I knew I had a problem. It had been years and though I tried and tried, I could not break free. Several attempts of varying lengths of time and degrees of success ultimately led me back to the same place. Finally, I hit rock bottom. I prayed that if God was out there to please help me.
Little by little things began to change. I met and began spending time with a new and better circle of friends. Negative patterns of behavior developed into different patterns, better patterns. I started dating a girl who happened to be Catholic. About a year later we were engaged and I started attending RCIA classes to find out what it would be like to be married to a Catholic. In spite of a Protestant upbringing in a variety of Christian faith traditions I was completely open to learning about Jesus in a new light. I found answers to the many questions I had and was well on my way to becoming Catholic.
A few weeks prior to the wedding she broke off the engagement. The gentleman from our sponsor couple prayed with me something to the effect of “Jesus has your hand, let him lead you.” Again at a crossroads I made the decision to trust God and things continued to change.
I was introduced to a young adult prayer group, started a parish Bible study, and began teaching Confirmation classes. Within a couple of years I was offered a full-time position at our parish as Youth Minister. I remained in that position at two different parishes for 10 years.
Is everything perfect now? No. I have been set free from my earlier problems yet other challenges now persist. However, in difficult times it was through prayer I decided to seek, and later trust God. I found God in the midst of my suffering. Only when I was able to let go of my own ability to solve problems myself was I able to give them to God and allow his healing to arise.
There will always be challenges in our lives and in the world. When life is messy it is easy to ask “What is God waiting for?” Maybe we should not question God on his ability to save us from our problems. What if we embraced challenges as another opportunity to let go and trust in God’s plan for us? Perhaps what God is waiting for is our response.
( This post originally appeared as a guest blog post on The Main Thing Blog)