LESSONS FROM THE PAST 9 MONTHS: LISTENING and having PATIENCE
LESSONS FROM THE LAST 9 MONTHS
LISTENING and having PATIENCE
It's crazy the amount of people we meet each week or even daily. The people we pass by in the halls of work and school, the grocery store, on the streets, in our cars, online etc. we meet so many different kinds of people everyday, but we often don’t really know or understand why. We often don’t think about why we happen to bump into someone till maybe a little bit down the road of getting to know them.
Once we’ve reached and passed the stage of getting to know an individual (whether good or bad), We’re left with the thought: I wonder why we bumped into each other or what their purpose in our lives are at that time.
We never know why God puts certain people in our lives at certain times, but it’s up to us on how we choose to interact with them for the positive or negative.
About 9 months ago I met this individual (I’ll call him Peter). I met Peter online and we hit it off and became great friends pretty quickly. Peter was energetic, kind, funny and cool! Peter was a member of my church so we were able to share about our faith, and how we came to join The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Our backgrounds are pretty similar in the sense of: being adopted by Christian families and working through traumatic experiences that helped us turn to God!
As time went by Peter and I became better friends; but also as time went on, Peter and I learned many personal things about one another that were hard to share and hard to hear/understand. One of those personal truths he shared was how he has had a hard time trusting people; I quickly made it a goal of mine to gain Peter's trust and for him to see that there are good people in this world.
As I learned more about Peter's life and who he is, and about the many trials and challenges he’d gone through and continues through, I felt bad for him (not in a pitiful way though). I wished I could somehow help him or fix some of the things he had going on.
God reminded me many times that: it wasn’t my job or responsibility to fix Peter or his challenges he had going on, my job was just to be his friend. As much as I thought I understood this, I didn’t😀 I found myself repeatedly thinking of ways to do exactly what God had told me was NOT my job😔😀
As human beings, we often think just because someone enters our lives with their weight and packages they’re carrying (just like us), that it is up to us to help them fix it. That this must be the reason God chose us to be in their life at this time. We get this idea in our heads that it has to be us. That nobody else was/is able to help them, so that’s why God chose us because He knew we could do it. 🤷🏾♀️
I cannot lie and say that’s not the reason God puts people in our lives because… I don’t know that for sure. For those of you who read my writing, I don’t know all of you personally. I don’t know what your lives are like and who comes in and out of your day, so I cannot speak regarding you.
I don’t know and understand everything God does nor do I understand why. As far as I know, the reason why God puts people in your lives could be for that exact reason: for you to help fix them or their situations.
As for me, and particularly with my friend Peter, that wasn’t the case. It took me a while to learn that my responsibility was to just be his friend. To support, to be kind, to offer my help when I felt I needed to, and to love him as God does. Because it took me forever to learn this, I almost lost my friendship with Peter. There were a few weeks that went by where we didn’t speak.
In my head I couldn’t understand why when I offered my help to him or tried to show him a new way of doing things he was not really willing or into the idea. This got me pretty frustrated. I came to the conclusion that if Peter wasn’t taking my advice or help then that must mean our time of being acquainted was over. Maybe we were just meant to be passing by friends (obviously this was not the right way of thinking)😀
During that time I didn’t think much or how maybe it wasn’t Peter being unwilling to hear me, but actually me being not ready to LISTEN to him. Once in a while when I felt impressed I’d send Peter a message. Slowly but surely God was teaching me that this wasn’t about me. What I needed to do was to listen and to love. That this wasn’t my wound I needed to dress. That everyone of us is at a different part of our life journey, and some of the most important parts of that journey is meeting new people, and showing them love.
I decided to share my thoughts with my brilliant mom and ask what she thought. A lot of what she shared with me I already knew (whether I was doing it or not😀). It wasn’t until she mentioned something about patience and listening that my mind and my heart finally beat at the same time (it’s the best way I could explain my light bulb moment).😀
She mentioned how I have to be patient and just listen. How God knows and loves Peter perfectly, and how I am to be an example etc. she said so many things I already knew, but never really tried to use. I took what she said deeply and made a goal to use it. (Moms just have the coolest and most gracious hearts ever).
I decided from then on to work on Patience and Listening. I knew it would be difficult (especially since I’m putting my heart into it), but I was willing to see what God had to teach me. I can’t say from then on everything was perfect, but it’s amazing how when we open our heart and mind to God, asking Him to help us to become more like Him, He opens our eyes to seeing people as He sees them (His precious children). This is exactly what He did for me. He started to help me see that being someone’s friend and being there for them is more important than trying to fix what we think they need fixed.
Peter taught me that yes, life is difficult.
That there are so many challenges and obstacles that we’ll go through and we won’t know why; but he also taught me the importance of being patient and loving to all those who come in and out of my life. That even though I don't know why they are there, God does, and that’s who we need to trust in.
Peter taught me that trust is so very important. Because I was so in my head on how I knew what Peter needed and what would be good for him (which I feel ashamed of), that I almost broke and lost the trust he put in me.
I’ve only been in his life for about 9 months, obviously not long enough that I’d know everything about him or why he does what he does. I don’t know why he made the decisions he made that got him where he is today, and I don’t know how many challenges he had to keep pushing forward that shaped him into the person he is. Only God does.
I don’t know why I met Peter, neither do I understand all of the reasons why he’s in my life or how long he’ll be in my life. Yet what I do know now, and understand is that God blesses us with special opportunities to be patient, to listen, and to love His children for where they were at in their lives. He trusts us enough to care for their souls and their spirits, and do for them what He does for us.
I guess a simple reminder for me (and for those who are willing to heed) is that: God loves all His children so much.
So when people enter in and out of your lives and we don’t know why, remember to be PATIENT, LISTEN to them, and LOVE THEM WHERE THEY ARE.