For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Better Answer--Part 11, The Power of Patience

She was probably already on her way to the coffee shop. I should have left five minutes earlier. Instead, I punched in a text.

"I am sorry. I can't have coffee tonight."

I could barely read the letters on the phone screen through the tears as I touched "Send".

In one bedroom my daughter was screaming about her dad's selfishness and venting the pain and anger of a teenager whose dad had left...and then had the audacity to die.

In another bedroom my son hid behind his door and cried.

And I sat in my bedroom floor with hot tears slipping down my face because yet again grief had won and my plans for anything that resembled a normal life collapsed in front of me.

My phone screen lit up. I opened her message.

"It's fine. Another time. Hope y'all are okay."

No! It was NOT fine. We were NOT okay.

This was crazy. This was...prison. And I had no way out. All I could do was sit and wait for the raging to ease, wipe their tears, and help the kids process their feelings and thoughts, and this for now.

I have no idea how many times I cancelled plans because grief slammed hearts hard or life-holes ached badly. I have no idea how many phone calls I ignored because sometimes there are no words...or energy. Sometimes the battle through the pain is simply so exhausting conversation is impossible.

Many times I wondered if we would ever make plans...and keep them.

I was sure people were writing our names in pencil with big question marks...with backup plans in place in case we backed out...because we mostly likely would.

Every time I had to cancel, my heart broke. I wanted anything that looked like normal, and every time I had to cancel something from what used to be normal only reminded me how un-normal we really were...and how we still had so far to go.

Sometimes I just told people I wasn't able to do something because it was less risky than having to cancel and deal with the mental and emotional backlash.

One of the most appreciated gifts my friends gave me during that was patience. No one ever complained about my having to cancel. No one ever mentioned the effects on them or their families. No one ever told me what an inconvenience it was. No one ever even attempted to joke about it. Everyone was kind, compassionate, and patient.

I think it would have been crushing for them to tell me I had let them down in anyway. But they never did.

They simply said, "It's okay."

And even though my heart was screaming it wasn't okay at all, it was also whispering gratitude for the kindness of patience from people we love because their patience told us how much they love us.

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