Let me know if this sounds familiar: You did well in your interview but didn’t get the job. Or, you met someone who made your heart skip a beat only to find out they’re already in a relationship.
Basically, you had plans. Big plans. Amazing plans. And then, out of nowhere, those plans were dashed.
Believe me, I know how discouraging that can be. In March 2020, I was all set to leave on an exciting two-month trip to Europe. I had already purchased my plane tickets, and my suitcase was just waiting to be filled. I couldn’t wait.
Well, you probably know what happened next. COVID hit. I didn’t go.
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Within days of my departure date, my airline sent me an email saying all their flights had been canceled — indefinitely. Overnight, I had to completely change my plans.
In the moment, it was hard to understand why things had happened the way they had. It was hard to know what to do.
But looking back, I’m so glad my flight got canceled. Because instead of getting stranded in Europe, I switched gears and started writing. I wrote article after article and had the honor of seeing my work published in large publications online. And, wonder of wonders, I went viral. And I connected with interesting people. And I learned things I probably wouldn’t have had the time to learn had I been in Europe.
Despite my initial disappointment, God saw the big picture when all I saw was a tiny piece of the puzzle. He had a different plan for me, and that plan has led to amazing opportunities I might never have had otherwise.
Trust that God has placed you in your current circumstances for a reason
When you’re in a season of waiting, it can be so hard to trust. Maybe all your friends are getting married and you feel left behind. Maybe you’re encountering setback after setback and don’t know why.
If so, remember this: God doesn’t make mistakes. He will never put you in difficult situations without a reason or leave you alone to fend for yourself — unless you shut him out.
If you feel far from God and don’t know what he has in store for you, here are a few things that can help you get back on track:
1. Go to confession
I know, I know. Confession is uncomfortable. But there’s nothing like it for turning your life around. If you haven’t been in a while, check out this examination of conscience and go tell Jesus that you’re sorry and that you love him. You’ll feel lighter and happier afterward.
2. Spend time in adoration
God always has things to tell you. Always. But how can you hear his voice if you never listen? This is what makes adoration so special. You can pour out your heart, but you can also listen to what he wants to tell you.
Think of it as a date with Jesus: There he is, in the monstrance, waiting for you to come so he can tell you how much he loves you. Do yourself a favor and don’t stand him up! If your parish has adoration, make some time in your schedule to visit him and let him comfort and guide you. I can honestly say that going to adoration regularly has been a game-changer in helping me feel less anxious.
3. Go to daily Mass
Countless saints have attested to the power of attending Mass regularly. And that’s not a coincidence. When we attend Mass, we stand at the foot of the cross and receive our Savior into our souls. If your life is a mess and you don’t know what to do, here’s the best thing you can do: Stay united to God. Receive him regularly so you can have the strength to become the woman he wants you to be.
4. Pray the Rosary
Mary is your mother, and she has your best interests at heart. When you pray to her through the Rosary, you invite her to intercede for you and help you as only a loving mother can. Remember that Mary’s life wasn’t easy, either. In her great humility, she had never imagined that she would be chosen to be the Mother of God, with all the sorrows and challenges that would accompany that call.
In many ways, Mary’s life didn’t make sense. But despite all the unknowns, she accepted God’s will with great humility and love: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38).
Pray to Mary, and ask her to intercede for you so that you’ll have the strength to do what God expects from you, as she did.
You are not here by accident
Whenever I don’t know what to do, I find this passage from Jeremiah incredibly comforting:
“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you — oracle of the Lord — plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope” (Jer 29:11).
Yes, God has plans for you. Big plans. Amazing plans. Plans that are way bigger and better than what you could possibly hope for yourself.
I was having brunch with a friend recently, and when we were getting ready to part ways, I asked her to pray that I would discern God’s will. And she looked at me and said what Mother Teresa had told someone who had given her the same request: “I won’t pray that you’ll discern God’s will. I’ll pray that you’ll have trust.”
Her words really stuck with me because she was right. Trust is the key. Your job isn’t to figure out your whole life and agonize over every little choice you have to make. Your job is to trust.
Trust that you are exactly where you need to be. Trust that you aren’t behind. Trust that God is preparing you for your next step.
Here’s a little prayer I like to say every morning:
Dear Jesus, please take me by the hand and lead me to heaven. And when the road becomes difficult and I don’t know what to do or where to go, please take me in your arms so that I may rest like a little child who falls asleep full of confidence in the arms of her beloved Father.
No matter how old you are, you will never stop being a child of God. Trust him. Trust him with all your heart. As the saying goes, “Those who leave everything in God’s hands will eventually see God’s hands in everything.”