Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Digging Down the Layers

I'm not a patient person.  Maybe some of you are, but I, my friends, am not.  Most definitely.

I've known this about myself for a while.  I knew it when I got married, nearly seven years ago.  But during that first year of marriage, that was the year I actively began to pray about it.

I know, I know, some of you are laughing right now.  You're thinking back to your first year of marriage and empathizing.  Marriage is an adjustment, to say the least.  But that's not why I began to pray for patience (although the marriage-adjustment-thing certainly helped me remember to pray consistently!).

I began to intentionally ask God to turn me into a patient person when I realized I married a slow mover.

Do you know any slow movers?  Or, better yet, do you know any fast movers?  I, until a few years ago, was most definitely a fast mover.  And I couldn't have married a slower mover if I tried.

Let me give you some examples:

I would wake up on a typical day (prior to my transformation from fast to medium-slow), and my mind would fly ninety-nine miles per hour.  My to-do list would be outlined and categorized before my feet hit the floor.  By eight a.m. I would have completed quiet time (check), breakfast (check), dishes (check), laundry (check), letting the dogs out (check), scrolling through the morning news (check), checking and responding to emails (check), dressing for work (check), all while watching the latest, greatest morning show (have to keep up with social stuff - check).  My husband, bless him, would still be asleep.

I would talk so fast that he would literally ask me to slow down so that he could understand me.  He would talk so slowly that I would literally tap my foot while I waited for him to get his thoughts out.

If he asked me a question, I would have the answer before he had the second word out of his mouth, and I often interrupted him (I know, annoying).  If I asked him a question, I would have to suffer through at least one full minute of silence while I waited for him to formulate his response.  (You should have seen me...you could probably see the steam coming from my ears as I tried, unsuccessfully, to be patient.  It drove me crazy to have to wait!)

Why am I writing about this today?  Because, today, strangely enough, none of these things bother me at all.  I am far less productive and move much more slowly than he does.  (Funny what having a debilitating illness does to a person...it might slow you down, but at least it gives you perspective!)  I barely think about how different we are...how he takes a slower pace than I do.  That's because he doesn't - not anymore.  I've changed.  I'm much more 'his pace' - in thought, word, and deed.  In fact, in many ways, I'm a slower mover than him (and I love this pace, by the way!).

So what made me remember how it used to be?

I had a moment.  You know, one of those moments.  It was with my daughter.  I can't even remember the details right now, but I know it happened some time last week.  I know I was ridiculously impatient, and I know it hurt her. 

I also know that nothing - nothing - is worth the look on her face when she felt hurt by my impatience.  Whatever I was in a hurry for - getting some errand done or answering a phone call or whatever - it wasn't worth it.

As I felt the pang of the fruit of my impatience, I thought to myself: "oh no, here I go again; and I thought I had come so far."

Then God gave me a picture.  He showed me a shovel digging deeper, deeper into the very soil that is my foundation...the place where seeds are planted and nurtured and grown. 

For the most part the soil was rich and fertile, but it had a few hard spots that had to be broken up.  It had a few rocks that needed to be removed.  It had a few leftover roots and weeds, all broken and dead, that needed to be hauled away.

"We're digging down the layers," He said, reminding me that transformation is a process.  Think of it as a digging process or a round-the-mountain process - whichever picture helps you the most.  Either way, transformation involves revisiting.  Going back to a place you've been before does not mean you've failed, moved backwards.  It does mean you've made progress - enough progress to make it around the mountain back to the same spot, only you're a little higher this time, or, a little deeper.

Either way, you've come a long way.

Linking up with my SDG girls.  Go ahead, take a look and see what this awesome community is all about!

1 comment:

  1. Wait a minute, can you see into my house?

    You know, I don't label us as patient or not...even though the exact same thing happens around here. I am just a morning person. I would have the world figured out by 8:00, and it would be an hour later before the hubby even wandered out of bed!