By Regina Avila
Post-graduate life seemed like a glamorous time of self discovery and adventure. As I tried to live out what I thought was the exciting life, I instead found myself in a tight corner every way I turned. I'd get flustered and end up with the same combination of impatience and bewilderment. I pushed and I turned, until I found myself asking Him what seems to be the most recurring question: "When will I have the life that I want?" all the while still praying that first prayer, "Jesus, put the Father's will in the deepest desire of my heart."
How easy it is to fall into this cycle of hypocrisy without even realizing it. How easy it is to ask the Lord for something and yet not be able accept the results of our prayer. I've spent a long time trying to build my trust in God, and just when I think I've finally mastered it, He asks for just a little more. Always just a little more and always just enough outside of my comfort zone.
How many times do we find ourselves asking God for one thing in prayer while living out the opposite? How many of us ask for trust and guidance but fail to accept it the moment it comes to us? It's hard to recognize those moments when our prayers are answered because He doesn't always give it in a pretty little box with a perfectly tied bow. Sometimes the graces we ask for come in the most ragged wrapping, in the simplest form possible, and we hesitate to accept His gifts simply because they're not how we expected them to come. This past summer was a whirlwind for me. While the answer to my prayers seemed to be coming in that pretty box that I wanted, instead God gave me the simple present without the wrapping. It was hard gift to accept, and yet this gift has proven to be so providential and needed.
It wasn't until recently that I realized I needed to let go of my idealized life and my desire for God's will to be in line with my own. I wanted so badly to control my life and simultaneously let God take over. At some point, I had to realize that those two forces were not working. Eventually, one side would have to give, and I can say with confidence that I definitely can't win this battle of the wills. My prayer wasn't what needed to change; my desire did. I prayed to want the Father's will, but instead expected the Father's will to be my own. I—the child—wanted the all-powerful and all-knowing God to let me have my way.
With this realization, Jesus had finally managed to help me let go of my desires and trust in the Father's will. I still struggle and it's probably something with which I will continue to struggle the rest of my life, but it's a blessed struggle. I've received so many graces even in just this simple frustration with the battle of my will, which just shows even more how God can give us the most beautiful gift out of our most difficult circumstances. I've learned to keep asking for the Father's will to engulf my heart, and let His will consume my deepest desires, even if I may not know exactly what that is. And I'm okay with that now.