HANNAH'S JOURNEY OF PATIENCE
This series on Formation has been SOOOOO good!! Each fruit of the Spirit Pastor Oneka taught has wrecked my heart and I’m learning to believe that God has made a way through the power of the Holy Spirit for us to live a life that is continuously full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control! We don’t have to be satisfied with glimpses of these things in our life, but we can be utterly consumed with His Spirit and power in our lives and allow these fruits to be so present no matter the circumstance! Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t always tap into this! However I am learning that it’s continuously there for me; and when I do tap into it and allow Him to have His way in me, it changes everything even if it looks like nothing has changed!
At our June Sisterhood Pastor Oneka taught us about the fruit of patience. (You can listen to the message here —INSERT VIDEO LINK) She also asked a few of us to share our stories and some things that we’ve learned while we’re waiting. If you were there or have listened to the podcast, you already know a snapshot of my journey of waiting and learning patience. My husband Andrew and I have been waiting for 12 years to have a baby. Before we were married we knew that God wanted us to trust Him in this area of our lives. We assumed that it meant that He wanted us to have a big family but what He really was asking was for us to trust His plan for our lives. I have over and over again turned to this verse:
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9
There are things that we will never understand, but He is asking us to trust Him while we wait. He has a plan and we are safe in His care. OUR JOB IS NOT TO HAVE PERFECT UNDERSTANDING OF WHY but to be able to trust Him even when we don’t understand!
I have had an insane amount of grace in this waiting season. God has been incredibly faithful to give me patience, comfort, peace and joy! However that doesn’t mean I haven’t had moments where I’m just frustrated and confused. For example, why would we feel peace and direction from God to do fertility treatments and still not get pregnant? It doesn’t make sense in my brain. But I have discovered that when I keep my focus and think 'God is good and He has a plan. I don’t have to understand. This circumstance is out of my control, but I can control how I respond.' I remove expectations of how I think things should be and I trust God! It’s amazing when I change my perspective, my perceptive changes.
Something else I’ve learned is that God wants us to keep asking and to keep seeking Him. There have been so many times when I just wanted to close off the part of my heart that wants a baby. It seems like it would be easier to just pull away from the hope so I don’t have to keep experiencing hurt and disappointment. I think 'if I don’t want this than I won’t continue to be disappointed when it doesn’t happen.' But I think this thought process is completely missing what this life is all about. It’s not about getting what we want, but about submitting to His process, learning to see what He sees, learning His heart and learning to believe He is who He says He is. I love these verses in Romans 5:3-5:
"There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!"
So if patience comes from the waiting and struggle, we have to change our perspective on what we’re experiencing. If we allow this process to be what it needs to be, it will get us ready for the purpose that God has for our lives! We will never be left feeling shortchanged, quite the contrary, we won’t be able to round up enough containers to hold everything that God is GENEROUSLY pouring into our lives!! WOW!!! That’s so powerful!! I want to look at waiting like that!! Let’s start looking at waiting and patience as something to celebrate! An area where we’re going to get to see God be incredibly generous with us!!