of a sudden I sat up, closed the notebook and reached for the first book on my stack of schoolwork.
I was transported to those moments that had become a habit. The habit? Creative writing. I am able to quiet my mind through the written word, specifically through pen and paper. That’s how I was able to focus my brain in order to focus on school work.
At that moment I knew what I had to do! I started writing for the purpose of quieting my mind. It worked.
When that happened I began to see the words patient endurance starting to pop off the pages of the bible journals I was using. I was astonished. I was able to focus and get stuff accomplished. What was I writing? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING OF GREAT SIGNIFICANCE! No joke, one day I wrote about Poop because that’s what a smarty pants friend wrote on my Facebook post asking for one-word journal prompts.
A Few other things I changed
I simplified my devotions for a time (not that what I was doing was overcomplicated). I picked up my sketchbook and I began the process of starting a women’s ministry. It didn’t all come back immediately. I needed to be patient with the process. I’m still working through the process of being patient with the process because goodness knows it’s not a perfect process. I’m also working on building my endurance. When I get impatient with myself or the process (or God-because yeah that happens too) not giving up but fighting through even if it means doing a simplified devotion for that day compared to what I’m used to. I don’t want to get worn down by starting out in a sprint but I want to run a steady race, enduring patiently whatever lies ahead of me on my walk with Jesus.
Here are the verses I picked to go along with my word (phrase) of Patient Endurance for the year.
2 Thessalonians 3:5New Living Translation
5 May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.
Hebrews 6:12New Living Translation
12 Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.
I can’t have patient endurance without Jesus, I just can’t. I also know that I do NOT want to become spiritually dull and indifferent. We all know that there’s a whole lot of indifference going around. I want to be different. So will you join me this year as I embrace Patient Endurance?
Have you chosen a word for the year? Of so what is it? Share it in the comments below!