Who writes a victory speech before the battle begins? I do. Why? Because. Why not?
- Job loss?
- Sudden illness?
- Financial insecurity?
- Loss of relationship?
- Free free to add your own.
I have either battled each of these personally, or with those I love numerous times, and among the lessons I’ve learned is that faith is not a vaccination against hard times. I have also learned that
committing to faith makes every act sacred
and our entire lives are an offering and a prayer to The Almighty.
Other lessons? That I am comfortable with Maya Angelou’s characterization Father/Mother/God for several reasons, not the least of which is that some days I need a Father Figure, others the Compassion of a fierce and Omnipotent Mother, and other days when it does not matter.
God is so much bigger than any box we could conceive
…and I choose to focus on an Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent God, although the Perfect, Precise image I envision may not be yours. That we may disagree is okay, and settled. Let’s move on.
My faith, as I articulate it regularly, is Unceasing. Continual. Powerful. Undeniable. Even as I question it.
My advice for surviving ANYTHING?
- Be honest with God. Admit that you want to trust, but that you also want NOT to suffer. I am not a pious follower. At best, I am a servant with questions. There was a time in my life when I felt guilty about being who I am, but God knew; I am a divine masterpiece, even in my liminal state. Who am I to question? Who are you?
- Embrace that your entire life is a prayer. And then pay attention. During a period of intense testing, I made a declaration. Within days, God moved. It was a prayer, and it was answered. Only because the person to whom I made it made me aware, did I notice. God is always listening. We should practice that.
- Find joy in your meantime. Life will give you reasons to be miserable. You may choose misery. I choose joy. In a recent prayer request, I asked for humility to be only “modestly smug” when the results came through. I did not ask for a miracle. I asked for Grace, and that was the miracle. God answered my prayer. I was only modestly smug, and that is praise.
- Trust God. No, really. At some point, you begin to realize how ridiculous it is to think we might weigh in on The Almighty. There is a difference, however, between trust and hubris. Hubris presumes that the power belongs to you. Trust acknowledges that you recognize Power and that it belongs to God. Practice this one often. It takes work.
- Be human. Admit that you trust God, even as you second guess; that is your humanity showing. It’s useless to deny your humanity, even as you work to push beyond its limitations. I have come to embrace the tension between humanity and Faith. My challenge is not to allow my humanity, like fear, paralyze me into disobedience or inaction. I choose to say yes, prayerfully deciding not to be subject to and victimized by my humanity. This choice is not easy.
- Choose joy. Choose obedience, and in surrendering to it, choose Joy. I deliberately choose to calm my emotions and celebrate the incredible gifts in my life, even in the midst of a sh~tstorm. Waiting will never be easy for me; it is deciding how to spend my meantime that matters.