When you go through a rough patch in life and someone tries to console you with the words, “All in God’s timing,” or “God’s will be done,” and similar derivatives, do you find yourself sighing? Rolling your eyes? Or feeling spiteful? Well then go to confession honey, because I’ve been there, that’s one parasite of a sin, and I’m about to tell you why it’s really is all in God’s timing.
Unemployment is not fun. The majority of people don’t just wake up one day and decide to be unemployed. Sometimes, things happen. Happened to me. I’d like to think that I was in control of the whole situation and if I just been better – done X, Y, Z – that I wouldn’t have lost my job or similar things. Nonsense. If it wasn’t God’s will, there’s nothing that could have been done to change it.
It wasn’t until I totally gave myself up to God’s will, and therefore all control up to him, that things changed. (Like we really have “control”, anyway!) And things didn’t really change per se – I just felt better about it.
Now, I know that it’s not easy. And I definitely don’t want to sound pretentious/know-it-all/or the like. I want to help and share a few things I learned along the way, and not just unemployment – about any difficulty in life.
1. Say Yes to Things
Someone offered you a ticket to a ballgame? A certain ministry director need some help in the office? Is it somebody’s birthday? Or there’s an adoration event at the parish?
Just because life may not be going well is not an excuse to stop living life. Every opportunity offered to you in your time of trouble is an opportunity from God. Just because at these events you may not be working for wages, it does not mean you are not working to better God’s kingdom. Living life is key to unleashing the joy that comes from letting God’s will be done. Look at your life carefully and discern if you may be missing these opportunities, and work to do them.
2. Talk to People
…especially the people who know you best. Because you know how, how you look in the mirror isn’t exactly how other people see you? Or they way you look in photographs? Well that skewed internal image isn’t just the physical image, buddy. I made a conscious decision to ask people’s advice (friends, siblings, my mom) and wouldn’t you know it, they all said the same thing? (They all talked about my writing, which whaddayaknow, you’re reading it right now. They just might be right, huh?) People think more highly of you than of you do yourself. So be honest with yourself and figure out what it is that you need to asking people about. You just might find that the outside perspective is exactly what you need to see how God has been directing your life.
(What? Did you really think I was going to leave that out?)
If you haven’t already, I need you to sit down and honestly reflect on some things. And if you can do it in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, even better. First, call upon the Holy Spirit to guide your reflection. It was when I reflected on all the (seemingly) bad things that had happened over the past, oh… five years, that what shone brightest was the Good that the Lord had done with them.
Can’t see it, yourself? Don’t worry, you will. But most importantly, I want you to look at yourself and try to see yourself the way the Lord sees you. You are His creation whom loves so much. Unfathomably so. He loves you and thinks you’re beautiful. Tell him all that worries you, but still keep in mind how much He does love you, and know that He doesn’t want you to suffer. He wants you to be with Him in heaven, the place of all joy and delight. Trust in His plan to get you there, and surrender yourself to it.
If you abandon yourself to God’s will, God wouldn’t just throw that away. God is Love. It’s impossible for Him to do something not with Love. So, if you do find yourself abandoning to Him, be not afraid! Trust in that knowledge.
And as an added bonus, I found that when I did let God do what God wanted to do, that as the right opportunities came along, I felt joy about them! No apprehension or anxiety. Just the peace that comes with knowing that I was being guided by the True Shepherd.
I’ll leave you with a popular prayer at my parish. Say it until you live it. And then pray it while you live it.
I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul;
I offer it to you
with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord,
and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.
Charles de Foucald
Photo via Flickr.