Thankful for Uncertainty

My son made his first penance on Saturday and I was blessed enough to also grab a few moments in the confessional.  Our family is going through a pretty intense time of transition, and so, among other sins, I confessed a serious lack of trust in God.  Trust is a real struggle for me.  Most especially, and perhaps not surprisingly, I struggle during times of change or uncertainty.  It is very hard for me to let go of control.  So I explained all this to the priest, and said that I really want to be more trusting but I am just overcome with anxiety.  I don’t even know where to start.  I pray and I pray but the anxiety remains.

He listened and then said something profound — “it isn’t any colder out, God’s just taken your jacket away.”

For years, possibly my entire life, I’ve been putting my trust in many of the wrong things, and right now, God has taken some of those things away.  My reaction reveals my lack of trust in God.  The sin has always been there, hidden beneath my nice warm coat.

For the past week I’ve been praying and praying for a new coat.  I’ve truly thought that the lesson in all this transition and uncertainty stuff was simply to trust God to give me a new coat.  And while that is certainly a big part of trusting, I also need to spend some time thanking him for taking it away to begin with.  And I shouldn’t thank him just because I trust I will get a better coat in the future.  I should thank him because by taking it away, He has revealed an area of sin in my life.  I was blind, and now I see — Praise Jesus.

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18~

  • Kat0427

    Kellie, thank you for sharing this reflection, it was a blessing to me this morning. What a profound statement by that priest – words truly inspired by the Holy Spirit!

  • AWOL_Mommy

    Kellie, this is so worth sharing. I remember reading that you can pray not to be asked to put to the test, but if God deems you ready for a little testing, he is going to send it your way. It is 5 degrees in Kansas this morning, and your shared analogy of a spiritual coat being removed is poignant. Thank you for still finding the time to share despite your own family transition.

  • Mary

    I struggle with anxiety, and have done a lot of reading on the methods and principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. What hit me this morning is that CBT encourages you to NOT struggle against the anxiety since this feeds it, instead of dispelling it. It’s remarkable how trust in God is so similar… letting the anxiety just be there, and trusting in God not to take it away, but just be with you through it all.

  • Karen

    And this is exactly what your trial will teach you! God realizes the “holes” in our character, the lessons we need to learn. It is not that we don’t have needs or uncertainly, but that we learn to trust God that He has our next step. The feelings you have are completely normal, it is what you do with them that matters. It will be amazing to witness how God will provide for you. With our types of personalities, we are so proficient, we don’t allow God to show off for us! Your eyes will be opened :)

  • Donna

    This is a beautiful post and such inspired words from your priest!

    At the Tridentine Mass on Sunday the gospel was on Jesus sleeping on the boat and the disciples fearing the storm. The bishop in his homily said, “with all the storms going around you in our country, in our home, in our church…just stay in the boat- Jesus is in the boat- even if He is asleep.” When I have been anxious today I have pondered that.

  • Mary Alice

    I guess the point is that it is that the future is uncertain for all of us, we just don’t know it. I tend to be pretty materially attached to the conveniences and familiarity of my community and my routine, not just the relationships (these are good attachments, I think), but also the grocery store that has the bread I like, the back way to ballet class that saves 15 minutes, etc. I get really all too upset when these little things are taken away from me.

  • Queen B

    Loved this encouragement, Kellie. Thanks for sharing your circumstances and the encouragement.


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