On Being Willing

The painting Joan of Arc, by Jules Bastien-Lepage, is a gorgeous piece of an oil painting. The colors are subtle yet substantial, with the main feature being a simplistic young woman. Yet there's something about the look on her face. A waiting, pondering, a willingness to do what God wanted her to do.  

We all know--at least I hope we all know--the story of this Saint. She was willing to listen to God, even to the point of death. It makes me wonder: how prepared are we to hear? Do we ever struggle in being willing to do what God says? 

 I know I do. All. The. Time.

How can we overcome ourselves and our impatience, especially in these unknown times? Today, I would like to share three ways to work away from ourselves and towards God. Say these things out loud when we are feeling frustrated, anxious, or just annoyed at being cooped up.

  1. "I am feeling overwhelmed." When you are feeling this way, say it out loud. Step back from whatever it is you are doing, close your eyes, and say a quick prayer. Take 3 deep breaths in and out. Open your eyes, and thank the Lord for 1 good thing from the day.

  2. "I hate waiting." When you say this out loud, it's going to feel silly. Patience is the hardest thing to work on. I once heard you shouldn't pray for patience because God will give you a significant opportunity to do so. So, instead of asking for patience, take some time--even 5 minutes--and write down 3 reasons you are feeling impatient. Then, write down 3 ways you can work on them. By then, you may be feeling less anxious.

  3. "I feel so alone." This one has been the hardest for me during this time of isolation. I'll be honest, I was doing okay about the first month of lockdown. Then I allowed my anxiety to rise up, more than often not praying and letting my fear rise higher than my trust in the Lord. So what do we do? While, when feeling alone, unloved, or just having anxiety because of a bad hair day, we need to remember that, "God has no other reason for creating than His love and goodness" (CCC 293). God doesn't want us to feel sad, unloved, unworthy, or anxious. He wants us to know that we are worthy of Him. So, write that quote down, hang it somewhere you'll see it daily, like your mirror, near the coffee maker, or on a card next to your bed. You can do it!

So there you have it, 3 things to say and do when waiting, pondering, and working on being willing to do what God wants you to do. If you ever need someone to talk to, either someone to listen to or a counselor (or the like), please let me know!

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