I have been learning a lot about grace in the past few years – mostly pertaining to how infrequently I offer it in my daily life. The book “Grace” by Max Lucado was eye-opening and I was so challenged by it when I read it a few years ago.
A practical example? Most of my early driving years were in Southern California. Enough said. 😉 I am much better now in that area.
I have found that patience and grace go hand in hand: for example, being willing to be patient with people is often a form of grace (think Bill Engvall’s “Here’s Your Sign” stories).
I always try to remember that I usually don’t know the back story behind someone’s behavior or attitude and that helps me to be graceful toward them…usually. Do they deserve my patience and kindness? Yes.
When I became a parent, I was amazed at how naturally patient with Tori I became (I now believe that God gives mothers an extra dose of patience and grace for their babies, especially given the sleep-deprivation that accompanies motherhood). Granted, she was also the perfect baby for the first four months and was rarely fussy or irritable. She didn’t sleep much, but she was at least happy about it.
Throughout the past two months with Tori’s increased/constant irritability, decreased sleeping hours, and the added stress of a terminal diagnosis, I have had to make a conscious decision many times a day to show a new level of patience and grace toward her and the situation. She can’t help how she feels and she doesn’t have any other way of telling me that she is uncomfortable.
I fully admit that the first two weeks of this behavior change were frustrating and I was not very patient. I assumed that the fussiness was simply a growth spurt or something like that, and, given that I haven’t had a full night of sleep in about ten months, its constant presence wore me down quickly.
However, it is amazing how the word “terminal” can totally transform your attitude in an instant.
Now, I recognize that a day may come when I would do anything to hear that cry again. To be up all night with her, as sleep-deprived as I would be. To comfort her and hold her. Just one more time.
I pray that this lesson doesn’t fade away as quickly as it came, because it applies to everyone I meet and not just Tori. We have no idea how many days are left in our lives or the lives of others. We cannot imagine what impact our kindness and patience may have on someone’s hurting heart.
And so, grace continues to be the primary lesson the Lord is having me learn thus far during this wonderful journey of motherhood. It is often accompanied by the lessons of selflessness, humility, and patience. And I am so thankful for the changed person I am becoming, even though the lessons aren’t easy.
4 thoughts on “Patience and Grace”
What a great testimony! May God continue to give you that wonderful patience and grace as you continue to be such a loving mom to Torie! Every time I see her picture, I just want to hug her, that face is just adorable!
I just keep thinking about you all, how I think I might feel like I wanted to pour a lifetime of mothering and grace into the time I had left if I were in your shoes. And then I look at my own littles and am reminded that their tomorrows aren’t guaranteed, and I want to live right now with that same urgency to be rich in grace. I pray that even as this season must be utter torture for you as a parent, you also end up being blessed with an abundance of richness and grace that meets you at unexpected moments. Tori is such a doll; she stuck with me from the first time I saw one of your posts about here fussiness and possible reflux. I join you in praying for her complete and miraculous healing.
Lesa, my sweet sister in Christ. Thank you for everything you are teaching me as I watch you reflect the life of Jesus in this, the hardest trial I could ever imagine. I pray that the Lord would touch and heal sweet, precious Tori. Her beautiful eyes stay in my mind all day, and I think how deeply the Lord must love her and you and Brennan. His great grace finds us wherever we are and I thank our precious Savior that His great grace is finding you in this. And through you, finding so many others. He is faithful and trustworthy Lesa and hearing those words come from you, at this time, is a priceless gift I will always carry with me. I continue to pray for you guys and for sweet Tori day and night. 2 Cor. 1:2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Love you.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and lessons with us. I have learned so much about life and God by reading your writings. I pray for you, Brennan, and Tori daily and usually end up in tears as I pray. God is certainly using your difficult situation to help teach the rest of us about things that truly matter! May the Lord continue to lead you in faith as he leads you on this journey.