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Ivonne J. Hernandez shares one simple question that can shift our perspective and help us experience greater freedom and peace.

“What has God been doing this past month?” 

This is how my Spiritual Director opens our time together each month. The first time he asked me that, I literally felt a shift in my mind. I had made a list of things I wanted to discuss, but none of those would answer that question. I realized that my mind had been occupied with things that I was struggling with; I was paying more attention to the things that I had been doing, and to things the devil had been doing, than to God himself.

I began to ask myself this question often, sometimes more than once a day. What I discovered was that the more I sought, the more I saw.

And what did I see? What do I see? I see that every time I struggle with something, it is an opportunity God is giving me to set me free. That every time I allow (fill in the blank) to take away my peace, to gain access to my mind and heart, God is right there showing me that I am free to choose Him instead. That when I hold to the things that eternally endure, I am holding on to Him. And, when I am holding on to Him, there is nothing I shall want, nothing I shall fear (Psalm 23).

For you have given your children a sacred time
for the renewing and purifying of their hearts,
that, freed from disordered affections,
they may so deal with the things of this passing world
as to hold rather to the things that eternally endure. (Preface II of Lent)


“My tears have been my bread day and night, as they ask me every day, ‘Where is your God?’” (Psalm 42:4). This process of renewing and purifying of our hearts is not painless, but it is a good kind of pain. It is like when a tight muscle gets massaged by a skilled therapist … it hurts, but in a way that leads to healing, not to brokenness. God is the same today as He was yesterday, and He is loving us through every circumstance. His love and mercy are everlasting, and that is where we place our trust.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)


When the world clamors for your attention, and the enemy thinks he’s winning, just look up and see the one who is beholding you and ask yourself: What has God been doing? “See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:19).

Every time I struggle with something, it is an opportunity God is giving me to set me free. #catholicmom

Yellow crocus bud poking of of fresh snow


Copyright 2021 Ivonne J. Hernandez
Image: Pixabay (2018)

This article was published first on Elisheba House