Helen Syski looks at limitations and how our loving God uses them to guide us.
Life is full of limitations. As a mom of young children, I will not be founding a hospital in a leper colony or fasting on the Eucharist alone. Days—sometimes months—pass by without the opportunity for all those faithful devotions and Holy Hours our hallowed predecessors fulfilled. How are we to live our lives? Rather than becoming downcast at our constraints, what if we saw them as the Mercy of God? The love notes of our loving Father?
The heroic acts of the saints were a gift to them from God, not something to be grasped but rather received. To love God, our hearts need only say, “Lord, my hands are Your hands, my feet, Your feet, my heart, Your heart.” When He sends you a child crying with a scraped knee when you were trying to pray a Rosary, perhaps He is telling you that you give Him more joy, and He can give you more grace, by being a mother. That by sitting in traffic rather than making daily Mass, you are giving Him more joy, He is giving you more grace. Otherwise, why would He permit it?
“I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it!” I used to mutter as I cleaned up the umpteenth naptime diaper explosion, or the potty accident that happened after the shattered glass that happened while I was burning dinner. Then one day I finally heard myself say it. WHOA, wait a minute. If I can’t believe THIS visceral experience that I am physically seeing and hearing and smelling and doing, how can I believe or know ANYTHING? I made a point of catching myself with this phrase and choosing instead to enter into the suffering and mess. To choose not to believe, to pretend there was a fantasy land apart from this life God had given me was to alienate my soul from God.
Suddenly my cries to God for help were answered, because I was now where He was. Now I was sending my SOS, ready to receive the grace He was always gifting me through this messy vocation of motherhood. I was asking for the grace to be holy in this situation, not for Him to make it disappear.
Your limitations are notes from God directing your hands and feet and heart to those things He wishes to love and accomplish through You. Let your limitations become guide posts to the path of God. Ever wonder what God’s will is for you? It is written in everything around you! At times, these restrictions are God saying, “Leave that be. That is not for you.” At times, He may be saying, “Come to me. Struggle, grow, I am here.” Or even, “Laugh with me. See? It is not important. I hold all things in My hands.” Reality is not an obstacle between us and God, but rather intimate communications from His heart.
Reality is the only place to find God. What is more real than God? He is Truth, Existence, Being. If we seek His face, we must look at what really is. Our whole self is real, the positives and the negatives, and God has fashioned us in order that our Salvation may be won. If we reject any piece of ourselves, we are rejecting that which God meant for our salvation. We are not to reject, but rather to sanctify. Be not afraid of what God intends for your faults. Be not afraid of what God intends for your limited or “wasted” time. Let Him sanctify it. Let Him redeem it. All of it.
Every time I choose to see a mishap as accounted for in God’s plan, grace follows. I rarely find a rosary fitting into my day at this stage, and I do not find forcing it fruitful as it takes me out of the reality that God has placed me in. Most days, it is a better prayer to be present to the child I am with, or to lovingly enter fully into my household tasks with God at my side. On the other hand, when I find myself awake at night and can’t sleep, I always find that it is because Our Lady needs a Rosary, and once said, I am asleep again.
I do not know what your limitations are, but God does. Trust that He has them more than accounted for; trust they are His love notes to you, leading your unique soul to heaven.
Copyright 2022 Helen Syski
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