Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Patience (08/21/08)
TITLE: Are you virtuous?
By joanna reed
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When I was in a stressful situation, I often replied that “patience is a virtue and I don’t feel virtuous.” Everyone would always laugh.
However, God showed me patience the only way I would listen. I had open heart surgery for an aortic valve replacement with a thoracic aneurysm repair. I was in the hospital for two and a half days. I did not even stay the minimum amount of time which was seventy-two hours after surgery. I was not learning patience especially for myself. I was back to work within five weeks. Within the first six months after surgery, I had a heart attack. I still did not have the patience to take care of myself. I took off two days for the heart attack.
My work defined me. It was my identity. Of course, I was a wife, mother and nurse but my nursing job was the only service that I could do for God. I worked hard to glorify and magnify God in my profession. I did this job for God or so I thought. I continued to work for six years after the surgery and the heart attack and then I began having stroke like symptoms. I then began losing control over one side of my body. The neurologist found a few spots on my brain. This should have made me stop and reflect but I needed a few more pressures before I would stop.
Within a few months after seeing the neurologist, my kidneys started causing problems. I was bleeding because of the blood thinner I was taking and I could not seem to control the problem. I became very ill. I finally went to the Emergency Room for the problem but because I wanted something to stop the bleeding and they would not help me the way I wanted help, I left. I was mad and frustrated. Of course, they called me for days after I left. My labs were extremely critical and they were afraid I was going to die but I did not have the patience for them even though I knew I was very sick.
After a week, I finally felt better but I still had another issue to face. My female organ began causing trouble. This lasted for months, so I finally quit work. I no longer could do my job. My body was just shutting down. I had become severely anemic. The final insult to my body was when I passed out in my bathroom.
I then stopped to listen to God. He had been trying to talk to me all along but I just was not patient enough to listen. I thought my only true gift to God was my nursing. My physical aliment tested my faith. Through this testing, God produced patience. I have learned that my true gift to God is my heart, mind, body, and soul seeking His face everyday in everything. I have learned patience and along with patience an unquenchable hunger and thirst for God and His righteousness.
My verse of joy is James 1:2-4(NKJV) “my brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
God has given me a new ministry. I have developed a website in which I encourage others to know God on an intimate and personal level. God is awesome and wonderful and I am grateful for His wonderful lesson on patience but more importantly I am grateful that I now truly know God.
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