When the situation doesn’t change, God is using that situation to change you.
Michael O’Brien, a Roman Catholic author, in his novel, Strangers and Sojourners, helped me to understand that I’m just a stranger visiting for a while. We’re not home yet. It is story of a young agnostic English woman and a Catholic Irishman both flee from their past to Canada in the 1930s, where they live out their lives as strangers and sojourners in a foreign land. It’s such a beautiful story that made me recognize that life with all its pitfalls present themselves to broaden and stretches us. In conflict, misunderstanding, rejections, illnesses, and being topic in town, they learned to climb their mountain. Years of losses and triumphs made her story worth telling. I saw that it’s not on the summit but in the climbing that make us fully human and fully alive.
The process of maturity, renewing the mind, is like going to schools… mid-term and final exams will determine if we are ready to step up to the next level. If I repeatedly go through the same situations then it’s time to do what my mentor calls, “eternal evaluation”. It’s not about everybody else. It’s me that needs to change. It is in the struggle that you are being prepared to fly. Like butterfly struggling to come out of his cocoon. If you help free the butterfly, its wings will not be strong enough to fly. It is in the struggle, that we are prepared to do what we were meant to be and do. God will make you so uncomfortable in a situation because he’s preparing you to receive the promised desire of your heart.
I had to learn the hard way. I found that the only time God prolong his promise is when I’m not prepared for the promise. Anxiety and fear stop us and push us back in reverse. We begin to rationalize which is the worst thing we could do. We must negotiate with ourselves: change my mindset. It’s a long and arduous climb but I don’t want to be stuck midway.
I use to think that I’ll just pray and expect everyone to change so I don’t have to go through painful process. Yes, we pray for what we desire for our lives, but we also need to see that God is bringing about change through struggles. We need a new mind-set to trust this Invisible God. I’ve told myself many times that I will trust him. Truth be told, my impatience took the best of me. I become neurotic – trying to fix things because of fear. Mak remurt uchei el melibas ra Dios meng locha uasei ka mekong e deskau. I had to discipline myself – get off the offense, stop controlling the situation and do reality check. It’s not easy to let go and let God. Freewill can’t function properly lost in fear!
So while suffering and waiting, I decided to seek God – to study him, get to know him more and not just to know about him. To develop a new mindset, I told myself, “I am not okay the way I am.” I’ve lost my grip and slipped downhill more than I want to remember, reminding myself, “I didn’t fail, I learned a lesson.”