Patience as a Way of Life

It’s pretty clear to me, that during this time at home here, helping my mom recover from her stroke, God is wasting no time at all, teaching me things.

And not just any “things…” but real, important, messy things.

Things that should come with an owners manual or an instruction guide.

In other words, things you could find at Ikea.

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#SorryOneOfThoseDays

New York City, if there’s anything that characterizes the Big Apple, it’s the instantaneousness of life in the rat race. You want a sandwich delivered at 2am? It’ll be there in 20 minutes. Need a ride? You’ve got an Uber driver 1 minute away. Everything is efficient. And everything happened 2 minutes ago.

And it’s a good thing, but also a bad thing. Or rather, a bad thing to get used to. And one of the big lessons I’m learning here, is a practice in patience…

I got angry at my mom today.

I lost my patience. Huffed off. Said some things that I wish I could take back.

Adjusting to this new “normal” has obviously had its challenges. Memory loss and word recall issues are tricky to navigate, especially for loved ones.

Aside from the obvious, it presents a weariness of spirit that, admittedly, I allowed to get the best of me.


And sitting across from my beautiful mother tonight at the dinner table, wracked with guilt from getting upset with her, God stepped in, and removed a scale from my eye. And moved in my heart a compassion that broke me down in shoulder-shuddering sobs.

My mom didn’t ask for this. She didn’t ask to have a stroke during the prime of her life, with two grandchildren, big plans for her own ministry, and a bucket list of travel destinations, two CVS-receipts long.

And now, she’s unable to fully express the thoughts she’s having in her mind, and can’t remember things on command. Things we so take for granted. Things that I can’t imagine not being able to do.

It’s hard enough to watch a loved one have to suffer through that. But to actually be going through it yourself?

I was sitting there at dinner, looking at my lifeblood, my best friend, my soul sister – and I just thought to myself, Gosh, what a brave woman. If I were enduring that, I would be so scared. So angry. Confused. Frustrated. Discouraged. Annoyed. Anxious. Unsure. Restless. Abandoned by God.

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The trial she’s living with — that she didn’t ask for — she literally woke up to.

She woke up and everything was different. Scary different.

And not for a second has she shown an ounce of fear.

She is so courageous. So strong. So valiant.

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That is the reality she is living with. How dare I not be patient with this incredible woman who is literally fighting to regain her life?

How could I have lost my temper with her today?

My mother hugged me at dinner tonight in the warm embrace I have always known. She held me as I sobbed into her shoulder, accepting my apology and thanking me for acknowledging the hellish nightmare that is her reality. That she cannot just *fix* in a snap.

Tonight, thinking back…I’m being struck by one thing:

“Love is patient.” 

Why is it, that in THE MOST recited wedding verse, and the most famous passage on love, that patience — patience! of all things! — is first!?

I mean, *bam.* Right there. You hear that slapping sound? Yeah, that’s just God smacking me across the face.

Love is patient.

Practicing patience has so been on my heart tonight. And it got me thinking…why let the buck stop with my mom? Shouldn’t I be treating everyone with that same patience?

Because the fact is, everybody is dealing with some sort of unseen burden. Every. single. person. has something weighing on them. Maybe it’s not the devastating aftermath of a stroke, but there are countless other sources of suffering that we should be moved to show compassion and understanding for.

That’s been made so clear to me tonight.

To be patient is to love. They are one and the same.

And if we continue on in that hackneyed passage we find the last little love letter from God….

Love never fails. 

And there in lies the hope 🙂

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357 thoughts on “Patience as a Way of Life

  1. I know how you feel…..your feelings are normal, from frustration, it’s not your Mom you are angry with, it’s the disease, the physical condition. My mom just had her second stroke a couple of weeks ago….she hasn’t come home yet. Surgery to remove a clot at her age is dangerous. Medication is the only option….she has lived longer than we ever expected, has had heart trouble since she was in her 40s. She is going on 84 now. Hang in there and know you are not alone, you are never alone.

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  2. Wow over the last little bit you’ve really showed just who you are as a person. So I’m going to share something with you. It is sometimes easy to get discouraged in the face of adversity. Each trial a Christian goes through strengthens their faith. Each trial a person goes through gives them an opportunity to have Triumph and Victory if they allow themselves to work with God instead of against. As someone who has taken care of an ailing mother in the past I know what it’s like to get angry sometimes at the situation. getting angry at the situation help something though however as people we all have our weaknesses we all have our breaking points. however that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. In the flesh we are weak Spirit may be willing we have to realize just the kind of physical strength we have as human beings we can only do so much. that’s why when times of trial, come our way we have to pray more and worry less diseases like this come straight from the enemy and it’s used to slow down progress of your mother’s work. However God’s going to use this time to strengthen the bond between a mother and her daughter so you live in NYC but your hometown is somewhere else I encourage you to study great women of the Bible to gather strength from them and his words. I’m going to let you in on a little secret and it’s time for the world to know last year I lost everything I had and went bankrupt I lost friends and the enemy tried to keep me out of church for over 6 months. I grew up in a family of non-believers I’m very much the Joseph of my family before Egypt I’m so dedicated to God that I refused to give in. I refused to go back to the way I was before. so what I did when I came home last year I gather up my finances to go back to school and also to go back to church but in that process I walked hand-in-hand with God studying the word away from the non-believers and using the Noonday Sun and stars as my Cathedral in that time I learned that I was tested like job, tried like Joseph but an order for me to be successful in staying committed to going to work the scriptures needed to become reality to me more in the physical world I need to just slay giants like David I need to have the courage of Esther I needed to pray like Daniel I needed to endure hardness like Paul I need to be humble like Gideon and I needed the words of Jesus to do it period during that time I spent 10 months putting together a sermon that’s going to change the lives of thousands of people your triumphs and that your trial can become your testimony. 1st Corinthians chapter 13 Matthew chapter 5

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  3. This is a powerful confession. There are any lessons to be learned in caregiving. Lessons about human strength and weakness. Mostly I think we learn in caregiving about the things which are really truly eternally valuable. When everything else is stripped away these are the things that remain.

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  4. The one thing I will say to you, don’t beat yourself up for any of the things that you feel. You are human. Yes you feel guilty because that is your spirit and the joy in that is that you have thought about it and come to understand that to be patient is to love. Sometimes through all of this we still fall short of what we want to do no matter how hard we try. God knows your love is real, your times of struggle are understandable and your guilt should never rule. He will be right there with you watching over you and your mom through good times and the tough times. Your love will never flounder so don’t wear yourself out just for being a loving human being. I speak from experience because my mother had Alzheimer and that was such a difficult walk through life. God Bless you and I pray for strength and healing for you both.

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    • Thanks Corrie. I really appreciate this thoughtful response. You’re right , I have to give myself some grace during this time too. And that’s so true-God is absolutely holding up my family right now. Oh gosh I am so sorry that your mom had to go through that. Breaks my heart. Thanks again for the prayers. Know that you and yours are in mine as well. Hugs and love xox

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  5. Thank you for being so honest and transparent! as I also have had to be caretaker for my dad and mom both at different times I totally understand the feelings of frustration. Praying your mom has a speedy recovery and that He grants you the peace to push through❤

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  6. Biggest hugs U!! I am so sorry about things that have happened!! You are a wonderful daughter. Yes, we have to be patient when things like that happen. When my mom had her episodes in her house that made it “time to go” to the facility she went to, we could have gotten mad and all kinds of other things, but patience had to kick in. She is blest to have you there and God Bless you for doing what you are doing for her, as long as you stay. xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

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  7. I am just teaching this to myself since yesterday… The creations of the universe are a living testimony to patience- slow, inch by inch, coming into being… Very well written… I really liked the last paragraph…May God grant your mom a quick recovery and to you both the strength you need 🙂

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  8. I am sorry to hear about your mum. Don’t be discouraged. It is easy to feel overwhelmed when confronted with things you do not understand and cannot change. God is your strength.

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  9. Pingback: What Does It Mean To “Follow Your Heart”?: Part 3 | Catholic In The 21st Century

  10. Great message in your blog. Patience is the key to everything and a foundation that when built correctly, is very strong and difficult to break. I will be praying for you and your mom.

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  11. Reading your blog, I am reminded of my own mother who had a stroke. My mom would always remind me that I was not patient!!!! After my mom’s stroke…the “new normal” never quite seemed back to the way it used to be. Treasure those moments with your mom. My mom has been passed away for 15 years, and I remember having similar frustrations you expressed in your blog. One day I had the “light bulb moment”, imagine her frustration because the thoughts are there, the brain may work slower, the speech may be slurred…I learned patience! Kindness and Love followed right behind!:)

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  12. I just lost my father this week; I know that illness can be extremely stressful and also makes us reflect on our own lives. At church today I was reminded of the vows I took as a child and it really helped me get through all of this. I’m barely a Christian these days but reading your words brings me back sometimes. I don’t pray, but I wish you and your mother the best.

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    • Oh gosh I am so sorry for your loss. My heart is just breaking for you and your family. 😦 I will definitely keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. I’m glad that you can find some comfort here. Hang in there ❤ Hugs and love xox

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  13. Pingback: Patience as a Way of Life | Walking to Hug Point

  14. Such a poignant reflection. I really admire your courage. I constantly remind myself, that the Lord does not give us what we pray for – merely the trial and exercise that will create it in us.
    This week has been challenging in that my confessor – 5+ years my junior – suffered a massive heart attack and fell to the ground dead. It is stunning and shocking to us all, and I feel selfish in crying out the unfairness of losing another good priest, when the Catholic struggling inside me to get out and walk around is shouting, Woohoo, and High-fiving the victory.
    You just keep helping others with your truth, and we’ll just be over here – being better by it.

    Michael

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  15. Pingback: Patience as a Way of Life | SHEAVES ON PURPOSE

  16. Without patience, you’ll never get to where you want to go. Couldn’t have said it better. Great info. Follow each other? You have great topics that sometimes people need to talk about

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  17. I know that what your going through is really tough and my heart goes out to you. Life sometimes is really unfair. All I know to say is try to find joy in the small things. Life may never be the same for either one of you again, but alt least she’s still here, as tough as that may be. I recently lost my mom to alzheimer’s and I miss her everyday. As difficult as the last few months were, I treasure the moments I had with her. It might be a long battle for you and your mom, but if you can come to a place where you can appreciate her for the mom that she once was, it might help. Sending prayers your way for both of you.

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  18. Your experience with your mom I can relate to it. I’m living it right now. My mom had a stroke a year ago and she can’t move her left side. She deals with aphasia. No reading. No math. Nothing. God bless you.

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