The Moment Everything Changes


By Carolyn Shields

This past week has been a blur. The stress of apartment hunting while two hours away in the midst of planning a three day event has me banking on my God quite a lot lately. That He’ll take care of it. That He’ll provide. That He’ll sustain me. All of which I’ve learned He’s incredibly good at.

It's been quite a season in learning to trust my God. (Also a season of frozen chicken nuggets and french fries with wine for dinner, but this is 27). I keep telling Him to take care of the big stuff and I'll worry about the details, like the votive candles and threaded ribbon in the menus for the upcoming gala, so long as He ensures I have a place to live in two weeks.

And honestly, so far so good. We're both holding up our sides of the bargain (pah-RAISE!). St. Joan of Arc once said “God takes care of those who help themselves,” meaning, like prayer, it takes two of us. It’s not simply a Giver and a Receiver but we both have to participate in the tasks or challenges ahead of us, like the world’s best tag team.

So as God provides (lately pretty invisibly, but I know He’s at work behind the scenes and at the same time saturating me in peace), I've simply been doing what I can. I've found so much solace in the past years in the words Jesus shared with St. Faustina:

My daughter, why are you giving in to thoughts of fear? ... Do not fear; I will not leave you alone. Do whatever you can in this matter; I will accomplish everything that is lacking in you. You know what is within your power to do; do that.

Ugh! What balm for my heart! I swear this journal never fails me! And today there came that fundamental shift. It’s not like a summit or pinnacle but more like a handing over the reigns. Because there comes a point when we simply can’t do anymore.

It’s like the moment you hit send on a job application. It’s like the moment you submit a scholarship. There’s moments when everything changes because you' ‘let go and let God.’ Today, it simply looked like exhausting all my living options and now I sit and wait, my home dependent on the actions of others. It was a moment of “Well God, if I’m not meant to live there than x has to happen. And if I’m meant to live at home, you have to shut this door. And if I’m supposed to purchase a house, xy-and-z all have to fall into place. But here you go. Now complete what we’ve started.”

But even there God doesn’t totally leave our work to fate or to other’s crappy discernment or whatever. He’s still at work. He told St. Faustina:

I know what you can do. I Myself will give you many orders directly, but I will delay the possibility of their being carried out and make it depend on others. But what they will not manage to do, I Myself will accomplish directly in your soul.

So! Let’s keep doing what we can, working alongside our sweet Holy and entrusting our mistakes, faults, and even laziness to God. We can do this.