Tuesday, October 12, 2010

31 for 21: #12 Patience

I did not start out to be a patient person. I am a do-er. I don't like to sit and wait. I crochet, I do not knit, because it takes FOREVER. I prefer to read, because I can read faster than the audio books can dole it out for me. I like to do individual sports, because I do not have to wait on someone else...

I had a temper unlike anything you have ever seen. I got into verbal fights faster than the proverbial gauntlet hitting the ground. I shouted at teachers (please don't tell my kids). I rankled under the tiniest wait. I would drive the long way around slow traffic, even if it took longer, because at least I was moving and I liked to feel in control.

Then I had my son. I slowed down a little, but all in all, he was happy to go along for the ride. So I had to learn to make some adjustments, but the speed didn't have to change much. He was SO big SO fast and very easy going. He slept through the night, hit all the developmental milestones, and was a Good Baby.

Then I had Elise.

Enter the mind-numbing oppression of the wait in a doctor's office. If you don't have patience, go deal with medical testing, the emergency room, and test results...you will either grow a mammoth lot of patience or your brain will explode. Then add complications and developmental delays and you will be stretched even more. Then, add a weird pre-cancerous condition that the doctors tell you WILL develop into cancer, they just don't know when, and sit that one out for a full year....Then once cancer presents, you are hit with the fact that there is never enough time...and waiting doesn't seem so bad.

In some ways having a child with developmental delays and mental delays is like running in nightmares where you run and run and run and don't seem to get anywhere...you are exhausted, but your feet are caught in mud and you can get no traction. In this situation, you have two choices. You can buck and say that this is not what you had planned for your life, and continue to run at your previous pace, wallowing and thrashing in the mud. Or you can celebrate the progression of tiny baby steps, and slow down your efforts such that you don't pass out from the strain, and actually make some progress.

I have been blessed by being in a Bible Study by Beth Moore on Esther. Today she made the point that "Our culture is training us in impatience."

We have microwaves, convection ovens, high speed internet, instant replay functions on out TV's, instant stream videos on our computers, drive through restaurants....the list can go on and on...and while these are very nice, they don't help you exercise your patience.

We can find out if our children will have health issues, and we don't even have to suffer that, resulting in more than 90% of babies suspected of having Down Syndrome being aborted (and who knows how many of other disabilities being aborted!) because it is not the life their parents had chosen to live...

I would not have chosen to grow this much patience, but I am very aware of the blessing that it is. I have grown to the point where I really feel sorry for young, crazy Me that sped through so fast that I missed SO much fun and really cool things in life. I didn't truly appreciate anything enough. I am sure that I will continue to be stretched and tested by God, but I am equally sure He will show me some even more amazing things. Who knows, I may even be able to take up knitting.


  1. did not know this about you, i always thought you were patient, you were so very patient with me! thank you for your vunerability and thoughtfulness.

  2. this is me...started college at 15 cause high school was too slow, graudated SIU a week early to start chiro school, the accelerated program, 5 years done in 3...i never realized how much i missed until it was too late.
    i also drive the long way around slow traffic, fret about things i can't control and have a lot of pent up frustration because things can't get on board with my speed. this was a great reminder for me to slow down, enjoy what i've got, while i've got it. thanks