When Your Patience is Slipping

“Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools” Ecclesiastes 7:8-9.

It was just one of those days. I was frustrated, stressed and not wanting to be around people. I was in a bad mood to say the least. And the 5th graders in my Sunday School class were getting on my last nerve. Ironically enough we had spent the whole morning talking about patience (good one God), but mine was quickly disappearing.

I stopped, took a deep breath, looked at my rowdy kids and tried to reason with them, "Guys, my patience is slipping. I'm getting super frustrated because you are not listening and I don't really want to be here right now."

My honesty scared them a little bit. They were really well behaved for a few minutes until one of them made a joke about farting, and then it was back to testing the limits of my very thin patience. I decided to just give in to their craziness, it was going to be an out of control morning and that was that. 

Like so many things, it just wasn't worth the fight. I was frustrated and stressed because I was trying to be the perfect Sunday school teacher and make sure they learned everything they needed to know about patience, all the while demonstrating none of my own. But they don't need my perfection, they just need my love.

I'm slowly learning that goes for most people in my life. They are not looking for the put together, always patient, always perfect version of me. That girl doesn't exist anyways. They just want my love and my presence. They just need to know I care, and that I'm trying. So I'll keep trying, I'll keep showing up, and trust that that's enough. 

God, thank you for never requiring perfection. Help me to show up and be seen in the midst of all my brokenness and shortcomings.