I have no patience. None. Zero. When something doesn’t meet expectations or deadlines – real or imagined – I smile and nod externally while I’m stomping my foot angrily on the inside. No patience.

I am especially impatient with the sorrowful times of those in my tribe. I don’t mean that I want them to get over it. I mean that I want their suffering to end and their lives to be lovely and light and unburdened. So right now, in the Christian Advent season, in the time when I’m supposed to be anticipatory and hopeful and breathless in awe and wonder … I’m real impatient with God.

Because people, my people, are hurting.

Because my cousins welcomed two teensy tiny baby girls into the world and they’re still hooked up to machines in the hospital. I so badly want one baby’s lungs to be strong and for her to weigh more than 1 pound and I want the other baby to be held unencumbered by her mama and I want to see them both grow up healthy and whole and run in fields and scoop up flowers by the fistfuls and drive their big brothers absolutely mad with their laughter and dollies laying everywhere.

Because my dear, precious friends now know why their sweet, darling little girl doesn’t feel well. May they finally get some rest and be assured that she will get well and grow up strong and healthy.

Because a high school classmate’s handsome little man 500 miles away is going through much the same as that darling little girl. Diagnosed within a week of each other. May his laughter always be a present experience and his illness just a memory. I want them all to be able to rest in the joy of knowing God as Healer and that this same God is bigger than tumors and chemo and endless hospital visits.

Because a dear friend/family member is wading through some hard stuff. And I want her to be joyful and unafraid.

Because my friend’s mother is in recovery but not out of the woods. And they’re all so tired. Long illnesses take a toll on more than just the sick.

Because last week I overheard a hateful and hurtful comment from a student that shook me to my core. And it wasn’t what he said about me that was the worst thing, even though it made me cry later. The worst thing was how those words changed a dynamic I thought was solid, and jolted my perspective about my university. As great as it is, hate and loathing still reside here.

Because I didn’t get what I long for. And despite every well-intentioned word, I wonder if I ever will. I wonder if maybe God forgot me, left me behind to do other things. I know it’s not about me and it never was. I just didn’t expect to still. be. here.

Because sometimes dreams don’t come true and we get tired of waiting. So very tired. We want our kids well and our people whole and our hearts unshattered. We want people to be kind and compassionate and respectful of the humanity and the divinity that resides in us all. My 33 years have held enough life for me to know that I may always be stomping my foot in my impatience with the fact that so many people are walking wounded.

It’s Advent. It’s a time when I’m supposed to be joyfully waiting on the Lord. It’s a time when I should be drawing nearer to and further in. Instead, I’m just impatiently waiting. Watching. Wondering. And absolutely convinced that all of this hard and holy mess is gift. advent-candles


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