Learning patience

I’ve never been a fan of the idea that you shouldn’t pray for patience.  The reasoning behind that is that you won’t like what God sends you.  Does the same go for wisdom, then?  Or strength?  When I asked for wisdom, He sent me a teenager.  When I asked for strength, He had me train for and run a marathon.  Did I like those things?   No comment.

So, although I didn’t specifically ask for patience, it seems God feels that I need some schooling in it.  And, here I am.  Sitting in a hospital room 500 miles from home, watching my favorite man be miserable, relatively helpless to do anything to relieve him.  And waiting.  Waiting for his surgery tomorrow, praying for the successful closure of his wounds so that we can prepare for the next phase of this thing.  Dealing with the minutiae of an extended hospital stay and all the little aggravations that are built into that.  Learning to be patient and kind, even when I’m tired and cranky.

Gary is doing okay.  Neither of us slept well last night, although I slept better than him, I’m sure.  So, we were both a little off kilter this morning.  I woke up when the trauma team came in at 5:30 am, although I’m usually up by that time.  After they left, I slapped on my running gear, got him situated as comfortably as possible, then headed out for some much needed run time.  It wasn’t fabulous or fast, my legs were grouchy and snarled at me a few times, but I got a couple of soul soothing miles in.  I haven’t been eating well, the offerings here at the hospital are tasty, but a little heavier on the carb side than I like to eat.  So, the result was a draggy, slow run.  But, what’s new?  They’re all slow these days.  And, what’s with the hills, Missouri?  Good grief!

They put poor Gary through the wringer today.  All necessary, but he was exhausted by lunch.  The tech weighed him today, and unless he’s gained 200 lbs since Sunday, that’s how much the apparatus weighs that they have on his leg.  And, he doesn’t look like he’s gained that much to me.  He’s strong and able to help move himself much more than the typical patient is, but it wears him out doing it.  All in all, he’s doing well.  He’s awake and working some right now.

Dexter (the creepy white van) and I have become best buds.  I had to venture out today on a couple of errands, the first of which was to find the closest Starbucks.  He & I found one nearby and I whipped him in and out of the parking lot like I’ve been driving him for years.  For those of you who don’t know what my usual car is, it’s a convertible Mustang.  So.  I’m not crazy about Dexter’s friend TomTom (the GPS), and had a few choice things to say to him as he navigated me through some areas that I felt were out of our way.  TomTom wisely listened to my wrath without comment, and eventually began to see things my way.  I had coffee for lunch, and I knew the offerings that are available at the hospital, so I was looking for a good organic market from which I could pick up a few things.  With no help from TomTom, I found a Trader Joe’s.  (I’m officially starting a petition for a Trader Joe’s to open in Hattiesburg, by the way.  Let me know if you want to help campaign.)  Got my things, headed back to the hospital and saw a store like the one TomTom had driven me across town to find much closer to the hospital (less than 10 minutes away).  After another tirade at poor Tom, I let it go.  Patience.  Stopped to get a bag of ice for the cooler, got in the express lane (carrying a 22 lb bag of ice because I didn’t need a buggy) and got in line behind the only 93 year old woman in America who still writes a check for her groceries.  She slowly wrote each letter of each word, then signed her name at the bottom in a process that took at least 8 and a half minutes.  No lie.  Patience.  I took several deep breaths, shifted the ice to the other hip, and smiled at the sweet, beautiful old lady.  She handed the clerk her check (which thankfully did not require approval), he handed her some cash back from it, along with some change, and she promptly dropped it all on the floor.  Patience.  I put the ice (melting into a puddle by now) on the floor, got down on my hands and knees, and gathered her change up off the ground for her.  She looked at me, then at the ice, and she said, “You aren’t in a hurry are you,dear?”  I just smiled and said, “No, ma’am, I’m fine.” Patience. I spent a long time laughing when I got back to Dexter.  Really, God cracks me up.

You know what?  When I got back to the room, I felt better and had a much sunnier outlook on life.  I’ve been reflecting on all the wonders and blessings He’s given me, and I’m full to overflowing.  I’m putting something in my veins besides caffeine (delicious Trader Joe’s gazpacho!), and have a small stash of good things to eat to tide me over a few more days.  And my man looked a little better when I got back, too.  I think he was able to rest some while I was gone.

Prayer requests:  Tomorrow afternoon they take Gary back to surgery to make the first (and hopefully, only) attempt to repair the fasciotomy wounds.  Pray for him to rest well tonight and for his body to be ready to accept the repair of those wounds.  Also, pray that we’ll have a little clearer vision of what our next step needs to be.  We’re not stressing out about it, but being the planners (some might say control freaks) that we are, we will rest a little easier when those decisions have been made.

And, finally, pray for patience.  God will provide you with all that you need.

Dear brothers and sisters,when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.  James 1: 2-4

Perfect and complete, needing nothing.  I like the sound of that.

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8 thoughts on “Learning patience

  1. nehemiah810 says:

    I will pray for Gary, good luck with the surgery!

  2. mizunogirl says:

    I’ve got your Back. Praying for all of that and for YOU to have that true peace that can surpass all understanding…
    And they better wash their darn hands.

  3. Linda Pierce says:

    Praying for you both!! And when you get home and want to petition Trader Joe’s, I’m on your team – LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. urdmbfan@yahoo.com says:

    We missed you tonight @our first GG……but prayed for you & Gary……for a uncomplicated surgery & to be able to return home soon! Love you girl!!!!!
    Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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