Thursday, December 20, 2012

I said No

Just about a week ago, I did something terrible. God brought someone to my door, and I said no. It's the first time in almost a year that someone was brought to me for help and I turned them away.  I turned him away for what I told myself were good reasons. My husband told me he didn't feel like welcoming that kid, and I didn't think it was a good idea to force the issue.  I told myself that maybe all the problems we'd had with the one who stole our van and then the two that recently left, maybe we just weren't ready to help anybody else. The decision was left up to me, though, so ultimately it was my decision to make.  I think I chose poorly.

I had been praying that morning that God would help me to do his will.  When I got home, that's when the kid showed up.  I think God was asking me to trust Him, but I was worried that this would push my husband further away from the faith. I think God was asking me to trust that He knew what my husband and my family needed better than I did. I think my husband might have needed to be pushed harder so he could see he's made of stronger stuff than he thinks he is.  Heck, I think He knew we all needed a shot in the arm, spiritually speaking.  I failed.

Yesterday, God saw fit to give me two early Christmas presents during my catechism class.  The one, from one of my students, was an angel. It was a reminder of the angel that watches over me at all times, guiding and directing me and keeping me from going too far astray.  The second gift, from the religious education director, was a book on the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius.  I didn't connect the dots until I started writing this but I think God was telling me that the solution to our family's spiritual housekeeping mess is in that book.

I began to read it, and in the book it started challenging me to look at God from a fresh perspective, and challenge what I think I know about Him.  It advised me to begin with an examination of my past choices, how I feel about those, and where I see God in them.  What I've learned from this is that I don't trust God as much as I think I do.  I trust Him to pull me through a crisis, and I trust Him to work for my good when everything is dark, but I don't trust Him when it comes to guiding my husband's spirituality or my son's. This is where I often get in His way, taking charge when what I really need to do is step back or protecting them when what they really need is to be pushed harder.

In reflecting on this, I think it's safe to say that what God wants from me right now is to have a little faith in Him and get out of His way.  I need to learn to let go when it comes to the people I care about most, including myself, and stop trying to direct Him based on how I think things should work. I often say I like surprises, but I've come to realize over the years that I'm not really big on surprises in practical reality.  I like to know what's going on, to be in charge, to be in control. However, controlling everything is much too big a project and it overwhelms me.  The more I try to control everything, the less control I actually have.

I thank God for His many gifts to me, and especially for helping me to understand my weaknesses so that I can grow closer to Him by addressing those. I beg forgiveness for those whom I have harmed through my faults and failings, and I make a firm resolve to change.  I beg leniency while I work on these changes, and ask everyone to help me by letting me know when I am making the same mistake.

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