Patience has never been a virtue I excelled at. It appears God is giving me ample opportunity to learn it, however.

One morning last week, I wrote in my journal three things that I need to do better and all three of them revolved around that one virtue… Patience. Patience with others who deal with stress differently than I do, patience with my children, and patience with Ray’s recovery process, which is clearly going to take longer than the few weeks I’d like to give it. (ha ha)

Many people ask how he’s doing, and I’m struggling to answer that question. On the one hand, compared to where he was a five weeks ago (essentially comatose), he’s doing fabulously. On the other hand, compared to where he was six weeks ago, before this all happened, well…

I was forewarned that I would be too close to the process, and that it would be difficult for me to see the changes. This has revealed itself to be all too true. The changes don’t seem to be coming quickly enough.

Ray can now walk with a walker and the support of his physical therapist. He can brush Ray and Zachhis teeth, use a spoon, and drink water from a straw. He can read, although he tends to neglect the left side of the page and will skip words on that side. He can talk, and has even progressed to the point where he can converse and answer questions like, “how many kids do you have” and “What’s your wife’s name.” However, it’s a strange dichotomy. Today he accurately gave the year, but said that he is thirty years old. He knows he’s in the hospital, but he doesn’t remember what happened to put him there.

The doctors, nurses, and therapists all tell me the same thing: They don’t have a crystal ball that will tell them how much of his functionality will return, and in what time frame, though they have generally indicated that we’re looking at a two year recovery process before he reaches his new “normal.”

And so I wait, and I pray for patience. But, even as I pray, I know that I am blessed, because this experience brings me closer to Christ. Imagine the patience he had to have in order to endure his Passion without saying, “Enough!” and calling on the angels to rescue him.

And so, every day, I try to look to that example of Christ, to walk this path without crying, “Enough!” Let’s be honest. I’m not Christ, and thus there have been and there will be days when I do cry out and feel ready to give up. But, by the grace of God, following those moments of weakness, I will shake myself off, stand back up, and keep plodding along.

The more I respond as Christ would have responded, the more I am conformed to him. And the more conformed to him I become, the more complete my hope, peace, and, even in this difficult situation, joy.


13 comments on “Patience
  1. Stephanie Hanouw says:

    YOU make me smile! I think I just heard the Lord say, “that’s my girl!” . God is using you wonderfully. You and Ray as a team to promote His kingdom.

  2. Susan Street says:

    May God continue to bless you with peace and understanding as He guides you down this path.

  3. Laura Shoemaker says:

    Love your words Stephanie!! You are so eloquent!! You, Ray and your family are in my daily prayers!! I know that you are all going to be ok!! Peace!!

  4. Marla Ramirez says:

    Your faith inspires me to dig deeper. You, Ray and your family are in our daily thoughts and prayers. God is good…. and He knows what you can handle.

    • stephanie says:

      Marla, I know you to be a great woman of faith yourself. Your faith inspired me at a most important time of my life – when I was just coming into my faith and becoming an official Catholic. Thank you for your love and prayers, and for the example that you set all those years ago. Love you!

  5. Lily Martinez says:

    Marla and I just found out about Ray. Know that you are in our prayers! I love how you are using your gifts to glorify the Lord. The Lord is working through you and will get you through these difficult times. We are all parts of one body and although we are down in Texas, we are close in Spirit. Sending our love…

  6. Michele says:

    Praying for you all! On a different note, I’m currently reading your book to review and it is wonderful!!!!

  7. Stephanie says:

    Funny how the very thing you feel you struggle with is the same thing that others see you excell in! I have always been incredibly blessed by your strength, passion and yes patience. You have opened my eyes to my God in ways others were not able. Your unwavering faith through the storm shows me that faith is what restores us. It is a lesson every day, an open ear even when we dare to listen, and a love that knows no limits. When fear swirls the head, tears may lead the way, but peace will follow in the heart of the believer! You are my SuperHero, the one I look up to, the action figure I only wish to be like, the teacher who taught without a classroom! Praying often but love and admiration every minute of every day!

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