Now that Easter has arrived, Amanda Lawrence ponders her Lenten reflections from the Adoration Chapel.
“Be still and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:11)
I’ve spent my life dependent on God. From an early age, He’s shepherded me from relationships, jobs, and every secular situation I’ve encountered. When I look back over my existence, His presence is undeniable. I’m often awestruck by it. However, this grace sometimes leaves me conflicted. I struggle with a worldly desire for independence while clinging to my total reliance on Him. I know I can’t have it both ways, but that knowledge doesn’t stop me from sleepless nights turning problems over like a Rubik's cube.
God solves them in the end, sometimes by inspiring my thoughts in prayer and sometimes by putting answers in the mouths of those around me. It always amazes me when someone speaks the truth about a problem I’ve been battling that they aren’t even aware of!
This level of attention leaves me feeling seen, protected, and nurtured by God. It’s exhilarating—and sometimes anxiety-inducing to exist under His divine microscope. Consequently, I’ve grappled with living out my faith and have often kept away from people, allowing my fear-based avoidance to isolate me.
Eventually, I accepted that hiding from God was useless and sought a deeper conversion. I attended Mass more, engaged with others, and contributed to their dialogues. Whenever I shared my struggles, reactions, and realizations during reconciliation, priests often attributed them to spiritual growth. It didn't matter where I confessed or who the priest was. He usually told me I was growing spiritually.
I quickly became impatient with this response. Fruitfulness is a frequent metaphor for spiritual growth in the Bible. So—where was my fruit? I wanted to know. These troubled thoughts wrapped around my chest like vines squeezing me. I couldn’t eradicate them alone.
During the first weeks of Lent, I prayed about my problems in Adoration. Before Jesus, among thurible smoke and quiet contemplation, I realized I was struggling against feelings of apprehension and fear for the future. My shoulders dropped; anxiety drained from me. It was like God flicked on a floodlight and illuminated my darkness.
“Work on that,” He said.
How? I thought. I prayed for release from habitual restlessness and deliverance from the lure of self-sufficiency.
“Ask for help,” seemed to be His response. This made me cringe. I hate feeling needy, even though my life always has unfulfilled needs. I believe that’s by design, for God encourages us to “hear the orphan’s plea” and “defend the widow” (Isaiah 1:17). Am I not a variation of both? Am I blocking other people’s blessings by suffering silently?
We’re called to be faithful stewards of our spiritual gifts; they’re meant to bless others and sanctify us, but it’s a two-way street—we must engage and assist each other. In return, we must allow ourselves to be helped. Unfortunately, sometimes our fears prevent us from doing either.
Fortunately, glory awaits us when we feed faith, not fear!
Remember: God rewards those who steward their gifts for others.
As the Easter season continues, I encourage you to seek God’s guidance. Ask Him to show you where you hold distress. Pray for the grace and courage to name the fearful things weighing heavily on your heart. Ask for the grace to recognize how Jesus is working to change you with His love. Be patient, wait for your floodlight, and let me know how it goes!
Copyright 2023 Amanda Lawrence
Images: (center) copyright 2023 Amanda Lawrence, all rights reserved; all others Canva
About the Author
Amanda Lawrence is a cradle Catholic, mother, librarian, writer, and speaker. She lives in her own little slice of Heaven on the coast of Massachusetts with her son and dog. She hopes to make disciples through wisdom, truth, and her service to God.