It's been all of 12 hours (12 hours, 13 minutes and 32 seconds to be exact...feeling kind of "Monk"-ish) since I asked the Lord to help me in a challenging relationship. It's like going through withdrawals not to gripe and complain and find someone to sympathize with me. By staying quiet (slow to speak...I think that's in the Bible) I find I am much more inclined to ask God to get me through each moment.
When they translated the Bible into more modern versions they really messed up when they listed patience as one of the Fruits of the Spirit. Patience makes me think of short term endurance. Longer than a sprint but shorter than a marathon or even a spiritual 10k. Older versions translate that word as LONGSUFFERING! That is a much more accurate statement! And when you endeavor to "suffer long" you have to meditate upon Matthew 7:4-5 as well...the "plank" passage. It is so easy to fall (or willingly step) into self pity which is self-righteousness with a makeover. If we're not focusing on purifying ourselves through prayer, repentance and true humility how can we ever expect to be able to truly suffer long in our own strength? We might become stubborn and force ourselves to pray...at least to say the right words, but the fruit will be withered and of no eternal value. But when we ask the Lord to hold the mirror so He can direct us in removing our own plank He will also be faithful to place a bandage of grace (I know, it wasn't listed in the Armor of the Lord list) on our injured eye which improves our vision so we can effectively pray for that friend or loved one or situation that is such a challenge.
It's still hard and I just know there will be some "faking it 'til I make it" as many a successful recovering addict has had to do. And being such a verbal person too! Ugh! But, may the Lord find me teachable and may I be a willing student of His grace and mercy. :) (12 hours 41 minutes and 57 second...only an eternity of trusting my Lord to go:)