Author: MarySarah Menkhaus
BACK TO SCHOOL
Not gonna lie, coming back to school after this semester kind of felt like jumping into a freezing cold ocean… and not knowing how to swim. I have this tendency to get over-involved with just about everything. I always tell myself I’m going to take a step back, let myself relax, but for every obligation I step away from there is always a new one waiting to greet me with open arms. (It’s actually somewhat alarming how it all works out.)
As early as eighth grade I seemed to have had this problem of living in a constant state of business. If I was not running on four or less hours of sleep, I felt like I was not doing enough with my life.
For a long time, my prayer life seemed to consist of, “Lord please just let this day have a few more hours.”. My to-do list was the constant occupant of my brain, and I felt there was never enough time in the day to get check it all off, let alone have a vibrant prayer life. Praise the Lord though, God is a loving God and He has slowly been revealing to me that I needed to change my priorities. And, boy, has it caused a shift in my life….
JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU (maybe)
In my prayers the past month or so, I would often find my eyes drawn to the picture of Divine Mercy. I realized I was repeating “Jesus, I Trust in You” as if on autopilot.
Gently, the Lord was opening my heart and showing me that I was not fully trusting Him. I told Him I did, but my actions proved that I only trusted myself to get my life together. Me. MarySarah. Because, obviously there is no way that God, who is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent would ever be able to keep up with the hectic life I lived…. It sounds ridiculous typed out, but that’s how I acted. God fit into my life the way my hobbies did. If there was time after everything else important had been taken care of.
I did not trust that if I prioritized my prayer life that I would have time to accomplish the things that God had put into my life. I was asking for the grace to do what God was calling me to do, but not trusting that He would give it.
Waiting for my to-do list to get accomplished before I prioritized my prayer life was not working, and that was becoming more and more clear, just by appearance alone. Just imagine a girl with a blonde afro and huge bags under her eyes running around looking like she hadn’t showered in a few days; that was me. We won’t even get into the state of my soul.
The thing is, regardless of my state in life there is always going to be that checklist there, trying to dictate my life. It is only in giving this list over to the ever-loving God, that I would ever find peace and joy and have the ability to fulfill those tasks for the greater glory of God.
I had to make an act of trust, that the Lord was going to give me the grace to do everything I needed to do, in the time I needed to do it. I had to trust that if I made the time to pray, and pursue an authentic relationship with God that everything I needed would be taken care of, whether that be in the way I expected or not. *
I committed to doing what the Lord put on my heart. One of these commitments was something practical, getting to bed on time. I now have a bedtime of 11 pm and I wake up at 6 am so I can get to the adoration chapel nearby. I am loyal in making it to daily Mass, because the Lord worked things out in my class schedule so that I can make it. In giving all of this time, I thought I would not have time for the mountain of assignments, job responsibilities, and other obligations in life. I have found the opposite to be true. There seems to be time where there wasn’t before, and tasks don’t take nearly as much time.
The best part of this change in priorities is that I have joy and peace about the work that I’m doing. I am still just as busy as I was before, but the labor that I am doing is slowly being transformed into a prayer. Instead of me leading and telling the Lord to follow, I am simply letting Him guide my way and trusting in His tender care.
As the semester continues, I know how easy it can be to get overwhelmed. I pray that you would have the courage to put your life in the hands of the Father who loves you more than you ever know. I can’t promise you it will always be easy, or that you won’t struggle again, but I can promise that it is a journey you won’t regret going on.
Know of my prayers for you!
*As I was in adoration praying about this, I read a passage in a book from mystic Gabrielle Bossiss that was really encouraging and I am sure will touch other hearts. The message from the Lord was: “You call me your most beautiful love, and you are right. Then let me look after everything in your short life.”.