I think I touched a nerve last week with my "pity party" admission. Several of you took the time to reach out to me personally and offer hopeful support and prayers. Please know that I'm incredibly grateful. I often hesitate to be anything but optimistic along this "mission" of mine because truly my life is so incredibly blessed. Complaining or expressing sadness doesn't feel fair to so many folks I know who truly carry unbelievable crosses. But it never ceases to be the case that when I drop my guard and share my true feelings, people respond.
I think so many of us are struggling with the unknown aspects of life these days. Some of my favorite people, the ones who truly seem to have their acts together, are challenged by their inability to plan their way through this pandemic. While I'm not always the perfect planner, even to me it feels like right now we make plans only to see them altered. Or we wait for announcements that will impact our families, our work, and our wellbeing. Today, in Los Angeles, we received a few major announcements that left me momentarily struggling. First, it was announced that our Los Angeles Unified schools will engage in remote learning this Fall. Shortly after that news, Governor Newsom announced that in many California counties, indoor operations of several entities would again be ceased. Places of worship fall on this list, so effective immediately our churches will again be closed.In this week's #UpdateFromTheBallChair @LisaHendey discusses the difficulty of truly trusting God's will for our lives. What helps you to trust? Click To Tweet
I don't share these developments to make political statements or to pass judgment. I'm glad that our elected officials, in consultation with healthcare professionals, are doing what they feel necessary to see to the health and safety of our families. Instead, I bring up these two announcements because both of them fall into the realm of things I cannot control and that I need to graciously accept. Much of life is this way right now - we can plan for XYZ, write XYZ on our calendars, and then see XYZ closed effective immediately. I've found it best for my mental health to accept such announcements, to go about my responsibilities, and to try to have a positive mental attitude. The temptation of a control freak personality like mine is to fall into anxiety and to wonder when, if ever, life will get back to normal.
Maybe this is the new normal.
The temptation to give in to despair is humongous. I spend multiple hours per day with my dad, who struggles mightily with anxiety these days. We've been trying together to focus on a "one day at a time" mentality to help cope with much of the uncertainty surrounding my mother's health status. Today, we had a great conversation about how this truly is a trial of our trust in God's will. I've spoken and written publicly on that topic for years. But never has my ability to trust been tried the way it has in the past few months.
Trusting God's will doesn't mean that I believe that if I have faith, all will turn out according to my desires.
Trusting God's will isn't a freedom from pain and suffering.
Trusting God's will is a constant exercise in accepting the fact that you and I do not walk this path alone. Despite the trials we face, we are loved beyond our comprehension by a Creator who is alongside us every step of the way. We won't know in this lifetime why moments like these are necessary. I'm trying with all my might to muster and share with Daddy an attitude of trust that enables me to wake up each day, to march into the unknown with a loving attitude, and to express gratitude for whatever I encounter, even the really upsetting stuff.
Am I perfect at trust? Absolutely not. Perhaps becoming a person who truly trusts will be my life's work in whatever days I have ahead of me. To think about that feels truly insurmountable. So I take it in baby steps, one day at a time.
A question for you: What helps you to have trust in God's will for your life? How are you challenged to trust?