learning Patience. 1 comment


{Warning: I mention miscarriage in this post – not mine – but it comes up.}

journey Mary and JosephIt really isn’t a big secret that my favorite times of year are the ‘purple’ times of year: Advent and Lent. I love them both for so many different reasons, but each season encourages me to grow and be stretched.

Advent, at least for me, is all about waiting – something I’m characteristically bad at. But at our last ultrasound appointment, I got an important lesson on why being patient is so important.

There we were, waiting in the waiting room. Waiting rooms make me nervous. I’d rather sit in my car until its my turn and then just go straight into the appointment. Doctor, dentist, ultrasound, doesn’t matter, keep me out of the waiting room. In any event, that day I was ridiculously excited about our appointment: we were finding out the gender of our baby! Our appointment was at 3:30pm, the very last appointment of the day since the office closes at 4pm. I got there first and Anthony met me in the waiting room. I waited. We waited. I impatiently text my friend and complained/whined about how things were running late.

It was 3:35pm.

3:45pm.

Seriously? What on earth was taking so long? No one else was in the waiting room and I hadn’t even seen another soul enter since I arrived for my appointment. More texting, more talking to Anthony about how excited I was and how I just wanted to start our appointment already.

3:50pm.

3:55pm.

Now I was just annoyed. Didn’t they know I made an APPOINTMENT? And how dare they give me such a hard time for taking the last appointment of the day and then pulling me in so late? This was their fault that they were going to leave late today. I wasn’t sacrificing my appointment time just so they could leave on time when they were the one running behind in the first place.

4:00pm.

Finally I get called back to be weighed in (my not-at-all favorite part of being pregnant) and ushered back into an exam room. Finally the waiting was over and it was my turn. Me. All about me and my baby and figuring out if the little one is a girl or a boy.

The technician got up and apologized that things were running behind, she told us that they’d been dealing with a woman who miscarried.

My heart sunk. What a piece of work I was, sitting there in the waiting room blaming the staff and being so focused on what I wanted that I never stopped to think of what might be going on behind the counter. Instead of being patient – even though I was undeniably excited – all I could be was impatient and rude, even if the thoughts stayed in my own head. All the while there was a woman in the office who found out she’d lost her child. I can’t even imagine the pain she must’ve been going through.

Sure, our appointment went on, our little girl (!) was as cute as ever, but I still couldn’t shake the other woman from my heart. Even now as I recall that appointment, I can’t help but think of her, whoever she is, and how foolish I’d acted because I couldn’t bother to be patient.

On that day at the ultrasound office, and in the days that followed, I’ve thought a lot about my lack of patience. I get so focused on what I want to see or what I’m waiting for that I miss what other people are experiencing. I miss the woman miscarrying, her heart breaking. Sitting in traffic when I just want to be home, I miss the accident up ahead and the person who is now paralyzed. It may not always be that drastic, but I have no doubt that my own impatience has blinded me to countless other things – things, perhaps, that Christ wanted me to see. So in this season of Advent, I’m doing my best to be more patient, to open my eyes to the things beyond what I want to see and trying to see, even if in some small way, like He sees.


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