patience is a Virtue…


…that I don’t possess.  I’ve probably said that phrase about a zillion times in my life and I’m only 23.  God only knows how many times I’ll say it before I die!  God knows He’s been trying to teach me for sometime, but I’m still learning. 

I hate slow drivers.  (I often tell people on the freeway that they don’t deserve the left lane…)
I don’t like waiting in line at the grocery store.
I get really irritated when people get in the express lane to check out and they have more than the allowed number of items.
I don’t even like waiting in line for confession.
And…if you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time you can probably sense that I don’t like waiting for love.  Yes, I’m okay waiting for it to be the right love, but that doesn’t mean I’ve enjoyed waiting.  Granted, God has used that time (and continues to use my time) to teach me things that I needed to learn before entering into a relationship but…waiting has never been my strong suit.

So…now that such a love is in my life you would think I could say, “oh woohoo, this wonderful thing I’ve been waiting for all of my life is here and now I can calm down for a bit.”  If you think that I would think that you are horridly wrong.  Patience is a virtue I don’t possess.  I always seem to be waiting for something.  Ask any of my friends from college and they will tell you that I always had a countdown going for something, whether it was the weekend, the next break from school, when I got to come home or graduation, there was ALWAYS at least one countdown going.  So what am I waiting for now?  This love that I’ve been talking about and writing about for months has, by the grace of God, entered into my heart and lifted me up to a joy I’ve never known before.  And believe you me, I’m soaking up every minute of it.  So what is there to wait for?  If you are a girl reading this blog I can almost guarantee you know what I’m waiting for.  Ok…the sparkly ring on an all-so-important finger is nice, but I’m waiting for a marriage to begin, a life spent serving one another in holiness, constantly encouraging one another to a great holiness.  Lately I’ve been really struggling with why we have to wait.  Why does the Catholic Church require 6-12 months (depending on the parish/diocese) for marriage prep?  Yes, it is a Sacrament and God knows I’ve said the following about the Sacrament of Confirmation at least 100 times, “This is the Catholic Church, we don’t hand out Sacraments like candy.”  So why wait?  I’ve taken this to prayer a lot in the recent days and weeks (and continue to) and here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

1. Trust. 
I don’t always understand the wisdom of the Church.  I respect it, I just don’t always understand it…and not just because of my lack of patience.  However, I’m beginning to realize there is a grace from trusting in 2000 years of teaching, theology and tradition, even if you don’t always understand it.  It takes more faith to trust despite my impatience and through that faith, God is giving me opportunities to be patience.  (Someone once told me that even though we pray for patience, God doesn’t give us patience, rather, He gives us opportunities to be patient.)

2. Learning.
There is so much to learn in a relationship…you have to learn how to fight, how to make up, how to get along with one another’s families, how to drive each other nuts, how to make the bed the way the other wants to make it, how to communicate, how to pray together, how to pray for each other and all these things take time.  We may think we know all that know but in reality I think we are just beginning to see those things…they are all things we continue to learn over time.

3. Everyone else.
I’ve been wrestling with this one the most.  What happens when the two of you know, beyond the shadow of a doubt in the depths of your soul that you are called to spend the rest of your lives together?  And I’m not just talking about me here, I’ve had a lot of friends know who they were supposed to marry but the time wasn’t right, they had to finish college, they needed to get out of debt, they…had a list of practical reasons to hold off on marriage.  Sometimes I think we have to wait because even though we know it in our hearts it takes others (family, friends, the Catholic Church, etc.) a little bit longer to catch on.  Somedays it would be easy to say, “who cares what they think or feel?  We know, and when you know…you know.  End of story.”  But you know what?  There is immense joy that comes from sharing your story with others and watching them, however slowly (remember my lack of patience?) catch on and see the joy that radiates from your hearts. 

God, open our eyes to see the opportunities You give us to be patient.  Then, by Your grace, move our hearts to be patient that we might see the glory You have in store for us.  AMEN!

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