Friday, October 22, 2010


Patience can be defined as the tolerance of delay.
We imagined an easily accomplished afternoon.  A visit to the allergist.  A visit to the bank.  Other errands, and caring for our granddaughters.  Our one vehicle requires careful planning of our days.  Last Tuesday's needs created opportunity for Jeff and I to juggle a busy schedule.

With two girls in tow, safely attached to their car seats, Jeff would drop me by the doctor; then, he would go the bank, finish the errands, and take the children home.  I would call him on my cell when my appointment was done.  It seemed so easily managed.   

And so it was easy until I walked out of my doctor's office, picked up the phone, dialed home, and received a "cannot complete your call now; please try again later" message.  "OK," I thought.  "I must not have a good signal inside the building.  I'll step outside and call."

Same number.  Same message.  Same problem.  I couldn't get through.  I tried again.  And, again.  And, again.   

I scanned my phone for numbers.  Maybe someone else could get through.  I found my brother's number and gave him a call.  He phoned my home number and called me back.  "Andrea, I'm getting a busy signal."

I scanned my phone for my son, Steven's, work number.  He proved very difficult to reach, but after a long while, I got through to him.  He tried to call his dad and got the same "Your call cannot be completed" message.  Steven would see what he could do to help me and call me back.

I was stranded for now. 

I stood outside the beautiful brick building, its four columns gracing a covered portico, which gave me shade.  The afternoon was very warm but not hot, and a light breeze occasionally lifted its gentle presence across my face. 

I remembered a hair clip was in my purse, so I dug through the depths of pictures, eyeglasses, papers, book, pens, mints, and everything else and found the clip at the bottom, took it, and put up my hair. 

I ignored the looks of the passersby, who were going in and out of the doctors' building. 

I waited.   

I thought of walking the three miles home.  "If only I hadn't worn these shoes with heals.  (They were only two inches, but for me may as well been five.)  Why didn't I wear my cushy, black sandals?"

I waited. 

I thought of how my patience span was much less elastic than it had been an hour before. 

My cell rang.  It was Steven, who said he couldn't leave his job at present, but was sending someone to take me home. 

I waited.  Longer.  And longer, still. 

A new problem began to grow in my soul.  I felt an urgent choice arise within, as on one hand my flesh begged for permission to be angry, and on the other hand my spirit remembered words hidden in my heart.

I breathed, and prayed.  "Father my days were all written in your book before I was conceived.  Help me, Lord, to hear you here, in this place, in my now.  Holy Spirit, help me to rest in you.  To be patient.  To do what pleases you.  To see in you in this frustrating, passing moment."

Minutes later, still alone, my son called with news that my deliverer was lost.  I walked in front of the building and found the address number, so he could call my rescuer and give her clearer directions.  Yes, I am one of those people who just might forget to include an address with directions, but please remember my Father loves me anyway.

Several minutes later, a lovely young girl named Stephanie pulled up in front of me.  "Are you Steven's mom?"

"Yes!" which was said with a huge, huge, huge sigh of relief.

Realizing my new friend needed gas in her car, I asked her to stop so I could bless her for blessing me.  Afterwards, we spoke of her children and the difficulties of being a young mom.

Stephanie glanced at me.  "You're different than I thought you would be.  I was afraid you would be mad after waiting all that time, especially when I couldn't find you."

Feeling very humbled by her candor, I told her I was so thankful she could help me and I was in no way mad at her or anyone else.

We parted with a connection and a God-placed nearness.  I knew she wasn't a Christian, and though I hadn't won her to Jesus, a seed was planted.

That seed was placed in her soil because the Lord had given me grace to keep tight in Christ. In my weakness, He gave me strength to make the choice to "Be still, and know" that He is God (Psalm 46:10).
I wish I had a picture to share of my dear Jeff's shocked face when he opened the door to find me standing there, my face red from stress and warmth and my hair plopped on my head like mashed potatoes on a plate.

"What in the world?"  he asked, as he and Olivia and Ella stood gazing at me in awe.

I explained it all.  He picked up the phone to find our service was down.  A few phone calls later found us with a new provider for our landline.   I love my husband!

And, I love You, Lord!  What a wonderful friend and shepherd You are!  Because of Your grace, I could keep tight.  Because your word was fire in my heart and hope in my soul, Stephanie could wonder why I was not angry and rude.

My son shared the whys with Stephanie when she arrived safely back to her job.  And, I pray God will nurture the tiny, tender seed in her heart with His great love.

I wondered later:  "Why didn't I call directory assistance and get a taxi?"  Sometimes being a little dull around the edges is a useful tool in God's hands. Truly, His grace is functional in everything great and all things small.

Friends, keep tight in Christ,


  1. Andrea ~
    I love it when I (finally) realize some *unplanned event* was really a *God sighting*. So nice to know He is using me despite my shortcomings!
    I've missed hearing from you. Today was grand!

  2. God works in so many ways. We cant know if the young girl simply needed something to happen in her life, right that day. I pray it did, and that she asks for more.

  3. What a wonderful post, Andrea!

    There is real vicotry in our hearts when we hold the line and obey. This was a precious sharing.

    Love you sister!


  4. Oh yes, Jesus was so in the middle of all this. God Bless.

  5. "Sometimes being a little dull around the edges is a useful tool in God's hands." I love this!

    I'm glad it all worked out and that you can see God's fingerprints on the situation.

  6. Hi Andrea! Sweet. Love it. YOU are a blessing!

  7. Oh that I could "keep tight" in Christ like that more often. I'm afraid I sometimes do not. What a great story of testimony and thanks so much for sharing.

  8. God is so good to keep you tight with Him in all this chaos! I think "seeds" like this are more powerful than 1,000 words and apologetics. You're quite a lady, Andrea, and your faith radiates. I wish I could reach into my bag and pull out a clip and wind my hair into it. Never been able to do that.

  9. I just love it when you write this way, Andrea. And through this post I discovered we are alike in many ways. A bit dull around the edges...I think I'm like that too. Sometimes indecisive, and this is why I miss my husband. He always knew what to do.

    Yes, you could have remembered to dial directory assistance and call a taxi.

    Or worn those comfy walking shoes, buy a bagel to much on while walking home. Or take a longer scenic route maybe...

    Maybe I would have chosen to have coffee at Starbucks while waiting...

    Whatever. But God has wired us the way we are, for a purpose.

    And that day, Stephanie was the reason.

    Somehow, I know we'll meet Stephanie in eternity.

    Thanks for the candid way in which you shared this event with us. I so appreciated visiting your blog place this morning.


  10. What a wonderful "telling". I felt like I was standing there with you ... waiting, wondering.

    Such choices we're given; every moment, of every day. The toughest ones for me always involve how to engage the space between my ears. It's so easy to choose resentment, or angst, and far tougher to stay on the high ground.

    So glad you were able to shed some light in the world around you that day, and in that car!


  11. Mmm, I love the sentence "In my weakness, He gave me strength to make the choice "--that's exactly what I'm learning right now, as I feel like my weakness keeps 'winning' more often than not and I'm reminded that instead of trying to become strong on my own, I need to simply rely on His strength.

  12. Wonderful post, Andrea!

    I loved the part about being a little dull around the edges! That's the way I'd describe myself in recent days!! BUT, PTL H'e always working in our midst as we rest and look to Him!!!

    Have a blessed week!



  13. Andrea, this is powerful! Thank you for sharing this with thankful you (we) can and must keep tight in Jesus especially in the midst of all that may be going on. Thanks again for the encouragement!

    Blessings and hugs!

  14. In HIM we live and move and have our being.. There is always a plan when HE trusts us with HIS plan........ Beautiful story.

  15. Andrea, This was just lovely. Absolutely lovely. How wonderful that you didn't give in to a spirit of impatience - but instead, yielded to the Spirit in patience. And oh, how He moved!! I know that this seed was planted in the perfect timing of God - and that He will find a way to water and nurture a new growth...

    God bless you, and thank you for this wonderful witness!

  16. Wonderful object blessed Stephanie...and your readers...

  17. What a great post, Andrea!

    I know that there are no coincidences or accidents with God. Everything that happened to you that day was so you could bless Stephanie and share the love of Jesus with her. You were a divine appointment! And the cherry on top of this sweet grew even stronger in your relationship with God! You rose above anger, maintained patience, and trusted Him. What a blessed day you had! :-)


  18. I am a lot dull around the edges...LOL. The Lord held you up for his purpose...I think you got a gold star that day.

  19. Andrea,

    As always God's messge in your post has blessed me this morning:). Thanks for always sharing the glory and love of Christ!



  20. What a wonderful story Andrea! I too, have had similar situations where things went wrong and I would get panicky or cranky. I have learned that He knows it all and will help me work it out and there is always a reason for it.

    Blessings to you and thank you for the beautiful comment you left on my blog. It was a blessing.


  21. You know I love this... planting good seed, sister. A sacred intersection of the God-sized plan.

    Keep to it.


  22. Oh ouch! What a beautiful post on choosing our attitudes. Who knows the times we choose wrong and the the chances we miss. I've enjoyed my visit in our blog.

  23. you are an inspiration. beauty, thank you I have a lot to learn from you x


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