A Place of Patient Waiting

A Place of Patient Waiting

This is a picture of my laundry room.

Clean. Uncluttered. Pristine. … Not at all what it’s been like for the last several months.

I think we all have that place in our home where we allow things to gather. Maybe it starts as a junk drawer in the kitchen, then escalates to an armchair in a neglected corner of the room. Or, even better, perhaps there’s some closet you can banish things to so they’ll be “out of sight, out of mind.”

For me, it’s the laundry room. The perfect place to collect things that need to go elsewhere. A purgatory of sorts—a rest stop between where items used to be and where they actually need to go.

For weeks, my collection grew. New items from Christmas that needed to find their designated places. Items that needed to be returned at some point. Boxes that might come in handy for those returns. Clothes that needed mending. Things that needed to be donated. Papers from school that I couldn’t yet decide should go in an album or the trash can.

And every time I’d pass the laundry room and see thing growing mountain of pending tasks, I’d get stressed. I’d feel a twinge of guilt that I had let it get so bad.

But life was rough, and I simply didn’t have the time or energy to make it happen. I was dealing with serious health problems and other personal trials that left me drained, and everything else in my life—including the laundry room infestation—took a back seat in terms of priority.

And then one day, as I passed the laundry room, I stopped and looked at the disaster once again. And this time, I didn’t feel stress. And I didn’t feel guilt. I felt gratitude.

Gratitude that there’s a place in my home where I CAN allow things to gather and stay in limbo for as long as I need.

Gratitude for that place of patient waiting.

And all of a sudden, I was filled with gratitude for another reason—gratitude for God’s patient waiting with ME as I seek to declutter my soul. Because if there’s anyone who’s an expert at patiently waiting, it’s Him.

Now, this isn’t to say that we should “procrastinate the day of [our] repentance” (Alma 34:33) or seek to “hide [our] crimes from God” (Alma 39:8) by trying to shove our sins into some figurative closet, ignoring them and hoping that God does the same.

But there’s something to be said about the gradual process of perfection—recognizing our heaps of inadequacies and little by little trying to tidy up our souls. And that’s what God gives us space to do.

And instead of feeling stressed about my weaknesses, and guilty about my imperfections, I’m trying to feel grateful.

Grateful for this mortal life where I can work on myself and prepare my soul for eternity.

Grateful for a God who patiently helps me along at my own pace.

And grateful for His constant love, no matter what my “laundry room” looks like.

Little by little, I cleansed that room. And little by little, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I’m cleansing my soul.

It’s going to take a lot more time than just purging one room of my house, but that’s okay.

Because God is great at patiently waiting.

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