That time of year is around the corner once again; that time when leaves start falling off of trees and turning colors. It appears to be the beginning of the happiest time of the year when all of the holidays arrive, one by one. However, before these holidays can truly have an effect on our cheerfulness, it seems like some of us realize that we are overwhelmed and exhausted, both physically and mentally. It is the time of year when college applications have to be submitted, midterms and papers stack up, events at work need to be coordinated, and overall, there is so much to do that it seems like there is not enough time in the day to accomplish all of our tasks. For some, they may feel like life is outrunning them by 100 miles, and they can barely keep up by crawling. Or maybe for some, it might seem as if they are living life on fragile glass that is seconds away from shattering. I am one of these people, and if you are like me during this time of year, you, too, probably understand how many extra doses of Jesus you need at every given second of the day (along with some extra cups of coffee). You would also grasp that throughout the chaos during this time, it can be easy to question Jesus. When life is overwhelming and you have reached your breaking point, you implore, “Jesus, where are you through all this? I need you, but why aren’t you here for me?” I admit, this has been me on several occasions lately, where life has felt overwhelming, and the thought of the holidays approaching makes me uneasy inside. I began to feel tired, and more than anything, I wanted to catch my breath and escape from reality for a bit. However, because of everyday responsibilities, it was basically impossible to do so without worrying about falling behind. But through all of the trails I have faced recently, there is one word that keeps floating around in my head: Faithful. A few Sunday evenings ago, I attended a praise and worship event called XLT, or Exalt, and the speaker spoke on the topic of what it meant to be ‘Faithful’ in your relationship with God. Throughout the talk, it came to my attention that everything the speaker was saying contradicted my actions these past few weeks. I realized that I was not being Faithful towards God, because my life felt like a jumbled mess, and instead of saying, “Jesus I trust in you,” I was saying, “Why God, why can’t I get a break for at least one minute? Why can’t you fix this now?” And in that moment, I realized it: I was questioning God’s Faithfulness towards me, when in reality, I should have been questioning my Faithfulness towards God. While reflecting, I felt challenged to be Faithful, especially since I went into XLT feeling drowned by life while also wanting to spend time with God in my own way. But instead of spending time with God in the way I desired, God placed on my heart the way He wanted me to spend time with Him, and that was by praying over people during Adoration of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. I realized, once again, that I needed to listen and act upon what He wanted for me, and not what I wanted for myself. I trusted in His plans because even though I may not have been able to comprehend why, He had a reason, and there was a reason why He wanted me to pray over others that night.
Although life was stressful, God was always there with me through every step. God constantly gave me the encouragement and motivation needed to get me through each day, but I was too distracted by everything in my life to truly listen. I was distracted with how things were not turning out, and I forgot to stop for a moment to appreciate the little things.
Trust in the Lord God with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
It was not until after that night in XLT that I remembered to stop and appreciate what God was giving me every day. Whether it was one of my kindergarten students, running across the quad with a big smile, to come and wish me “goodbye” at the end of the school day, or my grandma calling to ask how I was doing, or watching the blue sky gracefully turn orange as the sun began to set, these small, yet beautiful, things were God’s promises to me that everything would be okay. He let me know that I needed to be more ‘Faithful,’ and that trusting in God and His plans is the best route to take. Because just like that night at XLT, God has a reason and a plan for everything, even if we do not always want to follow that path.
There are still a few aspects about my life that are chaotic, but I am content in knowing that I serve a Loving and Faithful God. Although I may not understand why something happens, there is a reason for everything, and I choose to trust in Him.
Maybe this is you right now, and you feel like the whole world is weighing on your shoulders and you are struggling to hold yourself up. Maybe your glass is slowly cracking and is one crack away from shattering. We have to understand that we cannot hold ourselves up on our own; only Jesus can. What is going on in our lives may not be ideal and make sense, but if you look close enough, you will see glimpses of God’s promises to you every day: that he has it handled and he has not abandoned you. HE has not abandoned you, and although it might not seem like it sometimes, he is giving you the strength and grace to get through each day. Although some roads in this journey may not make sense, we were all directed towards them for reasons that belong to God and his perfect plan and timing in each of our lives.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is Faithful.