It is Memorial Day weekend and everyone is trying to get near a body of water, preferably with some meat cooking and an ice chest full of alcoholic beverages nearby. I, of course, am vegetarian, so no meat, and I am nursing still, so no booze. I did get to the pool with my older kids, but had to leave somewhat earlier than I had anticipated to escape the 6-year-old stalker invading my personal space. My 5-year-old daughter still struggles with swimming because she clenches up and clings–she doesn’t trust that the water will hold her up–and so she sinks. Luckily, she is tall enough now to just hop around and have some fun in the water. She will learn to swim soon enough.
But the best part of the weekend so far was when I got to grab breakfast and eat it at the park, enjoying time to think and write and find some way to understand the strife in my life as of late. While there, I reflected on how the battles we fight really come down to Team Fear VS Team Love. You can see life as a merciless, miserable chaos that we have to wrestle good things from, or as an ongoing surprise party with continual gifts of Grace to open from our loving God, each meant for our soul’s ultimate good. I choose the latter.
When I apply for a job I really want and I don’t get called back, I see that as God stepping in and directing me to something better. Halleluia!
When my preteen son is being difficult, I am reminded that I too need to learn something about arguing and rebelling against God and trusting in his goodness.
If my husband and I are not able to communicate without being ugly and the weekend is shot again, I know I need to grow in a key area: My husband is God’s project and not mine. I have no control over him. I need to do my part and let God do the rest. This is true in marriage and life in general–a tough lesson to learn and I am getting extra tutoring because I struggle with this concept.
So, we can fear and act out of a need for control and protect ourselves, closing ourselves off to the gifts of God, or we can trust in God’s love and receive the gifts he wants to give us and allow him to teach us the lessons we need to learn at the time we need to learn them. Clench up the butt cheeks and cling to the old, stale, familiar scene or relax, breathe, and find yourself buoyantly resting on the wave of God’s Grace, letting him take you where he knows you need to go.
This reminds me of a great book I read a long time ago called He Leadeth Me by Fr. Walter J. Ciszek, S.J. This is written by a man who suffered horribly because of his faith. He writes:
“God’s will was not hidden somewhere “out there” in the situations in which I found myself; the situations themselves were his will for me. What he wanted was for me to accept these situations as from his hands, to let go of the reins and place myself entirely at his disposal…It demanded absolute faith: faith in God’s existence, in his providence, in his concern for the minutest detail, in his power to sustain me, and in his love protecting me. It meant losing the last hidden doubt, the ultimate fear that God will not be there to bear you up. It was something like that awful eternity between anxiety and belief when a child first leans back and lets go of all support whatever–only to find that the water truly holds him up and he can float motionless and totally relaxed.”
Do you have the faith to live out your Christian faith? Pray for it.