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Thursday, February 05, 2009

God's Providence

I have a really hard time trusting God. trusting anyone at all.

Maybe it comes from being a child of divorce or some other major event.  Over and over again in my life, I've misplaced trust, and as a result, I've been betrayed.  Over and over again, and I can't play the "victim" because I'm not. I've been complicit in my own betrayal.  

It seems I don't trust where I should, and offer trust where I should not.  

Over and over again, in prayer, I "hear" God asking me to trust Him. I gaze upon Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and upon the crucifix, and realize that this is the epitomy of trust.  I kneel at the foot of the cross, realizing that Jesus died for me, and I don't think I've ever met anyone who would be willing to die for me, personally.  Maybe for an ideal, maybe for "me" as a citizen, faceless and nameless, as a part of a job. 

But not for me, knowing me, all of my flaws, all of who I really am...and still deciding I was worth it. I don't think I'd die for me if that question were asked. I don't think I'm worth it. 

But I can't deny the reality of Our Lord's crucifixion. I can't deny His eternal presence with us.  I can't deny what He tells me, over and over again, at every Mass.  

And because I struggle so much with this, He continues to reach out to me, to prove His love, to prove His providence when I most need it. 

I realized this week that God knew a long time ago that I would suffer from this terrible cold and lose my voice, just when I needed it most.  But it was also an answer to a prayer, to allow me to take a lesser role, to allow someone else to speak for Him because I could not.  

But another point came to me this afternoon;  when we were trying to schedule my talk, it was originally supposed to take place twice in the same week.  But because of another event, another really important conflict, it didn't work. We looked at subsequent weeks, and even changing the date entirely...nothing worked.  This was the week, Tuesday was the day.  

I had a voice long enough on Tuesday to deliver my part, and not without suffering; I barely made it through the segments I had, and someone else delivered the real "meat" of the teaching I had to give.  It was strange to sit back and listen to someone else read my own words, which are really the words of Christ and His Church. 

Wednesday I woke up and couldn't speak. Not a word.  

And I was grateful; even as my co-workers rejoiced, and even laughed uproarously at me, I was content. It didn't matter.  Not speaking isn't so bad. 

But it wasn't until today that I "got" the message. God's providence.  

Again, originally I was scheduled to give this talk twice, and today was one of the days we considered. 

I couldn't have done it.  Even today, talking was at a minimum, and I could not do today what I did on Tuesday.  

God knew that a long time ago, long before I did.  

Yet He gave me a respite long enough to do what had to be done, and no more. 

The strain on my coworkers, and my supervisor, therefore, has been minimal.  

Yes, there have been snags, but that's to be expected, and things were handled. I went to work today as usual but didn't return any calls as I could not speak well enough to have a coherent phone conversation.  

All is as it should be;  God is in charge, and this week has been one of those lessons.  He has our good in mind, and the good of all souls, especially those He entrusts to us and to whom He gives us a special duty.  

I've read, off and on, de Caussade's "Abandonment to Divine Providence", and love it, although my reading has been interrupted by my semester's worth of classes.  Yet the message, of what I've read, has been taken to heart.  

It's hard to abandon oneself when one cannot trust, and yet, one must be willing to surrender in order to learn to trust. It's one of those great paradoxes of which Our Lord is so fond, and through which we learn so much! 

So this week, our dear Abba has been teaching me a gentle lesson in trust, trying to bring me to abandonment, reminding me that no matter what we plan, He is in charge and desires nothing but our good.  

Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever truly learn to trust...real, holy trust...and then God brings me a lesson like this.  I know that I am not abandoned, and that indeed, my Father is in Heaven, looking out for His little girl. 

I only hope my trust can grow in the way that it should, and that I will learn to love God so much as to overcome all the doubt that constantly separates me from Our Lord.  


Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Good to see I'm not the only one with trust issues.

Hmmm, God's providence works in interesting ways that I read this today.

NC Conch said...

He made of me a sharp-edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of his arm. He made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me. IS 49:2

This scripture has become my personal mantra. In fact, I have it tattooed on my arm.

You are God's secret weapon. He has you hidden for when he needs you most. He does not have you out on display (yet), but at the ready. Sword making is not a simple or gentle process and most steel is not worth of becoming a sword. A sword maker bangs and heats and bangs and cools and bangs the sword into the perfect form. I truly feel that all of the hard times we go through are there to make us stronger. We are not being punished, we are being refined.

I can remember the day I heard this scripture at daily mass. I almost fell out of the pew. I am on staff at a parish. A couple of my co-members of the pastoral staff lack in tact and interpersonal skills. They are really good at pointing out faults. It almost seems like they enjoy it.

Since then I have become a better person.

There is a purpose to everything. Everything can and should lead us closer to God. No matter how crazy the circumstance seems.

Peace and love!


Unknown said...

I often wonder how some of the saints were able to trust God completely. While I have gotten better at it I still feel a bit of a holy tug of war going on. The line in your post that struck me most was that "I am still his little girl..." Maybe that's where real trust begins- as a child. Children often have a very keen sense about who and who not to trust. So no matter what our age- God tells us to come to him with child-like faith.
Thanks for the post- I love your insights and honesty.
God Bless!