Patience

One thing that keeps popping into my head lately is, “Oh, so this is how it’s supposed to be.” In a lot of aspects of my life right now, I feel like things are as they should be. Of course, not everything is perfect; there are still moments of frustration, areas for growth, things that could be better. But on the whole, I feel like my life is balanced and good — in terms of my job, my living situation, my social landscape, my connections with people, my connection with God. I feel happy and whole, and it feels real, not like something I have to convince myself of or talk myself into out of desperation, not a happiness that I’m settling for or that I’m compromising something else for.

I have always struggled with being patient, with enjoying the moment I’m in instead of rushing on to the next thing that’s lined up. I couldn’t wait to be done with my small-town life and go off to college in the city; I graduated from college early because I wanted to start my “real life” as soon as possible; it only took two weeks in San Francisco before I had moved into an apartment and started a job; I ended one relationship only to emotionally plunge into a new one. I don’t necessarily regret any of these things, but looking back, I can see that not all of these decisions were to my advantage.

But over the past few months, I feel like I have settled into a place that’s good, and I’m realizing that being settled, to some degree, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’ve always been afraid of becoming too comfortable, worried that it would make me lose my drive to be more and do more. But a reasonable degree of security doesn’t have to be detrimental. Because now, I feel like I’m in a place, literally and figuratively, where I think I’d like to stay for a while, a place where I can be still, and patient, and listen, and see what really is next — instead of forcing what I want to be next.

A few months ago, I was ready to drop everything and embark on something new — anything new. I hadn’t thought it through, I didn’t have any vision; I just wanted to do something that felt like it mattered. I was unhappy with many aspects of my life, and I felt like I needed to pour myself into something larger than me.

But then, one by one, things started shifting. I started to feel more capable and in control at work. I moved out of my apartment into a place with two fun, friendly, and caring roommates. I started dating a guy who encourages and inspires and energizes me. And suddenly I had these new things to pour myself into, these relationships to be a part of. And I felt good. Not complacent good, or things-should-stay-like-this-forever good, but good in the sense that I didn’t feel empty or lonely or sad. Good in the sense that I felt like my life was headed in a positive direction, I direction in which I wanted to keep going. Good in the sense that I realized that I didn’t have to be doing something seemingly insane in order to be doing what God wants me to do right now. Good in the sense that when it is time for something big to happen, to change, I will know.

Of course, I still have moments where I get desperate for what’s next, for things to be planned and purposeful and perfect. But I am trying to enjoy where I am now and be open to the possibilities of what will come next, without imposing my plans or selfish desires upon those possibilities. I am trying to see, to seek, to be patient. Sometimes it feels like a cop out, but I really believe that for this moment, I am where I am supposed to be, doing what I am supposed to be doing, with the people I’m supposed to be with. And I’m thankful.

—–
“I am healthy, I am whole; but I have poor impulse control. And I want to go home, but I am home. We are strong, we are faithful; we are guardians of a rare thing. We pay close, careful attention to the news the morning air brings. We show great loyalty to the hard times we’ve been through.” -Mountain Goats

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One response to “Patience

  1. “I just wanted to do something that felt like it mattered…I felt like I needed to pour myself into something larger than me…But then, one by one, things started shifting.”

    I wonder if the unsettling of your soul, the perceived need for something huge and important, opens your heart and mind to allow the shifting that came and brought wholeness.

    I wonder if the things, the changes, that have brought a sense of balance at this juncture, are in fact those things that “matter” and “are larger” than you.

    I wonder if looking into the unseen with a disturbed heart that is demanding change and meaning and significance leads to a perspective on the world that is balanced and hopeful, shaping and influencing the immediate environment in positive ways that are the fruit of unsettling frustration.

    I just wonder.

    Thanks!

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