“Wait, I’m Not Ready”. We have all said this at some point in our lives, right? I’m not talking about being ready for an evening out. I am talking about not being ready for some new and uncertain paths in life such as marriage, children, new career adventures or faith journeys, major stuff in your life.
For about 45 years of my life, I relied mainly on myself for everything. I was stressed out and worried and looked to everyone for acceptance and self-worth. I had no relationship with God nor did I need Him. Why? I believed what society told me would make me happy such as money, prestige and all kinds of pleasure in my life. I was an Executive in Corporate America for decades and thought I was happy and successful. However, I was always unsettled trying to “Find Something More”.
On Easter 2013, God found me, the non-catechized Confirmed Catholic who ran from the Faith. I did not need God and for 20 years I did not go to church or practice any religion, not even on Christmas or Easter. Even so, God found me and has shot me out of the Catholic Faith Cannon. I am so blessed.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. (John 15:16)
I now attend daily Mass and Confession every week. I meet regularly with a Spiritual Director, a Priest, and my prayer life has been dramatically transformed. Prayer is how I live now; my relationship with God and the Holy Spirit is a daily commitment and a daily surrender.
Now, let’s get back to the idea that I do not feel I am ready for major changes.
Why do I find this funny? Well, I know how to live with uncertainty. I actually embrace uncertainty and I give myself, my thoughts and my actions to God every day. I have learned to see, feel and hear Him in other people, through media, through nature and of course in Scripture, spiritual readings and in contemplative prayer.
Yet, I still fell into the state this world taught me for almost a half a century, that I need to rely on myself and to plan and be ready for “the next stage.” I was taught to rely on myself and my abilities, my pride. Even though I know I will never be ready for any type of change or transformation without God there with me every step of the way, leading the way. I still felt like I wasn’t ready for a few new things coming my way and, admittedly, I was a bit scared. I knew I had to jump into action and fast.
Wait, I don’t have to be ready
Then it hits me like it always does; I don’t have to be ready. I don’t have to rely on me. I know if I pay attention each day, He will move me, when it is time, into the next phase. I know I can do nothing without Him, so I must stop falling into the mindset that I can. When I do, like I have multiple times over the past few weeks, I have to shut down that thinking and flee to God as soon as possible. It is as simple as stopping myself, even saying out loud, “Stop that thinking. Mary, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit please help guide me and give me peace.”
People always asked me, “How do you know you are doing God’s will?” It goes back to my relationship with Him. Am I resting in Him in silence? Am I giving my life to Him every day? Do I watch and pay attention to Him throughout my day? Do I pray for the Holy Spirit to enter and lead my mind, body, spirit and soul every day? When I do feel a prompt, what do I do and how do I feel – is it for the better for me and/or others? Am I still being true to my Faith with this decision or path? Do I feel a sense of peace?
It is only when we live each day surrendering to God and watch Him in action will we truly begin to live with Him and not just for Him. I found the biggest challenge was acting on the promptings I would hear, especially those weird ones that seem so oddly unrelated to what was in my mind or on my heart at that time. It is easy to push Him off and say we will “do it later” only to forget completely or do it so far down the line it turns out it did not have as much impact. When we begin to see and follow His promptings, with no haste, we will see doors open and problems solved through other people or through print and other media. I wonder how many opportunities I missed because I waited to act on a prompting I felt?
Here’s one that I almost didn’t act on …
I was freaking out about something. I was in prayer in the morning and I began thinking that I shouldn’t be doing something and began to worry about the decision I made.
I went to Mass that morning and while I was in thanksgiving after receiving Jesus into my body and soul I kept hearing, “Call your Mom.” After Mass I heard again, “Call your Mom.” and so I pulled out my phone in the Narthex and called her right there. I explained what was going on with me and my concerns and she talked me right off the edge of despair.
I shared with her what I heard in Mass and why I called her then instead of later and how I felt God’s prompting. I truly believe it was God speaking through my mom because I received the message with complete peace and love in my soul. The message would also glorify God and would spread The Good News. It was not selfish in nature. I was more than sure it was God speaking through my Mom.
What if I wasn’t in prayer and in tune with Jesus and what I was feeling in Mass that day? I may have gone days or weeks in that state of despair and spiraled out of control … or even longer.
But We Must Pray
Let’s remember to keep focusing on the Holy Spirit throughout each day. Ask Him into your day every morning “Come Holy Spirit, Come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well-beloved spouse.” Wake up and pay attention to the ways in which He appears throughout your life and how you feel as you quickly discern those promptings. God speaks to His children just like He did to the first Christians:
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:2)
When we are open to hearing, feeling and seeing the Holy Spirit, the more we become in tune. Our minds and soul become dialed into God. I have such inner peace. I live for an audience of One. I do my best to lean on the Holy Spirit to help me decipher Spirits (evil and good) and what is my own selfish will. The more I do this the easier it is to hear and act accordingly. But we must pray – even Jesus … God … took time to rest in prayer and listen to the Father and do His will.
Don’t have time for prayer or lack the focus to meditate? Don’t know how to pray? I would be honored to be there with you every day via video! You only need fifteen minutes and it is a super easy process. You and I will be on our way to deepen your relationship with God! It can be purchased as a gift, too!
For anyone who wants a deeper relationship with God BUT:
Doesn’t have time to pray
Doesn’t really know how to pray
Doesn’t really know how to see, hear, feel God in their life
Doesn’t have much of a prayer life
Doesn’t attend Mass or want to attend
Doesn’t know much about Catholicism
Doesn’t know the purpose of the Mass – just boring and get nothing out of it
Attends Mass but doesn’t have a spiritual life outside of that 1 hour – fulfills Sunday obligation
Has not had a true encounter with God or felt His graces in your life
Feels like prayer is a list of “to-do’s”
Is afraid to go to Confession
Is scared God doesn’t want them back – that they are too sinful
Fell away from Catholicism for whatever reason
Also wants to know more about Catholicism and all the resources one can use to pray for themselves and ones they love
I have a passion to bring others to a deeper relationship with God and the Faith. Check out my podcast and share those with the ones you love who are like I was six years ago. They are free and less than ten minutes which means you can easily text them to your fallen away loved ones to listen on any device, anywhere, anytime. My book (also in Audio format for those who don’t have time to read) shares my five-year spiritual journey which is like a shotgun out of a canon. Here is a free download of some Miracle Prayers; this is jammed with prayers, saints, Bible verses, novenas, no wimpy download here.
Pray big, everyone and have a blessed and inspired day.