Thursday, October 3

define patience.

I don’t even know what patience is.

Is it endurance? Because endurance sounds like being stuck in the mud, but choosing not to kill yourself. It’s grit-your-teeth and get through. Perseverance feels a little more determined than endurance to me. I think it has an end in sight. Patience sounds angelic, peaceful.   

I have endured 5 years. Maybe I’ve even persevered because I’ve always believed there is a purpose to suffering, however invisible.  But I don’t think that just getting to the end of one day and then repeating counts as patience.  

the dictionary definition confirms my suspicions.

Pa – tient
 Bearing or enduring pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance with calmness.

 With calmness. 

The word used for ‘enduring pain with calmness’, and ‘person under medical care’ is the same. But I am the latter, not the former.

I have half hour stints of illumination where I see eternity stretching out and grasp how these moments now are just a breath. I feel calm, at peace with waiting.

And then I have weeks of terror as I picture myself still homebound, still limited in five years time and how I can barely face the continuance of life in this dysfunctional body. I choose again to only take today, but one second later I’m wondering about the future. Then I remember that patience is the key, but I don’t even know what patience is because I’m not sure I’ve ever felt it. Or maybe it’s not a feeling, it’s an action.

Maybe patience is deciding not to commit suicide, deciding not to cling to old plans and dreams, trusting that each day you will be carried through and can rest in God’s unfathomable, unsearchable ways.

My ramblings may sound depressed. But I’m feeling neither depressed nor anxious. These are just my muddy thoughts, the ones that hang in my house while other people are occupied with work or studies. I have hours to wander through them. 

Many people in unwell bodies seek counselling, because the thoughts which were swiftly stifled by fast paced life unravel. It’s not hard to avoid silence because we can put our ipods in, re-read the updates in our newsfeed, find a book, blog, beverage. We pass the time by incessant stimulation so we can avoid truth. But the truth is that I need to wait. 


  1. Thanks Danielle, so true. 'We pass the time by incessant stimulation so we can avoid truth. But the truth is that I need to wait.' I need to hear that. I have a lot of the same thoughts. In my saner moments I'm glad it's like this. How merciful of God to give a command of innactivity to those who are too weak to accomplish anything anyway.. 'Be patient in affliction.' I also love how James describes Job as 'patient'. He did a fair bit of complaining as I remember it. Despite all that he kept looking to God, he kept hoping in him. Whatever patience is, I guess it isn't stoicism. God bless you and keep you.

    1. Dear Keith, your comment makes more sense than my post, thankyou so much for sharing your thoughts! I didn't know/remember that Job was described as patient, that's a comfort actually. Praying for you as you wait too.

    2. Thanks for the prayers. Much appreciated. I keep praying for you too. Btw I thought your post made plenty of sense:). Also you may have checked it out already but I think the word used for Job is actually 'endurance' rather than 'patience' (so nothing wrong with your memory;) however given the immediate context is all about patience, I suspect that James is using Job's endurance as a way of further explaining and encouraging patience. Again you may have worked that out already but just thought I better clarify for anyone else that might come along and read this. Okay enough with the essay like comments....Your post was so thoughtful it has gotten me a little carried away.