Patience — the will or ability to wait or endure without complaint; the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with long-term difficulties.
Growing up I learned early on that patience was a virtue, but I never really knew the true definition. So because my version was a little skewed, I saw myself as a patient person. What I would soon learn was that the kind of patience I had was for day to day trials, not long-term waiting.
After my divorce I “dated dumb”, as I like to refer to it. Out of my pain, I choose people that were very unhealthy and I quickly discovered that if I wanted my second marriage to be healthier than my first, I had to make wiser choices. So I waited for God to place someone in my life. Not long after, I met a man and a few months into our relationship, marriage was being discussed. We dated for almost a year and had an amazing relationship. We attended church together, prayed together, and he was my best friend. He was everything I had prayed for since I was a little girl. But all those dreams were put on hold when he decided he needed some time to figure out what he really wanted. So my wait began. I knew God was in control, so I respected my boyfriends’ decision and stepped away to let him have the time he needed to make the best choice for him. I was patient for about four weeks and then I got angry. As days turned into weeks and weeks into months with no word from him, I realized patience was an area I needed to work on. I reminded myself daily that God had a plan and tried to meditate on His promises. That mindset would last a few days and then I was back to feeling sad and wondering why it was taking so long for God to give me what I thought was His plan for my life. Somewhere on this roller coster ride of trusting God and feeling sorry for myself, I realized that my lack of patience was due to the fact that I was waiting on the outcome I wanted. Never did I imagine that God had a different plan in store for me.
One day I had stayed in bed all afternoon because I had made myself physically ill. While I was laying there feeling sad and praying for God to take the pain away, I heard a crash that came from my bathroom. I walked in to find a framed, full length mirror face down on the cold tile floor. I very carefully turned it over, careful not to cut myself. The glass was shattered in hundreds of pieces. Great, I thought, seven years of bad luck. Just what I needed, more trials and heartache. Needless to say, that day turned out to be a depressing one.
It wasn’t until a few days later that God came through loud and clear. After the mirror had fallen and shattered, I placed it under a chaise lounge in my room. One day as I was cleaning, I decided it was time to throw it away. As a slide it out from under the lounge, I was reminded of all the pain in my life. With tears welling up in my eyes, I stood up and noticed something I hadn’t noticed before. Not a single piece was out of place. With blurred vision, I saw the most beautiful arrangement of broken glass. It looked like a firework with the center as the point of impact, bursting from there into a starburst effect. I was in awe of the beauty that came from an old, broken mirror. What God revealed next pierced my heart. He softly whispered that the mirror represented my life. Like the mirror, I was completely broken, but He promised me if I stayed focused on Him, He would take all the broken pieces of my life and put them back together to create a beautiful masterpiece.
On that cold winter day, my Heavenly Father revealed His heart and began the process of putting mine back together again. He taught me that patience is waiting on His timing, not my own. Through my brokenness, God made something more beautiful and more magnificent than anything I could have ever dreamed of.
So if you find yourself questioning God, wondering when He is going to come through for you, know that His timing is always perfect. Meditate on His word and through His teaching, He will use your heartache to mold you into the man or woman you were created to be.