By Allison Gingras
Fear and anxiety often overshadow my life. I tease that the title of my next book will be, Waiting for the Other Shoe to Fall. Sure. I trust and love God; and I try hard to be open to whatever God has for me — as long as it is good, healthy, and includes minimal (or no) discomfort.
The Fear of the “May Happen”
Unlike Jesus entering into Jerusalem ready to fulfill God’s Will, I spend far too much time avoiding God and his Will. Perhaps I am hoping that if I am reticent and well-behaved, I will never have to face whatever cross may be lurking before me. My struggle has become my fear of the cross. I am profoundly aware the energy spent worrying about what may be instead of recognizing all the good things God has in store for us.
For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. ~ Jeremiah 29:11
Embracing My Actual Cross
A few years ago, as I shared my wavering trust with God due to my anxieties, a priest gave me a very unusual penance. He advised me to pray the Our Father three times. Ok, that’s not the unusual part.
What was strange is that he said when I reached “give us this day,” I was not to say “our daily bread,” but rather I was to make it personal and insert, “a love of the cross that God has for me.” I was to say, “Give me this day, a love of the cross that God has for me.” He was telling me to trust that those crosses chosen explicitly for me would be the perfect size and weight. He was gently encouraging me to be present at the moment and not anxiously anticipate what may come.
Walk in Her Sandals
Today, the WINE Book Club will begin reading, Walk in Her Sandals: Experiencing Christ’s Passion Through the Eyes of Women. During this first week’s readings, we’ll witness Jesus come into Jerusalem. Jesus hailed as a King, within that same week lifted on would embrace the cross explicitly chosen for him. As Jesus enters Jerusalem, we do not read how he is anxious and worried; instead, it appears he allows himself to be present in the present moment.
The good God will bring from the cross will elude many of his disciples as they watch the week unfold; much as God’s plan of sheer goodness eludes me when I face my cross. Usually, I want to flee like Peter, pretending if I don’t acknowledge what is happening, I cannot be affected by it. My prayer as I read through chapter one and contemplate Palm Sunday; will be to embrace my God-given gift of receptivity better and joyfully accept whatever God has for me on this journey.
Lord Jesus, help me to be open to what the Father has for me. Help me to best use my glorious gift of receptivity to fear not and to bear witness to your redemptive work!
Allison Gingras – ReconciledToYou.com – shares the beauty of the Catholic Faith with honesty, laughter, and relatable examples from the everyday, ordinary life! She has created the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women (Gracewatch.Media/Connected) which includes her book, The Gift of Invitation: 7 Ways Jesus Invites Us into a Life of Grace. She hosts A Seeking Heart with Allison Gingras on BreadboxMedia.com Allison cherishes her role as WINE Steward for WINE: Women in the New Evangelization, helping with the WINE Book Clubs and Virtual Vineyard.