Prior to the 2nd reading (that I was determined to pay full attention to), I was so distracted and wrapped up in my own head and self-righteous anger. I was completely judging at least 3 other women in Mass and I forced myself to stop and focus. Then comes this:
Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice.
Ok St. James, you have my attention.
Most of the time, the dominant feeling related to our IF is sadness. A deep sadness I didn't know it was possible to feel. Of course there is anger and frustration and fear and all the rest, but if I had to just pick one emotion, sadness would be it.
Lately it is more bitterness. And constant comparing of my situation to others. And jealousy. And self-righteousness when people don't respond the way I think they should. It's been ugly friends. And it was getting real ugly, real fast, in Mass today.
And then St. James stepped in and woke me up with a quick, sharp slap. A slap I needed. Jealousy and selfishness are not getting me anywhere. In fact, they are causing me disorder and foul practice - thank God only in thought and not in outward deed to this point.
I'm sure I sound like a broken record, but it is so extremely important to me that I walk this road with grace. The list of regrets in my life all relate to responding poorly to situations, and while I don't expect to be perfect, I do have high expectations for being intentional and receiving the grace that He wants to give me.
I've taken the answered part of the prayer I started praying 2 years ago this week for granted. I've come to expect the grace to be there and to do the work for me - to be my safety net. But, as James told us last week, faith without works is dead. Grace is a gift, a gift I have prayed, and begged God for, but He won't open it for me. I am the one that has to embrace the grace and allow it affect my life.
I am not completely sure how to do this. But I know it has to start with renewing my prayer for grace. With acknowledging the grace that has carried me through and renewing my request for it.
I don't know where this road leads, where the bumps are, or how long it goes on. What I do know is that someday I will look back and how I traveled the road will be much more important than the road I traveled.