I have been struggling to write this post. Starting and stopping over the course of a few weeks. Many apologies to my editor!! I’m not sure what the block is. Sunday morning I decided to go swim laps at our city pool. My oldest son was serving a late mass, so I had time in the morning, and it’s free (always a big plus!!).
I have always enjoyed swimming, from the feeling of weightlessness to the cool water as I cut through the water. I am in no way a competitive swimmer though. Quietly swimming my laps alongside the other (mostly daily) swimmers and water-walkers helped to let my mind run free and not even to compose a to-do list or reflect too much while I swam.
It’s been a summer of slower schedules but mixed with unexpected things, which is typical. Praying, reflecting, asking for direction and healing mixed with grace and forgiveness – these have been my constants. However, I haven’t been seeing or feeling any progress. Why?
Recently, I read that when we are putting others down or wishing we are better at something, we are actually questioning God’s plan for our lives; we are, in effect, saying that how God made us isn’t good enough. God doesn’t make mistakes. That I feel inadequate as a mom of teenagers (or adolescents or preschoolers or toddlers…) is a reflection on how I am looking at myself. Trusting in God’s plan and purpose for my life needs to be my focus. If I work from a place of hoping in God, trusting that He made me exactly like He wanted, joy is easier to come by, and I can find peace in my daily activities, even when they don’t go as planned.
However, when I try to do it on my own, I’m not letting Jesus lead, and I’m not taking His yoke upon myself. He tells us that His burden is easy and His yoke is light. That is because He is with us. I don’t have the strength to do this life on my own. I will be weary, worn out, and beaten down. Taking Jesus’ yoke, letting Him lead me, gives me His strength. Only then can I do His will and find peace.
When I read a book, I am terrible about flipping to the end to see how it turns out. This habit has ruined more than one mystery for me. Reading ebooks helps some (it’s much harder to flip quickly to the end!).
Unless I let go of the questions I have about how life will turn out or how to do, God can’t get into my heart. “God does not fit into an occupied heart.” (St. John of the Cross)
I am praying for guidance while my mind is still plotting a course on its own. I want to know how the situation will play out. If we do this, then they will do that and so on. It doesn’t work that way. While on the surface, I’m asking God for help, I’m not truly giving Him the reigns. It’s time to let go of the questions and truly give God my heart and my life.
How many times in the bible do we hear people asking for healing? Or we hear that Jesus healed someone even before they ask. Sometimes, the person has been suffering for years, as was the case with the woman hemorrhaging for 12 years. (Matthew 9:20) Other times, it is a fever as was the case with Peter’s mother-in-law. (Matthew 8:14) Jesus would be preaching or walking along and someone would call out to him for healing. (Luke 7:11-19)
Jesus’ healing took on many forms. He healed the woman at the well by his knowledge and forgiveness of her sins. He healed the woman brought to him by the elders by his forgiveness and refusal to cast stones at her or her accusers.
Our need for healing can take many forms: physical, spiritual, emotional, mental. There are times we aren’t even aware of our need for healing. A small thing that doesn’t seem significant chips away at our well-being. After time, we look, and God seems far away.
It happens in our relationships with other people too. We take for granted that our close relationships, family or friends, will always be there. Without work and awareness, though, that isn’t the case. A day slips by, maybe two, which grows into a week or a month. Suddenly, we look around and that relationship that was always there is gone.
When we let bitterness invade our thoughts, we turn our back on forgiveness. Even the smallest of grudges can turn into bigger issues.
Letting go of control and letting go of the “need to know” releases these issues from our minds and our hearts and lets God come back in, where He belongs.