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Inside Out

Today I attended Saturday evening Mass for the first time in weeks. The gospel reading was the story of the prodigal son who returns home after wasting his entire fortune and is welcomed by his father. Father Chris spoke of how we could consider ourselves in various parts of this story. As I sat listening to his homily, I thought, 'God, I'm that child asking you for help.' What I heard was God saying, 'Don't you see, I'm that Father who loves you so much. Don't you see how I've cared for you?'

Later during Communion, I took out my rosary and started to pray, 'Mary, would you please talk to God, he's not listening to me.' And what I heard was, 'I'm going to pray that you hear what God is saying to you.'

When I got home from church I got a call from Mom, in Florida. She asked me to watch the Hour of Power, her favorite Saturday night TV viewing. The sermon was on Hope, built around the following scripture:

Romans 5:3-5 (New Century Version)
3 We also have joy with our troubles, because we know that these troubles produce patience.4 And patience produces character, and character produces hope.5 And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. He gave us his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us.

So often when I am facing times of trial, I become caught up in tunnel vision where I only see where I am from the feedback of my mind's eye. I lack the perspective of time and distance. I see the glass as half empty rather than as half full. And this attitude colors every event of every day so that even when I undertake a new thing, I have no hope in its success. I believe that because I have failed in the past, I will fail again. I discount myself, my talent, my progress. In fact, I believe that I will never make progress. When I face disappointment after disappointment, I am unable to see the milestones that I've passed in the midst of the failures, the unnoticed achievements. That's where I am now.

What I learned tonight is that I need to flip the perspective, see things from the other side, that each attempt is a lesson with valuable feedback that if I choose to learn from it, and keep trying, brings me closer to my goal. And I need to remember the definition of faith, even when it seems impossible:

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.


larramiefg said…
Suzanne, please change the "we" to "I" in this sentence, "So often when we are facing times of trial,.." and its paragraph. And then BELIEVE in all you can do!
Anonymous said…
Hey, 'tis I. Back into the of computers that are connected, sorry also to have been out of conversational contact, apart from few rapid blog posts and then off running to the next thing. Been on the road for a week driving, driving, driving, about 3k miles if I am correct. The road noise is still in my head from yesterday's night time arrival.

I do the same as you describe. It's so easy. The worry and the time flying and the sleepless nights. Try, as best you can, not to beat yourself up about it. Part of the process is learning how to do this, I am convinced. I am *so* proud of you, landing a freelance, assignment. Oh, I was excited for you that this had happened so nicely. Excited for you and also, it gave me hope that it happens to real people, some one similar to me, not just the other ones who are successful(!!).

Thank you for your invitation also towards Denver way. BA are busy threatening strikes so I am not sure how to structure my return yet (to Hampshire not Cornwall, but they are not far from each ohter by USA standards) so if I may play that one by ear, is the best answer I can give at this point - not very conclusive, I appreciate. Will keep you posted.

Suzanne, you are half way through ...ONLY half way through. An eternity and many miricles could happen between then and now. And maybem they have already happened, but you do not yet know it. My best suggestion is to seperate the things that keep you busy, from the things that are planting seeds of possible work, and the things that you really want to gain during this time. And if at any given mpoment you feel the laundry is the right thing to do, then do it being consciously guilt-free. Part of your time was to be and live in a different way, (I think?) and maybe how you do laundry is as much the lesson and new way you wanted to gain as any specific work or employment...
"Discuss" as they say on the essay questions!

I'm rooting for you. I think you are doing great things, and will continue to do so. Learning the positivity and how to bring it to what you are doing is part of the journey I suspect, it certainly is for me and its something I struggle with, sometimes daily. You are not alone, and it's not just misery that is keeping you company.

Enjoy that snow!

ox, Mariellen
Keetha said…
What a beautiful post. I've read it through twice. It's so uplifting - thank you for sharing.

You're on your way!
slow panic said…
thank you so much for this. i needed to hear this right now.
myvoice said…
Beautifully written...and completely true. Its about gratitude. As you read the Bible, there is proof over and over again of how much God loves our gratefulness. So often we are frustrated by the feeling that we haven't got it all. But God sees what He already has given. You're on a brilliant track! Brilliant!
Certain of what we don't see, for sure. Perspective can sometimes make all the difference in the world. Take good care, Suzanne.

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