Be it done unto me: five simple words spoken by Mary in her fiat to God. They are the words of one who trusts completely. She had to have known the social and cultural consequences of bearing God’s son, the suspicious glances, the gossiping. Yet, she accepted his will.
Be it done unto me—those are the words I badly want to pray with a sincere and open heart. There is trust implicit in them; trust that his plan is the only plan and it will turn out OK, even if it doesn’t immediately seem that way,
I thought I trusted Jesus. In dark or uncertain times, “Jesus I trust in you” provided comfort. On a macro level I did trust. It was not until I found myself with an uncertain future that I realized how tenuous that trust was. Living with a giant question mark ahead of me pushed me beyond comfort.
Ready for God
For a long time the message I received in prayer was “Wait.” God was very clear. It felt like giant yellow neon letters hovering over me. Wait. I did not know what I was waiting for though. I expected that as time passed this would become clear and since I was in a bit of a fog anyway, trust felt easy. When I am ready and the time is right, God will reveal the next step.
Several months passed. All was well. Six months passed, I began to get angsty. At the seven month mark, I was balancing on a slab of sadness. “What’s going on Lord?” I asked. Why am I still waiting? I had told God I would do whatever he asked. I put myself in his service and told him I’ll be his handmaid. So why was I still so unsure?
I went from feeling comfortable with the waiting and not ready to move on to feeling a sense of urgency. “I’m ready!” I cried. “Let’s go! I am ready to work for you!”
Outside of Time
Then the curtain came down and I knew despair was right around the bend. Prayer became a chore and when I finally did pray, it was dry. I imagined Jesus on the other side of a window. He was talking to me but I could not hear.
I was stressed and wanted to move forward. I wanted to trust and realized I did not, because trusting in Jesus is more than saying the words “I trust in you.” Saying that and continuing to fret is not trust. Telling God I want to do his will but imposing my own timeline leads to frustration when the whole deal is not moving at the pace I want.
To trust God and let him be in control means I have to let go. I have to let it be done unto me even if I do not like the way it is being done, and sometimes I do not like the way it is being done! The construct of time brings urgency because time is limited.
For me. Not so for God. He is outside of time and seven months is a teeny tiny little blip.
Learning to Wait
So now at the eight month point of The Great Wait I am still faced with a question mark. I still do not know how this is going to play out. Nevertheless, I am trying to encounter one day at a time and be open to what God is asking of me on that one day. An inscription on one of my high school yearbooks has stayed with me: Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. Do your best and leave the rest.
Letting it be done unto me is requiring a good measure of faith. I am finding that I need to push through the dry prayer and believe that God’s got it. Perhaps he is putting some pieces in place. Perhaps I am already serving him the way he desires and I am too dim to figure it out.
What I know now is that trust is an action. It is more than words. It is taking the stress and the worry and the control and surrendering them to God fully. God is not asking me to raise his son or save the world. He is asking me to wait. I do not like to wait. I do not wait well because I like to be decisive and act.
Learning to Trust
That is not what is being done unto me right now. I have a choice: I can continue to be of an uncooperative disposition or I can throw myself at Christ’s feet and ask him to help me not worry.
How do I climb out of this cauldron of crazy and truly let it be done unto me? I think the key is in taking it one twenty-four-hour period at a time. I will end up full on bananas if I keep perseverating on the long term, and that will not be good for anyone in my life. So each morning I am trying to be thankful for a new day and ask Jesus what he wants from me that day. I believe if I can take it in little steps, those little steps will lead to the end goal. Some days it feels like all he wants from me is to wash the laundry and deal with the dishwasher. Other days more of what I would consider productive happens.
I compare it to being in a famine and God has the potato. I can dig around in the dirt searching for one to satisfy me, but on my own all I will find is more dirt and perhaps a scraggly root that looks promising but disappoints. If I want it to be done unto me, it means waiting for God to give me the potato and trusting that he will. He does not want me to be hungry and tells us all over the Bible that he wants good for us. He wants to shower us in a hurricane of happiness and love.
God has never left me potato-less. I have to believe that he will take care of the situation.
“Lord, take me where you want me to go;Fr. Mychal Judge, FDNY
Let me meet who you want me to meet;
Tell me what you want me to say; and
Keep me out of your way.”
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About Merridith Frediani
Merridith Frediani’s perfect day includes prayer, writing, unrushed morning coffee, reading, tending to dahlias, and playing Sheepshead with her husband and three teenagers. She loves leading small faith groups for moms and looking for God in the silly and ordinary. She blogs and writes for her local Catholic Herald in Milwaukee.