Patience in the Midst of "Failures"

Patience, patience, patience. When it comes to pursuing goals, it is hard for me to be patient especially when I have this notion that running into any obstacles means that I have become a “failure” and that it will be harder to accomplish my goals. In the past two and a half years repeatedly I felt as if I was failing at school. I wasn’t doing as well in my classes as I had in high school and was faced with the decision to retake a couple classes to raise my GPA. I had become discouraged that I was never going to get into nursing school. To me, failures had developed a bad stigma; I didn’t want to fail at anything for fear of how I might look to others for struggling at school.

If you’re anything like me, who has the mentality of “I want it now” then you should be reminded as I was that things worth having are worth waiting for. When you rush the process, you run the risk of a potential failure, all because you didn’t have the patience to wait a little bit, you are trying to make things happen instead of allowing things to happen. During these past two years, one passage from scripture has brought me encouragement to be patient and to enjoy the struggles of school. It was written by the apostle Paul to the church at Colossae about thanksgiving and prayer which includes this excerpt.

“We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power and according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light” (Colossians 1:9-12). Upon reading this, again and again for months, praying that God would help me understand why he wanted me to be patient for getting into nursing school. I finally was able to understand God was waiting for me to be ready physically, emotionally and spiritually.

During these years, I was encouraged by my friends and family that success at anything takes work, work, and work. I just needed to roll up my sleeves get ready to put in the hard work that is required to get into the nursing school. After learning this, I began to see my “failures” in school were teaching me to be patient for God’s plan to unfold. I began to move past my perceptions of being a failure for having to retake classes and actually began to love and appreciate the content of my classes. After two and a half years of hard work, late nights, and tears I was finally accepted into the nursing program to start in January.

If you need encouragement this Christmas season to be patient for success. You
should quit looking at failure as if it means the end of your dream. Start approaching your
failures as if they are teachers that are educating and making you better equipped for the future. I’ll leave you with this last verse reminding you that God has a plan no matter how long it takes to unfold. Jeremiah 29:11 states, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’”