Woot woot! This week’s topic was actually suggested by yours truly! Thanks to Morgan and Jen for hosting and I’m SO excited to read everyone else’s thoughts on this week’s topic…when I get back from vacation 😉 (Or, you know, while I’m hanging out on the beach!)
This week’s prompt: Most of us have times where we despair about our vocations, or, if we know them (i.e. marriage), we despair that they will never be fulfilled. How do we deal with that despair and what are our best tips on moving past the despair into hope?
One might think that since I suggested the topic I’d actually have some answers. You might even think that I had a blog written before I suggested this topic because I’m so Type A like that. Well, you’d be wrong. I suggested it because I’m curious and because I need help here too!
Goodness knows I’ve had times where I despair about the fulfillment of my vocation. Is he EVER going to show up? If he does, will I miss him completely? Will I push him away? Have I already bid him adieu? Then comes the next set of nagging questions, what if he is already here? Will he EVER propose? Will we ever actually get to be husband and wife? Will I get to be the mother of his children? I totally understand the despair. There are days when I could (and have…) just wallowed in bed while watching hours of Grey’s Anatomy. I wish I were kidding. How do I deal with that despair? It depends on the day or the time that despair strikes, but I handle it in one of the following ways:
I’ll be honest, sometimes I just sleep in late. I get lazy. I take naps, or I generally just lay around moping that this thing (my vocation to marriage) that God has written so so deeply on my heart will never be fulfilled.
Whether I pop in episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, Gilmore Girls, or Boy Meets World, or I just watch TV until my eyes fall out, I handle the despair by attempting to escape into someone else’s “reality”. If I can lose myself in something else then the despair of my own life isn’t so bad. If I can watch someone else have a worse day or struggle with bigger problems then I can gain some perspective and wallow a little less.
God and my confessor only know how much I time I spend using Facebook and how much time I squander on there, checking up on random and pointless things. Similar to losing myself in television, sometimes I feed the despair without realizing it. I look at other people’s wedding pictures or baby bumps and pity myself for not having the seemingly picture perfect life that all my friends seem to have. I not only give into the despair, but I give it food o’plenty by perusing the lives of everyone else, the life I wish I had.
Mass. Confession. Adoration. The Rosary. Praying for others. Ministry. Learning about the Saints. Studying Scripture. Don’t ALL of those things sound infinitely better than the list above? Instead of losing myself in despair, I lose myself in prayer, I lose myself in His infinite ocean of love. I get out of my own head and pray for others. I choose to say to God, I don’t like this state I’m in, and You know it. Take my unhappiness as I offer it up for all of those [mention intention here, i.e. struggling to conceive, those who have no food, those who don’t know You, etc.]. Lord, make my suffering redemptive, for me, and for all of Your children.
Sure, I could sit here and tell you that life is all pretty and that when despair strikes, when I have those times when I wonder if I’ll ever be the bride, I run to prayer. I could tell you that, but I could also have all of my mail sent to the confessional for being a dirty blogging liar. While I think that I’m better at dealing with despair than I used to be, I know there is still room for improvement. I also know that learning to deal with despair and a lack of contentment now will be an asset for my future, and for the times when married life isn’t all hearts and rainbows and sunshine. My tips? Do as I say, not as I do. Run to prayer. Go to Mass, go daily if you can. Frequent confession (soon-to-be SAINT John Paul II went to confession every day). Instead of giving in and popping in yet another disc of Grey’s, head to adoration and be still in His presence. Offer your struggles up for someone else. Do everything you can to get out of your own despair (which, I might add, is where Satan would love for you to stay). Getting out of your own despair makes it so much easier to rest in God’s heart, because if we become focused solely on our own sufferings, we lose sight of the greater purpose of suffering, and we lose sight of Him, who teaches us how to suffer perfectly.