Friday, July 9, 2010

Patience... My Most Difficult Virtue

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So, we hear all the time that 'patience is a virtue'.

Like I said in my title to this posting... patience IS my most difficult virtue. I am the first to admit it. When I say that, I am not talking about everyday patience, I am talking about the type of patience that we are expected to have as we wait for good things to come... as we wait for the true desires of our hearts.

A couple of weeks ago, I was teaching my Relief Society lesson. I have been teaching the 4th Sunday lessons, Teachings for Our Times, from the General Conference issue of the Ensign. The June lesson was on the talk given in the Priesthood Session by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf called:

Continue in Patience

Elder Uchtdorf said in that talk that "without patience, we cannot please God; we cannot become perfect. Indeed, patience is a purifying process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace."

During this lesson, I was able to share a few examples from my own life where patience was required... but not necessarily handled correctly. Losing Aaron was one of those examples. This life is a learning process, right? We are truly being put through a refiners fire. We are being molded and shaped into what we are supposed to become and what we CAN become. These trials and hardships and adversities that we experience here are supposed to be those things that mold us and shape us and refine us into what we CAN become if we respond to those trials and hardships and adversities in righteous ways. If we know that these experiences and our reaction to them are what help us to become more like God, then why do we fight against them with so much of our might? I am guilty of this.

At this time of my life, I am trying to have patience, but as time goes on and on and on... it is becoming more and more difficult for my patience to endure. I am struggling with this right now.
There are some things where I have no choice but to be patient. Like being with Aaron again, it is not my choice when I will be able to be with Aaron again, so that is something that it easy for me to be patient about. The things of this world... those are the things that are more difficult for me. Happiness in THIS life... happiness that comes from having a traditional family life. Not only do I want this, but I want Aaron Jr to experience this as well. But waiting for it... some times it is easier than other times to wait. But wait I must. And as time goes on, as disappointments and heartaches come and go and then come, the missing of Aaron is like a roller coaster ride over and over again. I miss him.

In Psalms 40: 1-3, it says:

"I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even
praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord."

They Lord knows what is best for me. So why is it so tough to wait on Him? We want to be happy and we want it HOW we want it and we want it now! I know that's why it is tough for me.

Here is another quote from Elder Uchtdorf's talk that says it so perfectly:

"Often the deep valleys of our present will be understood only by looking back on them from the mountains of our future experience. Often we can’t see the Lord’s hand in our lives until long after trials have passed."

I pray every night for the Lord to guide me and direct me to where I need to be (or to 'establish my goings' like it says in those Psalms verses). I pray for guidance and I also pray for faith. I do pray for patience as well, but not as often as I should. That one needs to be every night... I need to pray for patience daily.
As I TRY to wait patiently, I look forward to the days when instead of looking up at the mountains of my future experience from the deep valleys of my present, I will be able to stand on the mountains of my present experience and look back down at the deep valleys of my past.

I must pray for HOPE. I must pray for FAITH. I must pray for PATIENCE.

All good things come to those who wait, right?
I certainly hope so.

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Hollie said...

Hi Leslie,

I regularly read your blog and I am so glad you posted on Patience. I have really been struggling with patience, hope, faith and questioning God's love for me this week. I have struggled for years trying to get pregnant and start our family and I sat hear again this week watching another friend, announce their pregnancy and this one really seemed to hit me hard. I do not want to doubt God and what he can do and I do not like it when these thoughts creep into my heart, but sometimes I do get overwhelmed with doubt. Your post was a nice reminder that I am not alone in my struggles with patience. I do pray that God will give your heart patience until you stand on that mountain.

Not sure if you read NieNie Dialogues but there was a video ( ) made of her and her family and at the end of it someone said:

"When suffering, we may in fact be nearer to God than we've ever been in our entire lives."

The thought of this has brought me great comfort.

Thank you for your post.

Your Blog Friend,

Leslie said...

hollie ~

thank you for your comment. i don't know how far back you have read in my blog, but we struggled to get pregnant as well. i remember those times when people would announce their pregnancies... hearing that news made me feel every emotion in the book. of course hearing that a new baby would be born should be the most joyful news ever, right? but when you struggle to get pregnant, the news feels almost like someone is trying to hurt you in a very personal way.
i am so sorry. it kinda gets old going through this stuff that requires patience, doesn't it? :)

but i am glad you have God in your life. He is the one who helps us through all that we struggle with.
it looks like we both have some mountains that we want to be at the top of.
let's have faith, we will be blessed with our righteous desires... someday.

thank you again.

Rebecca Adams said...

Thank you SO MUCH for this blog post! And thanks Hollie for your comment! I also struggle with patience and faith for the exact same reason... having troubles getting pregnant! When I first got the Conference edition of the Ensign, I'd say I was prompted to look through the Priesthood session, because the title "Continue in Patience" caught my eye and I just had to read it! I love it! I need to pull it out and read it every time I have days where I struggle the most. It IS hard hearing the news of others announcing pregnancies, but I know we can get through this tough time in our lives!

And Leslie, I LOVE what you said about looking forward to the future when you can stand on the mountains and look back down at the deep valleys... I so long for those days to come! Everyone struggles at some point in our lives. I just hope that good things WILL come to those who wait! I also have my doubts... Patience sure is hard sometimes, but we can help each other get through the hard times! Love you!

Kristi said...

Sorry you are sad. Hug

April Perry said...

You are such a strong person, and you're doing great!

Tawnie said...

I hear ya sista!! That patience thing, yeah...not my virtue either.
Love you lots and lots.
you will be blessed. you are blessed.

Michelle Bretzing Jacobi said...

When I was a teenager, I learned a poem that has stuck with me my whole life. It reads,

"Like a child brings his toys, with tears for us to mend, I brought my broken dreams to God because He was my friend. Then instead of leaving Him in peace to work alone, I hung around and tried to help in ways that were my own. Finally I snatched them back and cried, 'Why do You work so slow?!' He said, 'My child, what could I do? You never did let go.'"

Patience in all aspects (daily living and my mortal experience), has always been a struggle for me. Over the years I have become better at accepting the Lord's time frame, His will - not my own, and yet every so often I need another reminder.

Thanks for giving me that reminder today, Leslie.

Michelle Jacobi

Tiffany said...

Hey Leslie-
You have such wonderful insight and are such an example to many. I have loved reading your blog. You have a perspective that can really bless other mothers. We would love to consider adding your blog to our Best of The Blogs list on The Power of Moms website. If you are interested in that, please email me at

Kate, Alek, Hank, and Cash (RIP RED) said...

Time- uhh Patience I have had many discussions with myself around those very topics!
Im praying for you woman and I hope we can continue our chat soon!!
Kate and Alek