May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
Teresa of Avila
When we go to God in prayer, especially silent prayer in which we have no agenda, God often calls us to examine our lives. This happened to me on a recent retreat and it startled me how much these questions upset my spirit, at least initially.
- Is my life really counting for anything?
- Is God pleased with the person I am becoming?
- Why does it seem like I keep coming up against the same stumbling blocks in my life? If I was truly growing in faith, would these deficiencies not be diminishing?
When I sat with my journal and tried to figure out the answers to these questions, I have to admit that my heart sank. I felt disappointed in myself, my life, and the work I am doing. I felt broken beyond fixing – even by God – and caught in cycles of dysfunction that can never be healed. YUK!!!! This exercise left me with an understanding of why people often resist being quiet, reflecting, and even praying. It’s more pleasant to keep moving in this noisy, crazy world that doesn’t give us time to reflect.
Then…..through a good friend and spiritual companion, I heard the words above, first penned by Teresa of Avila. Teresa is a Saint of the Catholic church who lived in the 1500’s. Her writings are amazing testament to faith and spiritual experience of God’s love.
As I let these words sink into me I realized that I am not worthy. I am messed up. My work is accomplishing far below my own personal standards. AND God has me right where I am meant to be. God has all of us right where we are meant to be. But how do we continue to remember this, be at peace, and live freely into our future?
I realized while personal refection is not a bad thing – it often can get me back on track when I stray – my efforts to “figure things out” in my mind have to be paired with time spent allowing God to speak His truth into me. My mind is influenced too heavily by the world’s standards. When I allow God to speak into my heart, I get a completely different perspective on myself and the work He is doing in me.
When I set my journal and pen aside and just listened to God, He showed me the work He has already done in and through me. He drew me into awe, gratitude and thankfulness. He then reminded me that the God who had done all this in the past was still at work in the present. This lightened my mood and gave me hope and excitement for the future.
God is the source of peace. When we allow Him to speak to us, when we listen, and when we let Him speak into our lives He brings new perspective. May He bring you peace and reassure you that you are right where you are meant to be. May you then sense His guidance for the next step in your journey.