Journey to the Foreign Mission Field: My Story (Part 2)

click HERE to read Part 1!

March 3rd, 2015:

After years of knowing, months of preparation, weeks of goodbyes, and days of no sleep, here we were pulling out of our driveway for the last time.

We’re leaving…

It was a bitterly cold day. A thin blanket of snow coated a solid inch of ice. My family and I were all wearing our warmest jackets (we wouldn’t need coats in Zambia) as we drove the 4 hours to my Aunt’s house. We had enough time to say final goodbyes to my Aunt and cousins along with my grandparents before hitting the road once more.

That was honestly the first time I’d ever seen my grandpa unashamedly cry…

I almost wish I could say I was emotional at this time; but again I was so tired reality didn’t seem real.

My Uncle drove with us through the night to Atlanta where we boarded our first flight at 6am.

We were Zambia bound!

The physical journey was long and tiresome. I remember first feeling like I was in Africa when we landed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I had just come out of the restroom (also an adventure) and a lady began rapidly speaking to me in Amharic, gesturing unclearly as she did so. I don’t speak Amharic so had no clue what she was saying. Someone tried to tell me in English what the woman was saying, but their accent was such that I couldn’t understand them either the first couple times…Yup, I certainly wasn’t in the U.S. anymore! My first hint into the fact that communication in Africa is not easy…

I was high on adrenaline that final flight from Ethiopia to Zambia. Despite getting very little sleep on the previous 19+ hours of flying, my mind was racing! Sleeping the final two hours of the journey was out of the question.

I remember vividly when the captain informed us we were coming into Ndola. I immediately began looking out my window, anxious to see our new home.

My mind was more puzzling than comprehendible at this point: “YAY! We’re finally here! I can’t WAIT to get home! Wait…did I just say home? I’ve never even seen the house before. Why did I just call it home? Wow…This is so strange. I feel in a way like I’m home; but then again, I feel so far from home.”

Those final thoughts are somehow both true and have remained true to this day. I feel like I’m home; but then again, I feel so far from home.”  

In fact, that statement has only become truer…

Like I wrote in a previous post, I never expected to change when I came to Zambia. It wasn’t where I really wanted to be; so why would it change me?

I’ve never been so wrong in my life.

I’ve written story upon story of my life here in Zambia for this blog. Right now, I want to summarize the key things God has taught me through being in Zambia.

Don’t get too comfortable:  before moving to Zambia I HATED traveling! I loved my small little town of West Plains, Missouri and didn’t really care if I never left. These feelings aren’t inherently wrong; but for me these feelings were all rooted in me idolizing my home, the people there, and my own personal comforts.

Because I was too comfortable, I became unwilling to do what God wanted. My life was all about me, what I wanted, and what made me happy rather than being about what God wanted for my life.

When I became too comfortable I blinded myself to many realities. My vision was honed in on the things that make me happy and comfortable and I didn’t allow myself to see anything else. This is a dangerous mindset to possess…

The world is much larger than West Plains, Missouri…

My next lesson ties in with this one:

Be content wherever God has me: I think often times “comfort” and “contentment” are incorrectly used synonymously. For a long time, I was guilty of this in my own life. If I wasn’t comfortable, I wasn’t content. If I wasn’t content, I was also uncomfortable. The two went hand-in-hand in my mind. I couldn’t have one without the other. But that’s simply not true.

Let’s define the two words:

Comfort: a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.1
Contentment: a state of peaceful satistaction2

A quick difference I see between the two is one (comfort) mostly refers to our physical well-being and the other (contentment) only refers to our mental well-being.

It is possible to feel discomfort but still be content.

In fact, I’d almost go so far as to say discomfort is the key to Biblical contentment.

Why? Well to put it simply, how can I be content where God has me if I’m not willing to push through the hardships and difficulties? What is contentment if it isn’t being willing to face trials? If we didn’t have to face difficulties we’d all be content!
As Christians, we are promised challenges in life. They may be minimal; they may be substantial; or there may be some of both. Yet even through these challenges (which will naturally bring discomfort of some kind) we are still called to be content.

If I have a poor and discontent attitude about life I will never go far and will never be able to live my life to its fullest potential.

This is where we are called to say “not my will but Thine” and make the most of our situation in life. Ultimately, we’re going to find that when we submit to God’s will for our lives, even in the challenges, our lives will feel far more rewarding and be much more full of joy.

Wherever I am, today, right now: THAT is my mission field: Often times when people hear the word missionary they take it to mean someone who lives in a foreign country with no electricity or contact with the outside world.

Sure this is sometimes the case! But I would like to propose that those people would be correctly titled a “foreign missionary”. Why am I nitpicking words here? Well, if you want to know the truth it’s because, Biblically speaking, every Christian is a missionary.
Matthew 28:19 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

This command was not given to the individual (quite obviously, every person cannot visit every country). This command was given to the universal, worldwide church as a whole. God has my family serving in Zambia right now. God has our dear friends in Utah. God may have me in back in the U.S. next year.

God has you right where you for a reason…

Your mission field is where you are right now! Even if you’re sitting in a coffee shop, at your desk at work, or rocking your child to sleep; THAT is your mission field! We as Christians need to recognize this and live like the missionaries God created us to be! We need to seek God with our lives and ask Him how He wants us to serve on our mission field.

Never again will I view a “missionary” as limited to someone out of the country. Yes, people  who move out of the country to share the Good News of Jesus Christ are missionaries; but I will still be a missionary for Christ if I move back to the U.S.. Wherever I am today, right now, THAT is my mission field…

I’ll never be “home” again:  This lesson has definitely been the hardest with which to cope. When I’m in Zambia I miss the U.S. so very much! I’m American and naturally my heart is tied to my country. I also spent 16 years of my life there and have incredibly strong ties! Even still, when I’m in the U.S., my heart longs for the beautiful sound of Zambian music and the relational community.

My heart no longer belongs to one place.

My heart is always partially elsewhere.

This is where contentment in discomfort comes in. Some days I’m uncomfortable and I miss my American life. That’s perfectly understandable and condonable; so long as I’m willing to be wherever God has me…I’m very content to be in Zambia even though there are hard days.

Since I’ve learned not to idolize a place, not get too comfortable, and to be content; I can now honestly say I’d be content to move or live anywhere. Not saying living “anywhere” would necessarily be easy. No matter where I live there will always be challenges and difficulties; but I know God will mold my heart to fit right where He wants me. I’m so grateful for this lesson!

He is enough: This is a lesson I feel like I am constantly learning. As I discussed in part 1, I have a strong tendency to idolize relationships.
Well, God sure has really taught me a lesson since I’ve been to Zambia!
I have no idea why this is the case, but people here don’t tend to stay in one place very long. The people I was close to when we first moved to Zambia have nearly all moved away; and now my sphere of people I’m around often is totally new.

I’ve made some incredible friends only to have them move away just as we were becoming close.

This has been especially difficult for me.

Because of all this, I haven’t really had the chance to idolize people. Just when we start to bond as friends, the person moves away.

God has used this to show me that I don’t *need* friends to survive.

Yes, friends are a BEAUTIFUL gift from God! I have a best friend (I could write a whole blog post about how incredible she is) who I talk to every day over text (since we live on two different continents). Of course I still have friends!

However, God is enough….He has taken friends away from me to show me that when I’m bored, need help, want to have fun, etc., I can call on Him for all these things. I don’t have to solely rely on friends. Even when my closest friends in Zambia leave or when my life-long friends are on the other side of the world, God is still with me and will never leave.

Christ is and always will be enough…

God has revealed multiple other things to me since I’ve lived in Zambia. Every day I feel like God teaches me something new!! These are just the highlights of what God has taught me regarding the big picture…

As I look back on this incredible journey and as I ponder what the future holds for my life, all I can think to say is how incredible my God is! All the glory goes to Him!! Life in Zambia would not have been such an incredible experience had it not been for God working to change my heart.

I wouldn’t have fallen in love with Zambia the way I have.

I wouldn’t have all these amazing stories of what God is doing to share with all of you.

I wouldn’t have made so many new relationships.

I wouldn’t have learned all these incredible lessons.

I wouldn’t change a thing about my journey.

If I were to summarize what I would hope to say to encourage you from my story it’s this: Don’t lose heart. In every circumstance, look to God for help; and never stop asking God to grow you and teach you new things.

Life is challenging. Life brings us emotions of all kinds! We have good days and bad days…good years and bad years. It’s a part of life! But never give up! God has a plan for you even when you’re going through the most difficult circumstance of your life.

Don’t give up. When you are weary, look to Jesus.

Don’t ever get too comfortable with where you are in life. Always seek the Lord to mold you, shape you, and teach you new things! The journey may be difficult, but I promise it’s worth it when your relationship with God is stronger on the other side.

And just a warning, if you do become too comfortable, be prepared for God to teach you a lesson whether you want Him to or not (my story is a case in point).

I pray my story has been an encouragement to you. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.

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Journey to the Foreign Mission Field: MY story…(Part 1)

Most of my blog posts up to this point have been sharing about my day-to-day life in Zambia with a few “thoughts” and “lessons learned” thrown in. But I’ve been thinking lately about perhaps writing out my journey coming to the mission field; the easy and the hard, the good and the bad.

Well, I’ve decided to go for it…and here’s the end result.

My goal in sharing this is to hopefully encourage others who may be going through the same things I’ve been through… Foreign missionary or not, I hope this post encourages you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was early 2011. My family and I were sitting in our living room in small-town Missouri. My dad had just returned from a short trip to Zambia and the news that wasn’t altogether unexpected was told us by my parents: We’re moving to Zambia.

I remember feeling a rush of emotions. As I said, the news wasn’t entirely unexpected. Zambia had been a big point on conversation in our home for about a year at this point and I knew my parents had a heart for Africa.

Even still, my emotions were everywhere. I didn’t want to go…but I did want to go….I didn’t want to leave my friends…but I wanted to live in Zambia. I’d always DREAMED of jumping back in time and living when things like electricity, running water, and technology weren’t so readily available; and I knew Zambia would likely fulfill that dream to some degree…but I didn’t want to give up the luxury and comforts of the U.S..

Nearly every thought I had was contradictory to another. I wanted something, but I didn’t want it…My feelings didn’t make sense; and quite frankly, neither did this decision.

Even though 2011 was when we were told this news and when my emotions first went crazy, the emotions quickly subsided and life went on as normal. Zambia was something in the distant future…so distant, in my mind, it would never really happen.

It was nearly four years from when my parents first knew God was calling us to Zambia to when we stepped foot on Zambian soil as an entire family for the first time.

During these four years, my parents prayed diligently. They asked God for the right timing for us to move. They asked God for the resources. They made strides toward making us getting to Zambia possible.

During these four years, I was telling people I was moving to Zambia when it became appropriate in conversation; but I still didn’t really believe it.

It all became real sometime in 2014. My parents began talking about purchasing tickets. We started going through and selling things in our house. Our shop building began to fill up with items to either sell or store.

It began to feel like we were moving. Somehow, Zambia didn’t seem so distant anymore…it didn’t seem so unlikely. It was actually happening…

I turned 16 in October of 2014; just 6 months before we left for Zambia. As my birthday approached and the the freedom I’d have with a driver’s license became more exciting, my excitement for Zambia steadily decreased.

Just before my 16th birthday, I started falling into serious resentment regarding Zambia. I was placing my identity in friendships and people. I also dealt with anxiety and some mild depression. I cried myself to sleep multiple times with bitter thoughts about Zambia, already missing relationships, and being afraid of the future. I didn’t want to go. No matter what, I just wanted to stay in Missouri.

I had (in my mind) controlled my life just fine for the past couple years. I felt like I was right where God wanted me! I was mentoring a friend, my two best friends and I had a relationship anyone would dream of. My church held me accountable and I was fed every week by God’s word. I would soon have the freedom to drive and go places alone. Life in Missouri was fantastic!! This move didn’t make any sense!! …I was comfortable….So WHY WAS I LEAVING!?!?!?

Have you noticed a pattern at all here?? I’ve hardly mentioned me calling on God for strength at all…I was living in my own strength during this time. I was trying SO hard to control my life even though I knew it was out of my control…. I was brokenhearted and an emotional wreck because I was seeking answers and placing my identity in all the wrong places….I thought I knew the right answers; but God is the only one who truly possessed those.

At this same time, I lost some valuable relationships; relationships I’d been idolizing and putting before God. When God removed these relationships, my eyes were opened to see how much I’d neglected Him.

I cried and cried telling my parents how much I knew I’d failed and how much I knew I needed to change.  Instead of judging me or being upset, they only encouraged me. They simply told me how proud they were of me for recognizing my failure and doing something to fix it.

I began really seeing my need for the Lord more as these last 6 months in the U.S. progressed. I began praying more, reading my Bible more, and even thinking about God more. While I was still sad, I found I wasn’t trying to live in my own strength in as many areas anymore. Zambia seemed a little less of a grim fate and my excitement was increasing…but I was still conflicted.

However, there was one area of my life I still didn’t give over fully to the Lord:

I was broken one the inside. My life was out of my control and I KNEW I needed to surrender everything to the Lord; but I still didn’t surrender my friendships. I was still placing a huge portion of my identity in them and used them as an escape mechanism from reality.

I was finally at a place where I could say, “Okay God, I’ll go…” but it was still hard. Instead of calling on the Lord first in my time of difficulty, then my family second, my first “go to” was my friends.

I spent SO MUCH time with my friends the last few months in the U.S.. There’s not anything wrong with this per-se. I mean, everyone wanted their last minute time with friends; but for me I was using it as an escape.

I was escaping from my house which felt FILLED with Zambia: bags laying here, piles of papers to organize there, no furniture in this room, all our clothes in that room…everything just SCREAMED Zambia and some days it was more than I could bear.

I was escaping from thoughts of leaving my friends. I thought spending more time with them would somehow take away the reality of leaving them. It didn’t…

Then, I went through a time where I believed the lie if I’m sad at ALL about moving to Zambia it meant I was not submitted to the Lord. I beat myself up over being sad. I told myself I couldn’t struggle since it was what God was calling me to do. Therefore, I tried to suppress and hide my emotions.

This didn’t go very well for me. Thankfully God showed me the truth quickly. I read the story of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane where He cried out to the Father and God used that story to show me the truth. It’s okay for what God is calling me to do to be hard. It’s okay for me to cry! It’s okay to be sad! However, “not my will but Thine” should be my resounding heartbeat even in the midst of difficulty. As long as I am willing despite the pain, that’s what matters.
God calls us to do hard things. God doesn’t promise us an easy life. In fact, the Bible talks a lot about suffering, rejoicing in suffering, and glorifying God in suffering. It’s not a sin to suffer…it’s how we deal with that suffering that can be sinful if we’re not careful.

In fact, I’ll never forget: I shared what I had just learned regarding suffering with my church family one Sunday through tears. One of the men spoke up, laughing a little, and said, “Well quite honestly, if you weren’t at least a little sad I might think there was something wrong with you!” HAHA!

I learned it was okay to cry.
It was okay to miss my friends.
It was okay to spend time with friends.
It was okay to ask God “why?”.
It was okay to be confused and not understand…

What wasn’t okay was placing my identity in other people…giving into fear and anxiety about the future …thinking it was right to look to myself for strength…thinking it was WRONG to be sad. Those things were wrong.

I’d learned a LOT of lessons. I’d taken a lot of hard knocks emotionally. But now, two months before I moved, God brought me to a place of full acceptance and revealing Himself and His truths to me…

So the last two months must’ve been easy right?? WRONG! Remember what I said about suffering?? Those two months weren’t easy at all. In fact, the intense conflict of emotions progressed to an even greater degree.

THIS time, however, I was prepared: I had the Lord on my side. I called on Him and He helped me combat the lies and not give into depression or fear. In dealing with stronger emotions than before, I can only imagine how hard those last weeks would’ve been if I hadn’t been seeking the Lord.

I’m not saying I was perfect those last couple months. There were days I failed miserably and gave into the lies. The area where I failed most was continuing to seek answers in friends.

I most certainly had days where I struggled.

I even remember crying in a parking lot and venting to my best friend’s mom just days before I left. I repeated much of what I said above about not understanding why God would take me away and feeling like it was all wrong and this wasn’t for the best. I definitely had hard days!!

Generally speaking though, the last couple months were far better because I was more actively seeking the Lord. I didn’t wallow in self-pity as much or give into depression as long. I started looking to God and my parents first instead of friends first.

I had many late-night conversations with my parents in my room where I shared my struggles. They were so good to listen and comfort me!

As the time came closer and closer, my emotions, as I said, became even more conflicted. One day, I was giddy with excitement and chatting with a missionary girl in Zambia about how I couldn’t wait to be there. Then the next day, I cried all day and couldn’t stand being at my house….

Everything about my life was changing.

It was anything but easy.

As the weeks dwindled down to days, our house became abuzz with people coming to help us clean, pack, haul things to storage, say their goodbyes, etc.

Those final days all run together in my mind and are a humungous blur. I remember waking up in the middle of our living room floor one morning to the sound of my friend and her mom’s voices. I guess I’d fallen asleep sometime in the middle of the night. HAHA! My friend looked quite shocked to see me lying in the middle of the floor.

I also remember getting very little sleep. I know my parents slept even less than I did. I don’t know how they functioned!
I spent many nights at my grandma’s, but it was always well after midnight when I drove there and long before 9am when I was back at our house helping pack, go through items, or clean. There were a few nights in there when I didn’t even sleep until 3-4am. The morning my friend found me on the floor was probably after one of those nights. 😉

I also remember, very vividly, the amazing amount of help and support we had from our church and other friends and family. People came and spent full days working with us. My friend’s mom honestly knew where things were in our house better than we did the last few days and I actually had to ask her where anything I needed was! The amount of love everyone poured out to us was absolutely astounding! I will never be able to thank them enough.

I also know for a fact every one of my close friends saw me cry during those few days. Many literally let me cry on their shoulders. I even had a two hour conversation with one of my friends where I called her, said “talk about anything but Zambia”, and she kept me laughing and smiling for the next two hours. My friends are so wonderful! The things they’ve put up with from me show what true, genuine friends they are. I don’t know what I would’ve done without them then or what I’d do without them now or in the future.

We were spending a great amount of last-minute time with family members during these final days as well.
As I said goodbye to my great-grandparents, it began to sink in I may never see them again, and would likely never have the same experiences on their grand farm I had in the past: I said “goodbye” to my great-grandfather for the last time on this earth just 2 days before we left for Zambia…
I spent many of our last nights at my other grandparents’ house (since ours was void of any beds) and it began to resonate that I wouldn’t have this opportunity again for a very long time…My grandma would no longer be minutes away to call for a SONIC happy hour run…I wouldn’t be able to ask my grandpa the answer to a difficult crossword puzzle clue and then hear his long explanations that followed….

Saying goodbye to everyone was the hardest thing I’d ever done.

Because so many people were coming day in and day out to help us, in some cases I ended up saying goodbye to the same person multiple times which was excruciating!

Saying all the goodbyes made everything official…I don’t know how many people I watched walk out our front door as I cried wishing beyond anything I could stay in MO with them…

Our last Sunday with our church was not an easy day either. Many people had written something for us or stood up and spoke about our family. Oh the tears that day!!

We were leaving…it was actually happening!

Our final night in Missouri, I don’t think anyone besides my youngest brothers slept. Packing all our family’s livelihood in bags is far more time-consuming than we expected! My mom diligently worked ALL night packing as my dad, 2 oldest boys, and I helped where we could.

At this point, I didn’t really have any emotions. I was so tired I was literally on zombie mode and nothing seemed real…

(to be continued…)

Patience Is a Virtue

This past week in my quiet time I’ve been studying patience.

It began last Sunday when I listened to a sermon by Dr. S.M. Davis called, “What Impatience Does”. Now I’ll be honest, I likely would not have chosen that sermon to listen to, but I had limited options that day. God clearly had a reason for making this the one I had.

As I went about with my earbuds in hanging laundry on the line, tidying my room, and cooking I realized just how engaging and incredible this sermon was! I had my volume on 100% and *ahem* became a little impatient 😉 anytime someone needed me because it meant pausing this incredible message.

As I listened to more and more of this teaching I began to feel my heart grow heavier and heavier with the weight of my failure in this area of my life; particularly in my family…and particularly with my brothers.

I even went back and listened to the sermon again a couple days later!

Here are a few definitions Dr. Davis shared for patience in his sermon…again, you can find all these definitions in his message. Purchase HERE

“Patience is accepting a difficult situation without giving God a deadline to do something about it.” {original source for this definition unknown}

Patience is being confronted with frustration and not becoming frustrated.

Patience is dealing with immaturity without acting immaturely.

Patience is dealing with impatience without becoming impatient.

Patience is dealing with anger without becoming angry.

Patience is facing evil without developing an evil attitude.

Patience is the recognition that God is in control and that being impatient will not speed God up, but will only ultimately slow me down.

As I listened to him list those definitions I realized how much of a failure I was. My brothers can easily frustrate me and I easily fall into frustration. They act immaturely and I respond immaturely in my impatience. I want to have all the answers to “what’s next?” right now and only slow myself down in my impatience to wait on God.

Honestly, I’d never thought of myself as an impatient person before. I’d always associated impatience with anger in my mind. Dr. Davis even calls anger and impatience “sister sins”; but the anger is rooted in impatience, not the impatience in anger.

Impatience can manifest itself in many more ways than just anger. I’m not someone who becomes angry easily, but I am someone who can be disrespectful, frustrated, annoyed, incessant, rude, and harsh.

As I think about those things I just listed as weaknesses in myself, I realize the root of many of those sins is impatience…and the root of impatience is pride.

As Dr. Davis goes through his sermon, he discusses 7 points regarding “what impatience does”:

  • Impatience produces anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness. (Matthew 18:23-35)
  • Impatience demonstrates a lack of true love. (1 Cor. 13:4)
  • Impatience indicates pride. (Ecc. 7:8)
  • Impatience cuts us off from God’s blessings. (Heb. 10:36)
  • Impatience keeps us from spiritual maturity. (Luke 8:15)
  • Impatience guarantees an increase in trials. (James 1:2-3)
  • Impatience stops the production of Godly fruit. (Luke 8:15)

If you didn’t already, I encourage you to go back and read the verses I listed alongside those points. The verses are what really helped to solidify these points in my heart and mind. After all, God’s Word is living and active (Heb. 4:12)!

Seeing all these negatives that come from impatience, and seeing how many of these negatives I suffered from, I realized how much work I had to do. Davis said patience is not an “elective” in God’s list of attributes we should attain as Christians. It’s a MUST! Without patience we won’t go very far; and I couldn’t agree more! It is, after all, one of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22).

Throughout his sermon, Davis also shared stories and quotes about how our impatience impacts those around us. The stories he shared broke my heart thinking about how I’ve most assuredly negatively impacted those around me; particularly my brothers. My harsh words and impatient tones I’m sure have left deep scars…Oh how I wish I could take so many things back!

After hearing his sermon twice, I decided to look more into the Greek translation of “patience” and do some more Scripture research for myself these last couple days.

I’ll share a few of my favorite finds with you. I mostly use the NASB Bible which may translate as “endurance” or “perseverance” instead of patience; but the Greek words are the same.

{Emphasis Added}

1 Pet. 2:20, “For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.”
This is likely the most convicting verse for me in Scripture because I fail at both…

1 Cor. 13:4, “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant.”
‘patience’ is the first word used to define ‘love’ in this chapter.

2 Tim. 2:24-25a, “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition,…”

2 Pet. 3:9, “ The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

Mt. 10:22, “’You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.”’

1 Cor. 13:7, “[love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

James 1:2-4 (from KJV), “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

James 5:7-11, “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another; so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door: as an example, brethren of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.”

Prov. 14: 29, “Whoever is patient has great understanding; but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.”

Rom. 12:12, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

Prov. 16:32, “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.”

Rom. 8:25, “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

Heb. 6:15, “And so, having patiently waited , he obtained the promise.”

After reading these verses, praying a great deal, and pondering over the character trait of patience I see my great need of improvement. I also I see my great need for repentance and change. I praise the Lord for showing me this area of weakness and my need for improvement!! I only wish I didn’t have so much to regret…but thank God for His mercy and forgiveness!