Lessons Learned from My Sickness – Part 3: The Virtue of Patience
Psalm 30: 5 says, I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope.
In my long days of hospital confinement, I have plenty of time being still, waiting, praying, and accepting God’s will in my life. There the Lord taught me the virtue of patience.
Oftentimes we just want things to be hurried. We have zero tolerance for delays.
But as I observed how medicine is being administered – I find out that they do not act instantly or immediately.
For medicines to work, they must be taken religiously, after 4 hours, or every after meals, and with the right dosage.
You can’t just expect medicines to act right away. You must be patient in taking them, and you must be patient in waiting for its effect to come.
You must patiently give time for medicines to act in your body.
Is your patience being tried right now? Do you find it hard to keep still, wait, and accept life’s circumstances that come unexpectedly?
Learn to be patient for it has been said – its the mother of all virtues.
Posted on FB: 2 March 2015 – 11:35 PM
About the Author
Rev. Ronny Luces was the Minister for Administration and Community Service of Jaro Evangelical Church (JEC), Iloilo City, Philipines. He, his wife, Martha and daughter, Ronamae have been with JEC’s ministry since 1994.
Pastor Ronny graduated from Central Philippine University College of Theology in 1985 and was pastor of several Baptist churches.
In January 2015, after tests and two long hospital confinements, Pastor Ronny got the word he had lung cancer. He underwent chemotherapy.
Praying for healing and going through all the medical processes, Pastor Ronny started writing his reflections “Lessons Learned from My Sickness.”
On 9 July 2015, Pastor Ronny rested his earthly life.
May Pastor Ronny’s series of reflections and meditations strengthen your hope and faith as you go through your own life’s battles.
A month ago I went back to St. Kitts. I had not visited this beautiful island, a home away from home, in 5 and a half years. I had served as a community development worker here.
However, five and a half years ago I was assaulted, strangled, beaten, robbed, and an attempted rape took place on my body, mind, and spirit. 4 years ago I went through a trial that sent my attacker away to prison for 46 years.
Since my assault I have fought through Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, nightmares, anxiety, and fear to work to overcome the storm and become healthier and better.
My trip to St. Kitts was a big deal for me. I had many positive experiences serving there, but my last encounter on the island was so hurtful, traumatic, painful. I thought that my visit to St. Kitts was primarily to have the courage to visit the prison and confront the man who assaulted me. For different reasons that did not happen, but God knows!
I remember sitting in the home of my adopted family during my visit last month. On the local station they were showing a celebration on television of the men in prison. I was confused. People in the community where seeing on television a live party for men in prison. They had a live band, food, music, and the whole works. I was still confused.
Yes, people could see their loved ones who were in prison via television. But, what about the people who were watching whose perpertrator’s were in that same prison. How did we as victims and survivors feel? Did we want to see the rapists, attackers, perpertrator, and robbers who hurt us?
Even though it was only television my heart raced. What if I saw him, the man who hurt me? It had been years since I had an anxiety attack but I felt it coming. I took a deep breathe and was about to leave the room, but before I left I asked my adopted sister. “Could you please turn the station off? The man who assaulted me is in that prison.” She quickly changed the channel and noted, “you should have told me.” Deep breathe!
My trip to St. Kitts ultimately became one of the most restorative experiences of my life. I revisited every place that had brought me peace at one point, but had also brought me fear at another point. I visited all of the girls I had taught and who taught me. They are now working women!
I went to the churches I had once taught and preached at. I reconnected with them, teaching and preaching again! I walked down the deserted path where I had once seen my attacker. Instead of seeing his face, I saw the sun, palm trees, and small monkey’s! I walked around the community and instead of being afraid, I received multiple hugs and cheek kisses from friends daily.
Though I was afraid to walk alone at night, I slept peacefully. No nightmares, no pain, and when anxiety came up I took a deep breathe, said a prayer, and talked to God until I fell asleep again.
Healing is a journey and sometimes it is a battle to get to the other side of a storm. But, it’s possible. With God all things are possible.
Years ago my aunt told me to keep this scripture close. She was right.
Psalms 91:1-16 (NKJV) reads:
1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” 3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. 4 He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. 5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, 6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. 8 Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked. 9 Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, 10 No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; 11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. 12 In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. 13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. 14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. 15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”
“You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.” -Psalm 18: 28
Today is my birthday. I turn 31!
As a birthday gift to myself and my family I decided to face my attacker and consciously work to walk into the light.
Five years ago I was cut with a butcher knife, stripped of my clothing, strangled, and robbed as a stranger whom I did not know, attempted to rape me.
The police caught him. I and another lady testified a year later and he received 46 years in prison.
Five years ago I also lived in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I lived in the island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
The beautiful Caribbean Sea, palm trees, the sounds of Kittitian dialect, rays of golden yellow sunshine, laughs, and hikes full of delightful high-pitched chirps from 2 feet tall monkey’s. These make me smile.
I have also wondered about all of the beautiful people I met that became family to me in St. Kitts.
Two months ago I decided instead of wondering, why not go back and visit?
No one is going to hurt me and God will never put more on me than I can bear.
Psychologically sometimes the mind tries to create fear that is very deceiving. Trauma can manifest itself in bad dreams, hallucinations, not being able to breathe properly, fear, fear, anxiety, anxiety, depression, and more.
But, the devil really is a liar. We do not have to live a life fearing our past and holding on to what someone has done to us. With God all things are possible.
I go back to St. Kitts next week. Not just to face my trauma and the man who assaulted me, but to move forward walking into the light.
Though my assault and trauma left a grayish, black covering over my St. Kitts experience, there is still so much light that I consciously have to allow to shine through.
I’ll be visiting St. Kitts because I know the sun that shines so brightly literally and also through people on the island is what I need to keep with me moving forward healthily.
It is also what I need to have to share with my future children.
I will not hold onto this darkness. I will not even hold on to my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
For my 31st birthday I am consciously walking into the light.
God Bless You!
“For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.” – Psalm 36: 9 (NIV)
Hope Writer: Argrow “Kit” Evans
NOTE: This is a repost of Kit’s article published in her blog Testimonies of Hope and was used with her permission.
She learned that these achievements are nothing if she wasn’t blessing other people. She founded “Testimonies of Hope: The Intercultural Christian Devotional Website” to highlight how people attained hope in Jesus Christ despite the bad experiences they went through.
Kit says: “Over the last 17 years I have watched, studied, and served; learning that violence can be prevented and healing from trauma is a journey, but possible.“