For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done
the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
The most common question I get from friends and family now that we are done with paperwork is..."How's the waiting going?" or "How are you doing with patience?" and my answer is "It depends on the day and the perspective I look through." Some days I am perfectly content just waiting, having the hope of a child and a family somewhere in my future. Other days it can be hard and I wonder when or if it will ever really happen.
I am learning just how truly thankful I am that God gives us one day at a time and doesn't allow us to see into our future. It has been one year and nine months since we were told we would have to wait until I turned 21, which was nine months away at the time, to even begin the adoption paperwork/process. Today, one year and nine months later, I turn 22 and we have completed paperwork and are simply waiting. If I had known at the time that we would still be waiting and hoping to have a child almost two years later I would have wanted to give up and not even go down this path. But God knew and still knows exactly what we need and what we can handle. It could be another two years until we get chosen and have a baby, but God gives us the hope that it will be sooner and if we hang onto that hope each day, two years will fly right by. (right?) So that is the perspective I use that really helps me. Almost two years have passed that we have been on this journey and looking back those years flew right by. When I think about waiting with that perspective it doesn't seem to bad and I can just enjoy the little things in life that will be changed once we have a baby. I told one friend I just try not to dwell on it to much because that's when the impatience comes. Her response was "How can you do that? I would think about it every single day!" and I do! Every single day! But it's when I start making "plans" that the impatience comes and then I am reminded that my so called "plans" don't usually happen anyways so I am better off just being content with my life just the way it is and allowing God to make the plans and changes to my future.
The verse above is an encouraging one to me and usually convicting too. Patience doesn't come easily to me:) But patience has helped me to grow in faith and trust in God and His ultimate plan. Awhile ago I was listening to Focus on the Family and I learned something I had never really thought about before. One of the Fruit of the Spirit is long-suffering and often times we can replace that word or explain it by saying it is having patience. I learned there is a big difference in patience and long-suffering. Patience is waiting for something you expect to happen or change. For example, we need patience as we wait to have a baby some day. We know it will happen some how but we have to wait for it to come to pass. Another example of patience is waiting for Christ to return, as the verse above is talking about. We know He is coming back but we need to be patient as we wait. I would say patience is more comparable to contentment than long-suffering. Long-suffering is dealing with a person/situation that you do not expect will ever change, yet you still endure. We as Christians are constantly tempted and struggling against the devil. He is not going to let up while we have the breath of life. Now if we can endure and overcome and still praise God and serve him through it all with a cheerful attitude, that's long-suffering. It was so interesting to me because I had never really thought about the difference in those two words that we use almost interchangeably. It is encouraging to know that for our situation in life right now we are in need of patience, not long-suffering. We have the hope and expectation that someday, in God's timing, we will have a little baby to hold in our arms and call our own.
So to answer the question of patience, I have my up days and I have my down days but overall I am thankful that I am only in need of patience and I can use this time to learn how to depend more fully on God and to hold onto hope for all He has planned for our future.