There was a night this past spring when I was wrestling with too many thoughts and too many unknowns - too late into the night. I knew what I was wrestling with couldn’t be figured out that night. I knew that. But I was finding myself reaching back to my old ways of wanting to make decisions and get everything figured out perfectly on my own. I was impatient.
And in God’s gentle kindness, He spoke these words over me:
His words stopped my wrestling thoughts in their tracks. I knew these words didn’t come from me, because I was feeling all but patient in that moment. He reminded me, though, of ALL the immense ways He had been growing a patient spirit within me over the past several months at the time, and how patience, surrender, and trust had always led me closer to Him and in the direction He desired of me.
So I chose patience once again that night, but I told Him, “Okay, Lord, I just don’t know what I am supposed to be patient for anymore.” Yet still, I surrendered. I trusted.
And then over and over after that late night, He kept showing me all the ways He had already intricately figured out my unknowns in much more beautiful and wonderful ways than I could have planned myself.
And over and over still, I come back to His gentle, but firm, words that night - “Patience, patience.” I still have unknowns. The very imperfect human within me wishes I could have all the answers, but I continuously am learning to see the beauty in the unknowns, as there will always be unknowns.
Thank God for His sovereignty so that I may rest in Him as I surrender to patience and choosing His ways over my own. It is a daily decision to surrender, but it is a decision worthy of choosing each day.
This diptych painting, Note to Self: Patience, Patience, is created in response to my daily surrender. It doesn’t mean my patience is perfect every day, but it does mean my posture toward patience has been made new. It does mean I choose to learn about patience every day, and, therefore, learn a little bit more about God every day, too. And it means that I get to be so deeply grateful for His patience with me. What a beautiful thing to choose every day.
“Patience, patience,” He softly said. Pause. Rest. Be still.
Did you notice how the shape of this diptych painting forms the symbol for pause? It does so quietly, and softly - in the same manner as God spoke over me. There may be chaos and rawness and wrestling within the painting, but it is enclosed by pause. When we intentionally rest our thoughts and bring them to the Lord, we can intentionally open our ears to listen to His soft, but firm words - allowing the Lord’s sovereignty over our unknowns to be something we can endlessly rest in.
So, here is a note to self - for you and I: