This post is excerpted from Simple Acts of Moving Forward.
Let’s spend the week learning how to heal. No, we don’t necessarily heal ourselves, but we do have to cooperate with God and let holy love come in to make us whole.
Do you ever feel like this? Sometimes I feel as if I’m ruining everything. I’m not grown up enough to live my life. I’m not wise enough or strong enough or kind enough. What can I do?
It’s good to remember that someone has already lived a life that is quite similar to the one you’re living. Someone before you was the mother of three children under the age of eight. Someone else succeeded at a task that seemed impossible at first. Someone else faced cancer or financial reversal or divorce or the violent death of a loved one. Someone else failed at one or more careers before discovering her true gifts and callings.
You’re not the only pilgrim on this path. Many have journeyed ahead of you. So when toils and troubles become overwhelming, find a spot at the roadside and sit for a while and remember those other pilgrims. Ask yourself, What would she have done? or How did he handle this when it happened to him?
You may have to go looking for the stories that will help you. That could mean spending an hour or so with some elderly relative or church member and asking questions such as “How did you manage having teenagers in the house as well as your seventy-year-old mother?” or “What did it take for you to leave that career?” Some of the best pilgrim stories are the lives of the saints, available through many books and films. Some pilgrims are your contemporaries, and other pilgrims live on through their stories alone, which are preserved through books, movies, or simply the memories of others.
And sometimes all you really need to remember is what your own parents went through. As I’ve become more of a grownup, my mother has told me more about her own sorrows and difficulties—as well as her answered prayers and small miracles. When I see what she has survived and what a strong, kind person she now is, I feel a bit more confident that I will get through whatever is on the road today.
A Little Prayer for the Next Step
I am surrounded by the stories of other people, but I need to pay better attention. Help me gain strength and hope from all those other pilgrims on the path, not only the ones traveling alongside me today, but those who have passed this way before.