Trusting The Process
Having faith in God is something that I think we all like to believe that we have, but the art of practicing that fact is a whole nother story. It’s no secret that I have been going through a massive change over the past 3 years and I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned and unlearned. One of those lessons was that it is not “sexy” to be faithful. In other words, true believers in God have not led easy lives. They say you must bear your cross for a reason. Although I know for a fact that I don’t have all the answers, I can confidently say that the following 3 behaviors have matured me in my faith and have helped allow God’s infinite wisdom and love show itself in the darkest crevices of my psyche.
I know what you may be thinking, it’s pretty obvious that we must pray in order to solidify our faith, but there is more to it than that. I think, unfortunately, most people have a rigid, unaccommodating idea of prayer when it’s brought up, I know I did. I used to think that there was a certain way that you had to pray in order for God to hear you. As if there is an exclusive line to God that you cannot get through to if you don’t have a certain number. Or, if you don’t speak a certain language, you’re damned. Pretty ridiculous when I say that out loud, but the thought was very real. This false belief prevented me from connecting to the Divine much longer than I should have.
But then I woke up.
Prayer is not a one-size-fits-all nor do you have to speak a certain way, look a certain way, or believe a certain way for it to be effective. You just have to be honest. You must approach God with an open heart and unbiased ears. I feel we are afraid to pray not because we are afraid of God, but we are afraid of what we will or won’t hear back. Praying lets God know that he is the priority. He couldn’t care less how many lines of scripture you recite or how often you go to church. That doesn’t matter as much as you might think. God is all-knowing. He is well aware when you come to him with words colored in humility and eyes ready to see the truth. For me, as soon as I let go (an ongoing process, I must admit) and gave my worry to God, my life began to flow. Of course, I face turbulence now and then but if I remember to pray, to open my mouth to God, my anxieties, fears, obstacles, and anger begin to subside and my faith rises.
God created you, OF COURSE, he wants you to talk to him!
You know that this is a necessary thing, but you also know all the excuses that come up when given this advice. Our lives have simply become too busy to slow down and just believe in God’s blessing. After all, we have emails to respond to, phone calls to make and meetings to attend.
“Well, when you put it like that Ilyssa…” you may be saying quietly to yourself, “you make me sound like I’m too busy to believe.“
I don’t know, are you?
Remember, I am on your side, but I’m also going to be honest. I get caught up in my everyday oh-so-important life as well. So much so, that weeks can pass me by and I won’t realize it. I’ll dive face first into a routine that looks like someone is pressing down on the fast forward button of my life. Buzzing around, worried about my perceived trials and tribulations all while God patiently sits and waits for me to notice he is there and taking care of everything.
I’ve learned to hit the breaks as soon as I feel like I’m moving too fast to trust what God has planned. The earth wants us to believe that we, and we alone determine the trajectory of our lives. Sorta… We have free will and that’s great, but to believe that pushing ourselves harder and moving more quickly will make us reach our blessing faster is not operating in faith. Of course, try your best and do work you’re proud of, but as soon as it feels like you don’t have quiet time to just be, you must reconfigure your schedule. Allowing yourself time to have nothing to do is one of the ultimate acts of faith, as God wants you to enjoy the gifts around you and trust that you are exactly where you need to be in this very moment.
And this one.
And this one.
And this one…
Not from God, of course, but everyone else. Who are you answering to? I struggle with this myself because I am a Type-A personality and don’t like to have things on my desk, so to speak. I have become more aware of this trait and have taken action toward it in my daily life. When I am overwhelmed by the To-Do List that I have created for myself, I will just leave. I don’t necessarily abandon my responsibilities, but kinda. I try to change my perspective and find reasons to smile. I remember all the lessons I have learned in the book Untethered Soul. This is a brilliant book that I highly recommend. The author mentions how we are not our thoughts, who WE are are the beings LISTENING to the thoughts.
I try to remember this at all costs, especially when I am at odds with my faith that something will turn out the way I wish. Our heart develops in the womb before our brain does, that is a scientific fact! So, why do we constantly listen to our brain instead of our heart? Our heart is wiser and can tell us all of the answers if we listen and TRUST that when we carve out time for that important conversation, it will meet us. God knows this simple fact and, I feel, waits patiently for us to discover the waiting answer we have buried in our bosom. Letting go of trying to find the “answer” allows the answer to finally find you.
There Really Is No Secret.
You cannot “power” your way to more faith. Faith is releasing not gaining. That is what makes it so uncomfortable at times. Because we have nothing concrete to measure with, to hold, or to comfort us, we must find warmth in the invisible arms of the Almighty. Envisioning his love so vividly that after a while we are no longer cold.
I have an idea of how you might be feeling. Being pulled in every direction, having no answer to seemingly pressing questions or a lower income than the outcome. He knows too. Go against everything that your logical brain is telling you to do and release. Know that everything you needed and will ever need you already have. Quiet the internal noise long enough to hear the serenading silence. Allow yourself to enjoy your life.
The moment we know we don’t need something, there it is. The second we let go of the question, the answer appears. When we let go of our incessant neediness for answers, God shows us that our entire being is the solution.
Christ Is In You.
You Are Enough.