Prayer

Learning to Let Go

Diedrick Family pilgrimage to West Bend Grotto, Iowa, with Hudgens Grandparents, 2012
Diedrick Family pilgrimage to West Bend Grotto, Iowa, with Hudgens Grandparents, 2012

Jesus, I trust in You.

This simple, yet powerful, phrase is commonly used in my home. We use it as often as we tell each other ‘I love you.’ Yet, do any of us have full trust in Jesus Christ, or are we the Doubting Thomas type?

Jesus, I trust in You…but…I don’t know how we will pay that water bill this month.

Jesus, I trust in You…butI really know what’s best for my life.

Jesus, I need to trust You more.

As a mother, I see how my children want control of certain things. For example, they want ice cream for dinner; I tell them ‘No’ because I know that is not good for them. They pout and get upset because they want what they think is good. We, too, as children of God sometimes think we know what’s best for our lives, yet, God knows us and what we need for His greater glory more so than we could ever imagine. Our prayers are always answered; sometimes they are just not the response we are expecting or hoping for. We all need to practice letting go.

Not one of us are in control, no matter how much we want to believe it. There are times where it seems as though we are, when life is good and we have times of smooth sailing through the days; however, we need to be careful not to forget to pray and stay grounded at the foot of the Cross.

In my own home, there are times I just simply forget to pray in the morning. My life is very busy. My husband and I have four young children; we homeschool; I have tallied 11 ministries that I am a part of at our parish on top of being a seat in Parish Council; I also am Secretary of our Association Board, and I do other side jobs as well. I sometimes tire myself out just thinking of all that I actually do…and look at that, what did I write?

“All that I actually do”.

You see, this is pride. This is where many of us forget. It may be our bodies doing this hard and tiring work, but we are instruments for God. We are meant to be servants for Christ. The Holy Spirit calls each one of us in many different ways. We must be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10) because in a world so busy and loud, it is very easy to forget about God’s Sovereignty.

How can I let go and allow God full reign? I love this passage from Proverbs 16:9, ‘The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps.’ Let’s discover new avenues for letting go.

  1. There are many different routes to take to find the path He has laid out for you. I recommend, first and foremost, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. This is the most direct way to listen to your vocation. One song that you would catch me singing on any given day at home is My Soul in Stillness Waits. My hope is in Jesus Christ and I know I need to be better at letting go of all this stuff in life — stuff that leads us to sins of gluttony, lust, vanity, greed, pride, sloth, wrath, and envy. Through the silence of Adoration, we can be better listeners for our Creator and have an easier time saying no to our temptations.
  2. I also recommend visiting shrines and holy places. Take yourself on a pilgrimage. A few years ago my husband and I heard of The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, very near to our Elizabeth Ministry Headquarters and just a quick four hour drive from Chicagoland. We never dreamed of calling it a pilgrimage as we always thought that word was reserved for the Holy Land. Our Lady called us as parents to take our children on this wonderful pilgrimage and now we aim at a yearly visit to keep us on the narrow path to holiness as a family.
  3. Reading is absolutely important in spiritual growth. An easy way to let go could be that you choose to read the Bible or wonderful authors such as Matthew Kelly or Scott Hahn…instead of reading statuses on Facebook. This could also be considered a mortification in one’s purification process if you’re anything like me and enjoy social media too much!
  4. Pray the rosary! Our Lady wants to help us. She has offered her assistance in this beautifully-beaded rose. When we pray the rosary, it helps us to get into a meditative state and allows our minds to be clear of the stuff I mentioned earlier. Praying the rosary not only helps us meditate on Jesus, it also aids in clarifying what and who we need to pray for. Have you ever just had a person or situation enter your mind out of nowhere? This happens to me while I pray the rosary. I know that I must pray for whatever comes up at that moment. The Holy Spirit is so brilliant and amazing in how He whispers to us!
  5. Lastly, try to immerse yourself in learning your Catholic faith. Our faith is so vast it does take a lifetime to learn it all! I offer merely suggestions, but quite honestly, I am still an infant in my faith journey. It is so important for all of us to understand that we are simply here for the ride. We are passengers and God has the wheel. He gifted us free will, of course, but God is sure to make our tapestry into the picture He originally intended for each of us even before we were born, no matter what choice we make so long as we love Jesus Christ and learn to let go and let God.

‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’ ~ Jeremiah 1:5.

 

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