It never fails.
Whenever I am in need, or can’t figure out something, or have to make an important decision, I try to first offer my question to God. It could be composed in my prayer journal. It could be in the form of a petition during Mass. Or it could be whispered in the dark of a sleepless night. But no matter what the question or quandary, I hear the same answer loud and clear from Him lately: “More of Me.”
That’s it. He wants me to draw nearer to Him, to pray more to Him, to ask Him to reign ever more completely over my life. That’s His answer to my problems big and small—More of Him. It’s not an easy answer to accept. I would rather He just go ahead and fix it, thank you very much—whatever “it” is: Just answer my question or solve this problem and we can all move on, God. But that’s not how He typically works. Instead, He wants us to lean on Him harder and lean into Him deeper whenever we are at a crossroads.
When I was anxious over an upcoming event, and my imagination was running wild with concocted scenes of public humiliation (one, in particular, involving a trip-and-face-plant exhibition in front of hundreds of people), I asked for confidence and reassurance. I heard this: “More of Me.” When I was confused by an emotional response I was having in a relationship and I turned to God for clarity, the answer was once again clear: “More of Me.”
And, not long ago, I was distraught, fearful and borderline angry over a family situation. I wanted to turn my back on God with an “I’ll show him” attitude and not even crack open my prayer journal or my Bible or go to Mass or confession or Adoration. But I was stopped by the words I kept hearing whispered in my heart: “More of Me.” So I begrudgingly kept at it. I showed up at Mass, prayer journaled daily when I was so not in the mood, and unenthusiastically recited my rosary (all the while moaning and groaning about my situation of course). Yet I could tell, deep down, that it was working. More of Him kept me going, pushing through the hurt and pain and confusion until at long last I emerged on the other side with a renewed sense of peace.
I do get answers to my issues in one way or another, eventually. But more importantly, graces are poured into my heart. Courage is instilled in my shaky spine and calm is restored to my soul. I change. I grow spiritually. I trust Him more. I end up with fresh faith. Every. Single. Time.
But—here’s the catch—I only receive these benefits after I’ve sought More of Him. Which, not coincidentally, calls for Less of Me: Less of my self-sufficient attitude, less of my pride and stubbornness, less of my willingness to easily give in to the evil one’s constant offering of doubt, discouragement, and disappointment.
This tiny revelation is going to help me immensely in the future, I know. There are dark tunnels ahead for me, and for all of us Catholic Sistas, truth be told. They’re inevitable. But I can picture myself going through the dark tunnels singing because I know how to make it through to the other side. I know if I stay close to him, dive even deeper into his Word, get more intentional about receiving the Sacraments and spending daily time with Him in prayer—if I seek MORE of Him—I will be fine. Everything will be fine. Even when it isn’t.
More of Him.
It never fails.
Mary Beth is a 50-something magazine editor, a family humor columnist and an author, but her favorite form of writing is prayer journaling. Praying with a pen every morning for years
dramatically strengthened her spiritual life, even drawing her back home to the fullness of the Catholic Church after several decades away! She recently published a book with Beacon
Publishing/Dynamic Catholic titled, “Praying with a Pen—the Girlfriends’ Guide to Stress-Free Prayer Journaling.” Married for 30+ years to her witty and wonderful husband, she’s a mom to two adult children: one a seminarian studying in Rome and the other a happily married school social worker who promoted Mary Beth to grandma status in March of 2018. Mary Beth is a member of her church choir, loves to sing at big Catholic weddings and has recently begun facilitating Catholic book studies and retreats for women. With a background in corporate communications and marketing and a Master’s degree in Business and Organizational Leadership, she has spoken to over 100 groups on the topics of leadership, family humor, writing and prayer journaling. Mary Beth has a borderline unhealthy attachment to her little dog, Sammy and, when the mood strikes her, she blogs about prayer journaling (and Sammy) at www.prayingwithapen.com.