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Thursday, March 18, 2010


TJ came home from Precept with a piece of paper with the above letters written on it about two weeks ago. The paper was just a slip torn from a larger piece, and somehow it got lost in the car until last night. I knew the letters meant something, but they reminded me of our trip to Wales.

We participated in a church exchange program when Scott had just turned 2 (and I was 6 months pregnant with Mimi). The year before, a group from Wales had come over to stay with people from our church, and then that summer it was our turn to go visit them. The native language in Wales is Welsh (shocking, I know) and Welsh is a VERY interesting language. The more I study Biblical Greek, the more it reminds me of Welsh. Both are pictorial/descriptive languages, in that the word denotes an entire concept/picture and frequently require phrases and not words to translate them correctly into English.

So it's not surprising that Wales is the home of the city with the longest name in the Europe. It is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch
and means " St Mary’s Church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool of the church of St Tysilo near the Red Cave." Locals call it LlanFair PG or simply "the Go Go". At 19 syllables long, it's understandable you'd want to have a nickname, LOL. For the record, because I'm nerdy that way, I learned to pronounce the full name. How else do you pass your time on a bus tour when you are 6 months pregnant stuck on a bus with no air conditioning, and just one pothole away from tossing your cookies?

So back to TJ's paper...It stands for "Please Be Patient, God Is Not Finished With Me Yet." Wow! Now there is something actually worthy of being committed to memory. And not just as it relates to parents and children. That's actually sage advice for all of us. I know I wish everyone I encountered remembered that I am a work in progress, and I know that I need to remember that about OTHERS too.

Apparently, I need to be reminded about that A LOT, as God has smacked me with that truth twice more over the past few days. I always say that empathy is NOT one of my spiritual gifts, but amazingly remembering that we are all works in progress is helping me to be more empathetic...or at least forgiving.

I found out today that some of my actions hurt, or at least irritated and upset, people when that was not my intention AT ALL. In fact the total opposite was true. It's like the axiom that no good deed goes unpunished. And when I am taken to task for being me, especially when I'm being the genuine, honest, open me, it makes me want to retreat into my shell and stop putting myself into the position where I can be hurt. It's safer emotionally to not extend yourself at all than to extend yourself and get hurt in the process. But the truth of PBPGINFWMY has really helped me get through today. (Well, that and a two hour nap to overcome my emotional exhaustion.) I have to trust that God knows what the intentions of my heart were, and that they were pure. And instead of getting mad at people for misjudging my intentions, and misjudging ME because of them, I have to remember that they too are works in progress, just like me. We are ALL sinners who fall short of the glory of God, and we are all fallen. None of us are perfected in our faith yet, and we will ALL disappoint others or misjudge others or get mad at others or be hurt by others. The best we can do is be patient with others and pray that they are patient with us while God is working out our perfection. AND, I need to remember that GOD is the judge of my actions-and if those actions are pure what other people think of me really shouldn't matter. I was reminded of that just a few weeks ago as I began my Precept study on Isaiah. In Isaiah 2:22, God commands us, "Stop regarding man, whose breath of life is in his nostrils; For why should he be esteemed?" In essence, God reminds us that man is temporal. We will all cease to exist someday...even the greatest of men (as regarded by other men). We all awake each morning only because the Lord sustains us. GOD is eternal. And, He is judge. We will all stand before Him some day for judgement, so why is it so easy for us to dismiss Him and why do we seek to curry the favor of men over the favor of our Creator? If my God is for me, who can be against me? And He loves me enough to die for me, so I am going to work on regarding Him over man, and on being patient with the other people He brings into my life, whether for a moment, a season, or a lifetime, because He's not finished with them yet either...
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Leisa said...

Amen! Remember people who truly know you and call themselves your friends will know your heart...

Tiffany said...

This was a great post full of Biblical wisdom (you are good at that). I'm sorry to hear that you were hurt though.