When you have been broken, knocked down, and had battle after battle, you tend to not think much of yourself. You tend to see the promises of God for everyone else, but not for you. Yes, you are forgiven and somewhat restored, but the complete promises of God are simply unattainable. This is something I struggle with daily.
Most people are familiar with the fruits of the spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Although, I fervently pursue all of these, the two I most desire are kindness and gentleness. Yes, I could easily use a dose (or ten) of patience, but being kind and gentle have always been (in my eyes) the unattainable ones.
If you know me, you know I am quite frank and often brass in my tone. I am loud and outgoing; always laughing and “putting on a show”. I believe I lack a filter (you could even say self-control) of some sort. I am not wallflower by any means. I like to stand out, speak up, be heard. Kind and gentle are not words I would use to describe me. Although I believed these characteristics to be unattainable, my God is bigger than what I believe and I trust Him more than I believe in myself. So, I pray.
Beginning early in 2012, I was praying to grow to be gentle and kind. On my birthday that year, I received a card that encouraged me in my pursuit; I knew I also had the intercession of my friends. Just when I thought I was headed in the right direction, I would have some sort of outburst or internal dialogue that was neither gentle nor kind. My prayer everyday was that I grow to be gentle and kind. It is still one of my greatest desires.
For several months now I have been volunteering at the Alpha Women’s Resource Center as their Post-Abortion Recovery Facilitator. In between groups, I go every Tuesday to pray for the ministry with the Client Advocate Director, Teresa. During our time of conversation and prayer, Teresa and I have grown extremely close. The comfort and safety I feel with her is indescribable. I share things with her I don’t share with my oldest, closest friends. Her love for me is authentic and when she prays on my behalf, I have a sense that God is truly listening. One day after our prayer time, I burst into tears. I explained through my tears, that although appreciative of her words, I was struggling with her description of me.
The two words that Teresa often used to describe me were kind and gentle. The two very words I believed to be unattainable. I told her my prayer and desire to be kind and gentle, but felt I was nowhere near that goal. I told her I knew God could make me kind and gentle if He chose to, but I just wasn’t there yet. She smiled in her motherly kind of way and said that she believed I am kind and gentle already. She described how she often sees how kind and gentle I really am. She reassured me that my meek and soft-spoken are not the only way kindness and gentleness are expressed. Although encouraging, her words have not fully penetrated my heart. I still see kind and gentle as being meek and soft-spoken. It is something that still pray for everyday but I now have hope that what once unattainable isn’t only attainable, but also not too far from my grasp.