Right now my life is going through many changes. I have a new job that signifies a new phase of my professional career. I moved into a new home in a new part of town, and there is a lot yet to be settled and figured out. It’s a whirlwind of a Lenten season, with little sober calmness or given routine. These winds of change bring fresh new energy, exciting as that first cold breath of fall. And at the same time the winds of change that play with my hair and tug at my skirt also disturb the stillness of my heart. There are so many unknowns, isn’t being apprehensive a given? A natural given, yes, at least for me. I love adventure and yet want control at the same time. In the lack of control, in the apprehension, I learn to grown in trust. Times of change really are beautiful invitations to grow in trust. There are three things that have been helping me grow in this trust and find my anchor in God. The first two are phrases of Fr.Kentenich‘s:
“If I really felt as a child before God, I would be convinced that all things work together for my highest good, and I would not doubt the the Father’s love and goodness.” *
If I really felt, knew and rested in the truth that I am a child of God, I would be convicted, convinced, certain, that all things – unknowns and changes included- were working towards my good. So what reason would I have to be anxious? It’s like the beautiful imagery that Chris Stravitsch, Catholic therapist and blogger, wrote about Jesus calming the storm: “Instead of fearing the storm, the disciples could have entered the stern and simply sat near Jesus.” I imagined feeling scared and then with full confidence crawling to the sleeping Jesus and curling up in the stern next to Him. The “peace of God which passes all understanding” would fall as a warm blanket upon me and the threat of the storm would be as nothing in the haven of His peace (Phil 4:7).
But in the daily moments of the storm, how do I remember to crawl to Him? I can only remember to crawl to Him if I am aware that everything that happens is Him speaking to me. He is always trying to reach out to us. This is the second phrase from Fr Kentenich:
“We should always listen to the message of God in the small things. This means that the question always resounds: Lord, what do you want to tell me with this?
Keeping that question present in the now helps me remember to crawl to Him. If we’re in a traffic jam, or something did not go as we had wanted or planned, or if we have to face some disappointment or great sorrow – even in these difficulties He is telling us something, something personal in a language that only we can understand. And He speaks through the pleasant and beautiful things, too. Let’s not forget to keep our ears open for those! Sometimes He speaks directly to us through people we love, through people who challenge us or annoy us, or even through our barristas – just last week when I was nervous and on my way to my first job training, my barrista told me I looked like a princess. I’m pretty sure that was Jesus himself. 🙂
The third thing helping my grow in trust and find my anchor is a song my Dad showed to me a few days ago. It’s by a young woman from Hampshire, nick-named Birdy, who recently made it big. She captures that lost-in-the-changes feeling perfectly.
I’m finding my heart
Using my hands
You’re my feet on the ground
My footprintsFrom where I began
I still carry your love
I feel your loveOur time is torn
And we don’t need it no more
Wherever we are
I’m yours alwaysIt flows in my blood
I still carry your love
I feel your loveWe start running, runningto escape this town
We don’t know where we’re going ’til we turn ’round.And I keep on running, running
I can’t slow down
And if I’m lost where shadows fallYou light me up
When all I see is darkness
You light me up
When I’m down
And if I fall apart
You know where to find my pieces
When they can’t be foundKeep my eyes shut
Safe in this trust
You’re all that I need
My SensesShining on me
I still carry your love
I feel your love
(See music video with lyrics here)
In the middle of the running and the searching and the changes, when we’re lost where shadows fall – God’s fatherly love is there with us, shining on us – He is our “feet on the ground”, our footprints. We carry His love, it flows in our blood – and if we shut our eyes in trust and look within, He’ll find all our pieces, carry us in His love, and LIGHT US UP, from the inside out.
May you be blessed on your Lenten journey of change with a greater trust, that you may hear His messages to you in all things, and thus experience His deep peace and fatherly care in the midst of the changing winds of life.