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Troubled Waters

Be careful to retain peace of heart because Satan casts his line in troubled waters.

-St. Paul of the Cross

Last year my son volunteered at a local nursing home. He made a good first impression, as he often does. I thought it would be a fit, he would be able to get out of the house and have some responsibility. I called the director and gave my standard spiel: his history, his sometimes poor choices, and his strengths. My son went a few times and had some issues listening to adults, but they were working with him. I was not expecting to get a call from the nursing home on a peaceful, spring afternoon letting me know he had been fired.

My child was fired from a volunteer position at a nursing home for inappropriate behavior.

Immediately, my waters were troubled. Instead of reaching out to God, asking Him for grace and wisdom, I worried. I also got mad, felt shame, and went straight to the worst possible scenario mindset. I got on the internet looking for summer camps for juvenile delinquents. Then I called my husband, hoping he would make me feel better. Next, I opened my phone and bought something. I started obsessing about the things I could control, my weight, my linen closet, etcetera. In minutes, I went from peaceful to totally wigged out. Not once did I stop, take a deep breath, and pray.

I wish I could say this was an isolated incident, but that would be untrue. I have given Satan plenty of troubled waters to cast his line.

This is what I want to remember next time:

God has it all in his hands. I can ask for God’s grace and mercy in every situation. He put me in the here and now to love and to serve Him.

I want His work in me to not be undone by phone calls about bad behavior, complicated test results, or broken relationships. He has a plan, and my job is to rest and abide in Him. This is hard to do. In every moment of every day, His grace and peace are available to me. It is there even when I do not ask, but I often miss it by forgetting to focus on Him.

What does He want me to hold in my hands today?

Often, He is asking me to hold less than what I am currently holding. He asks me to hold one or two things, and they are always filled with love, connection, and relationships.

Do not look forward to what might happen tomorrow, the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Be at peace then, put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations. – St. Francis De Sales

Please Lord, help this to be what I hold in my hands.

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