Over the past couple of months, I've been really working on exercising my faith in God's plan and trusting that He has control. It takes a lot of faith in God and patience with myself--because my faith isn't perfect. I have moments of really giving up my control, but then I have moments where I get so scared and freaked out that I start trying to reign in control (and of course, that doesn't work and causes me to make choices and act based on fear).
As I've been working Healing Through Christ, step 3, I've had to really focus on what I'm doing to turn my will and life over to God. It's hard. Like, really hard.
Today, I was faced with the question: How can I come to believe that Heavenly Father is working all things together for my good--even when they aren't happening as I'd hoped?
The question seems simple, but it's actually very tricky. Because part of me wants to believe that all things are working together for my good--that God is in control. But then part of me has a hard time believing it because life is just so damn hard sometimes.
As I focus on exercising my faith in His plan, the two things that have really helped me see that He is in control are 1) expressing gratitude and looking for the good in my life, despite the hard, and 2) looking for opportunities to learn from my trials.
Sometimes in the recovery world, we get so caught up in expressing our emotions and being validated and heard, that it can be hard to snap out of the negative. Sometimes we feel there is literally nothing to be grateful for. I'm saying we, but I really mean me (I just assume I'm not alone in these feelings...). There is a time and a place for those feelings. There really is. But I've found that it's important to feel my pain and validate it, but then to see the beauty that is coming from the pain and trials I am facing. Or to see the beauty in my life despite the trials I am facing.
When I see beautiful things in my life, I give a quick thanks for it. I'm not very good at writing in my gratitude journal every day, but I am getting much better at really digging inside myself and expressing gratitude for what I have in my prayers. I am getting much better at expressing gratitude from my heart and looking for opportunities to learn from my trials and see the beauty unfolding even when it's really hard.
Gratitude and learning are key elements, at least for me, to see that Heavenly Father truly is working all things together for my good. He may not like the things happening in my life, especially trials that come as a result of my or another person's agency. But He will help me make each experience something that works for my good.
We hear "all things happen for a reason." That may be true. But it also might not be. This might not have been part of God's plan for me. Women who have suffered serious abuse and trauma might not have been necessarily given that by God. It may have just happened at the hands of the abuser because of that person's choices. But God is always there and He will provide us with the means to endure. And THAT is what will make all things work together for our good.
I'm trying to keep focus on what I'm grateful for and the beauty in my life so the hard doesn't drown me.
How do you come to believe that Heavenly Father is working all things together for your good--even when things are hard as hell?