Sometimes The Path Is Painful
I prayed and prayed and prayed. I let go and gave God the reigns. I told Him I trusted Him and asked Him to make the decision very clear to me. I told Him that He knows what I need more than I could ever know what I need. I have a tendency to get in my own way, so I needed His guiding hand to be completely evident. I asked for this over and over and over. I relied on the Divine Mercy Prayer (given to us by Saint Faustina), “Jesus, I trust in you.” I prayed all of these things as I encountered a possible fork in the road in my life.
I was so excited for the opportunity that potentially sat in front of me. A big part of me was convinced I was about to begin a new chapter of my life. A piece of a new dream was so close I could envision it happening. However, somewhere deep down inside of me, there must have been a slight piece of hesitation, whether I was willing to admit it or not. Enough hesitation was present that I actually geared my prayers a bit differently. You see, when I really, really feel right about something I ask specifically for the outcome I desire and proceed by praying, “if it is according to Your will.” In this circumstance a lingering fear was exposed because I didn’t ask specifically for the outcome I thought I desired. Instead, I just asked for God to make the path I was supposed to take abundantly clear to me. And then I waited. And prayed. And waited. And prayed some more.
While I waited for a response, I happened to read an interview with Pope Francis conducted by Father Antonio Spadaro. Pope Francis was talking about his decision making process and the discernment he uses to make decisions. He said, “But I am always wary of decisions made hastily. I am always wary of the first decision, that is, the first thing that comes to my mind if I have to make a decision. This is usually the wrong thing. I have to wait and assess, looking deep into myself, taking the necessary time. The wisdom of discernment redeems the necessary ambiguity of life and helps us find the most appropriate means, which do not always coincide with what looks great and strong.”
Pope Francis caused me to re-evaluate much. From the start my heart wanted the transition and the new endeavor, but something inside of me was being halted by the words of Pope Francis. “I am always wary of the first decision, that is, the first thing that comes to my mind… This is usually the wrong thing.” My emotions and the excitement of a new beginning were driving me to think a bit irrationally and I still desperately wanted to go down that road. I needed to discern a little deeper.
Through the discernment process I had some big moments of fear about the new possibility – and not in a “good butterflies” kind of a way. It was more of a, “whoa, is this the right thing for me?” kind of way. So I prayed some more and gave it to God, but I was still nervous.
Something within me recognized (even if only a tiny bit) it just wasn’t time. God gave me that feeling for a reason, but the human nature in me was still attracted to the bright lights of the potential opportunity in front of me. God made the decision clear, because in the end there was no decision for me to make – it was made for me. The opportunity was stripped away as if it never was on the table in the first place. I trust in the outcome. I asked for it. I got what I prayed for.
However, sometimes when you get what you ask for it’s not easy and it’s still painful. Even though I sensed God’s guiding hand in this particular situation, I was still pretty wrecked. I felt defeated. I felt as though I had fallen short, yet again. Have you ever prayed and prayed for something and it didn’t play out the way you wanted (or thought you wanted), but yet everything in you knew the outcome was still somehow the right outcome? It’s an odd predicament and yup, that’s exactly where I was.
Broken and shattered, yet, oddly confident in the decision God had made for me.
How far are you willing to go with your trust in God? How much are you willing to place in His hands? How much are you willing to accept the path He’s chosen for you? How much do you want to live out His will for your life?
Sometimes, His chosen path is painful, but it’s still the path you’re meant to be on. Place it in God’s hands and trust Him in your journey.
Laughs and Love,