Sometimes I feel like I’m losing control.
Take today, for example. In the time span of just a few hours, I heard about some less than enthusiastic support within our parish for the Theology of the Body for Teens class that my husband and I teach, I slipped in a toddler-made puddle of water and all 140 pregnant pounds of me crashed to the floor, my husband won tickets to a college basketball game for the same night we had a much needed date planned, and a cup of milk was spilled all over my lap at lunch time. While none of these were catastrophic events, they all added up to give rise to a multitude of emotions, many of which held the potential to lead me down a path filled with the snares of sin.
Sometimes we work so hard to lead others to the beauty of the truth of God’s plan, to nurture our relationships, to take good care of ourselves, and to practice virtue through our daily tasks, when we realize that any one of those abilities can be taken from us in the blink of an eye, even if only for a moment.
I was looking forward to getting out with my husband, and I had even just secured a babysitter for our big night out. I want to just mope a little and feel sorry for myself that I will have to sit at home with the kids for yet another night by myself while my husband is out, fancy free and footloose, enjoying the big game.
But my conscience is telling me something isn’t quite right about that attitude. If I take the focus off of myself for a moment, I remember that Rob’s plan, if he won the tickets, was to take our eight-year-old, Owen with him for some quality father/son time. How blessed I am to have a husband who doesn’t want to use the tickets as an excuse to escape from his family with a guy friend for the night, but wants to create a meaningful memory with his first born son! And then it hits me–I’ve been praying God would grace me with that same virtue of generosity that my husband so readily displays, and I nearly missed a huge opportunity for growth because I was so caught up in feeling sorry for myself!
Here it is: my big moment.
As for those other little mishaps in my morning? I am inspired to continue to seek new and charitable ways to lead more parents to want their children to learn about the Theology of the Body. I am also even more convinced of the power and importance of prayer and am ever hopeful in the great power of the Holy Spirit to turn people’s hearts to the Truth. Conversion happens only through the power of God and not solely in what I say or do. I am also more aware of what a blessing those are who support our mission to inspire our teens to holiness with the life changing words of Blessed John Paul II.
Baby is still kicking, so aside from a few bruises, I don’t think my fall caused any permanent damage. It did remind me of how grateful I am for my healthy pregnancy and caused me to marvel at the amazing design of my body and its ability to protect the vulnerable life within.
And the spilled milk? I’ve heard before that “God is in the details.” All of those cups of spilled milk remind us that we are ultimately not in control at all. I wish sometimes that I could force my life to go according to my plan, and that everything would work out the way I have it written in black and white on my calendar. But it’s in the cups of spilled milk and the unexpected puddles that God reminds us to surrender our frustrations to Him. It’s through the unavoidable changes of plans and criticism of others that we can be inspired to turn to a rich prayer life filled with confidence that, where we fall short, God and the Holy Spirit will fill in. If we can’t offer up the little glitches in our daily routines to Him, then how will we be prepared to surrender ourselves completely to Him in the big decisions of life?
So although there are moments when I want nothing more than to “get it together” and have everything go my way, maybe God knows that losing control is exactly what I need.