Engineer Husband was confused. “Job? The guy in the Bible?”
“Yeah, him,” I said, shoving a cracker in my mouth. “The guy who had everything and then Satan told God that Job was only faithful because Job had it good? So God took everything from Job.” I poked at my wine glass. “Yeah, I’m beginning to feel a little like that.”
While I was grousing to my husband and perhaps embellishing the story a bit, my feelings remain. 2013 has been a rough year for my extended family. We were all paddling along swimmingly when wave after wave crashed over us, leaving us gasping for air and paddling madly for shore. In the end, we were left on the edge, staring up at the sky, exhausted and bewildered, wondering what the heck had just happened.
When the storm strikes, it can be hard to keep faith in a loving God. It’s easy to say, in the words of St. Faustina, “Jesus, I trust in you!” when things go well and you can live with any outcome. But when trusting in Jesus could mean that His will isn’t YOUR will, it can get hard. I mean, who wants to trust in Jesus when His will could be so vastly different from your own?
Throughout the seemingly near constant crisis of the past year, I’ve learned a few things about keeping and maintaining my faith while the storms of life crash into us:
1.Pray- It doesn’t have to be a near perfect Novena or a formal prayer. “Jesus, help me!” works too. You don’t even have to consciously pray; sometimes I think when my emotions were numb and I simply couldn’t think- that’s when I was praying the hardest.
2. Ask others to pray for you-. Everyone has that one friend they can confide in, the person who wouldn’t air your sorrows even under the threat of torture. Ask that person to pray for you and perhaps ask them to ask others to pray for you. Don’t forget the communion of saints- call upon them! They relish praying for others and interceding for you!
3. Receive the sacraments- Attend Mass. Receive Reconciliation. Take Communion. Have the Anointing of the Sick, if applicable. Find it hard to go to Mass? Grab a friend to hold you accountable. Don’t want to attend your normal Mass time or parish? Try a new time or a new parish. No matter what- GO! It might be hard at first, but you will feel wonderful afterwards, I promise.
4. Find someone to talk to- in a professional capacity, that is. No matter what your “Job” problem may be, there is a professional out there who is willing to help you through it. Some consulars are able to be both spiritual directors and practical consular; that is, they can help you with your faith and medical matters (like depression, OCD, etc). There’s no harm in seeing someone who can talk to you in a faith-based manner and someone else who can help with any needed medical side of things.
5. Own your feelings- It’s okay to be mad at God. Yes, really! God knows your true feelings; who are you fooling if you say you aren’t mad at Him when you really are? Remember, Jesus was angry at the injustices of this world. Both God and Jesus are strong enough to take your anger, understand it, and never leave you. They will stand by as you rage at them and when the storm passes, they will hold you as you cry.
If I’ve learned anything from the past year, it’s that joy and sorrow seem to come in waves and often come together. We’ve had some deep, near-soul-crushing sorrows, but amidst the darkness there have always been little beacons of light that remind me of the joy that is there… and more Joy that will come.
Laura is the mother to a Herd of four children, wife of one Engineer Husband and owner of a giant pesky dog. A Catholic convert, she can be found on-line at WaldenMommy: Life Behind the Red Front Door where she blogs about life with the Herd, her struggles with post-partum depression, PTSD, her faith and her children’s special needs. She doesn’t claim to be the perfect mother but is the perfect mother for her children. Want more of WaldenMommy? Come visit us on Facebook at Slaying Dragons: Life Behind the Red Front Door.