There seems to be a running joke among Christians about praying for patience. Basically, if you pray for patience, God will give you situations where your patience is tested. Pray for other things, but not patience!
Recently, God has been doing a HUGE work in me. I have been learning so many things about my Lord that I never knew or never understood on such a deep level. Bret and I described it as…you learn all this stuff and then realize that what you’ve learned is the size of a bucket out of the ocean. There is SO much to learn and experience in your walk with God. It’s awesome.
Anyways, so I thought, you know, I really could use some growth in patience. That’s where the fun started. Here’s my timeline of “patience testing.”
Friday – noon – I was browsing for a new laptop in an electronics store (we won’t mention where because this post is about MY heart, not my customer service experience), and found the PERFECT laptop. I mean, just perfect. Even down to a separate number pad on the keyboard (remember I’m a huge financial nerd, that I get giddy over PivotTables in Excel). Super fast. I just loved it. OK! I look for the box underneath so I can purchase it. I find one, compare numbers, nope, not it. I look around the store….all reps are busy….look underneath some more….look around…all reps busy….none in sight really. Do a little more browsing in the laptop area…..no reps. Go back to said laptop….look around the store some more (I’m thinking, hey, I’ve got the “I’m a customer who needs help” look down pat!)….nothing. Finally, Jen gets her ticked off, I’m never shopping here again attitude and leaves the store. I had opened a website with more info about the laptop and pulled it up in the car. After looking it over, I realized it wasn’t the exact model, just the model line. Jen continues her tickedoffness and goes back in the store and takes a picture of the spec sheet and price tag. Leave store still ticked off. No one asked if I needed help once! (The nerve!)
Friday – noon and some change – go to Big Lots to browse. Pick up an armful of harmful foods including Queso, Zebra Cakes and Nutty Bars and make my way to the check out. The customer service I got was AWESOME! The girl asked me how my day was….and not the normal “I’m supposed to ask you how your day is because they told me to” but the “hey, you’re a human, I’m a human, and I genuinely care about how your day is going.” It was a lovely experience. I left feeling much better about life in general and customer service.
Friday – four-ish – get ahold of husband and ask him to pick up laptop at same electronics store but a different location. Husband gets to store, calls me to find exact model, finds it and is at checkout asking me questions about protection plans, etc. Card is declined. Hmmm, interesting, ok….card is declined again. Log into credit card account and see my account is restricted. Call credit card company and after hearing wait time is long, call husband back. Decide to transfer money so check card can be used. Log into bank accounts. See a message that unsuccessful attempts have been made to log into our bank accounts. Change bank account password, transfer money, ok, good, laptop is purchased and husbandpants is on way home. Going out on a date is discussed. At this point, I call the credit card company to figure out what’s wrong. At the beginning of the call, I am asked to review recent purchases to see if they are fraudulent or not. The auto operator asks if I recognize a purchase for XXX at Ford Electronics. Why no, I do not! Put on hold to be transferred to operator.
Friday – five-ish – while waiting to chat with CSR at credit card company, I look up said Ford Electronics, located in Cali near a hotel we recently stayed at. (This is where I start coming up with a lengthy reason why this is happening….including, but not limited to the hotel where we stayed in California being robbed and our credit card stolen…..I even looked up any robberies in the area….AND Ford Electronics….which is more of an electrician’s store and not somewhere a thief would buy a TV or something). I’ve been on hold for about 5-10 minutes and I hear water leaking. I’m in the basement and have had a leak just above my computer in the past. Just as I’m about to look for said leak, the operator gets on the phone. Ok, check on that later! I then talk to the rep…long story short….the automated operator said a purchase for electronics…not Ford Electronics. All the attempted purchases were from us. It was Bret buying the laptop that triggered it. Whew! Well, that’s good news! I then realized that I recently changed my bank account password and the “attempted logins” were from our mint.com account. Whhhhhew!
Friday – six-ish – recruit brother to look for leak in basement. Search high and low and find leak ON my desk. It was leaking from a cup (with a very small hole) going under my binders (thank goodness for page protectors!) and onto the floor….but not directly on the floor, oh no, on a plastic batman cape. Of all the places for it to leak, it’s a Batman cape….that’s PLASTIC! After I cleaned up the leak and having torn apart my very nicely cleaned desk….I grabbed a book and the iPad and left the area. No work was to be done after this experience. It was then that I realized, oh, yes Jen, you prayed for patience….and what’s happening now? Oh, yes, a chance to test your patience…..but wait, there’s more!…..
Friday – nine-ish – after having a nice dinner date with my hubby, we returned home, plopped on the couch and continued our Friends marathon (he’s never seen it straight through and it’s been a fun experience to see him laughing at jokes I’ve known for years). I proceeded to set up my laptop while we watched. It has a fancy shmancy audio system, so I was testing it out. Not bad! But let’s try a movie! I put in a brand new DVD….nothing. Try another DVD….nothing. I realize that the DVD player is not working at all. At this point, I thought, waiiiiiiiit a second, I’m in “patience testing time” so I said, I’m going test this out in the morning with a clear head. Take that lesson!
Saturday – morning-ish – I spent a good hour doing all the tests my laptop provider suggested. After all the testing, I deduced that my optical drive was damaged/not working/etc. I emailed the provider with the situation and now I wait. Instead of being super upset that my brand new computer isn’t working as it should, I’m thankful that I have another laptop that still works well enough (I mean, it’s not perfect, which is why I bought a new one).
The whole experience of the last 24 hours has reminded me the “secret” of patience….and, in my opinion, life….and that is thankfulness. If you take ANY situation and put it through the lens of thankfulness, you will be the better for it. Even the biggest, worst, most awful experiences, can be put through the lens of thankfulness….especially for a Christian who at the very end of the rope can say….”if nothing else, my sins are forgiven….when God looks at me, He sees His Son’s payment for my sin and I am right with God and will live forever with Him.”
At the end of the day, isn’t that the most important thing?
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