When You Don’t Know What to Pray For

I am stuck. I don’t know what to pray for in this particular situation and it is uncomfortable, to put it mildly. Have you ever been unsure of what to pray for? It’s more than apathy, or not caring about what comes from the situation. I genuinely don’t know what I want from this moment in time.

Let me back up. As you know, Ben is in the military which means we move a fair amount. Actually, we have moved less often than many of our peers. This has been a blessing but it’s catching up with us for Ben’s career. We are looking at another move this coming summer, putting us at a brief 2.5 years in Kansas compared to the 4+ in both California and Texas. The upcoming move is poised to be an even quicker turn around. Ben is eligible for a leadership school which is a fantastic opportunity. However, it means we move…somewhere…for a year. Then move again.

From where we stand today, it looks like we have 2 possible options.

  1. Do the move. Pack everyone up, move to a new place for a single year, knowing we will be moving again. The moves would be during the summers, so at least the kids would have some consistency in school. I do not know at this point if we would go back to homeschooling for that year or keep them in traditional school. That’s a whole other issue. But we would all be together.
  2. Don’t move. Ben goes, we stay. The kids can continue at our local parish school which has brought so, so many blessings to our family. They have some continuity with friends, location, activities, etc. We have found so much good here, I am extremely sad to think that this is going to be such a short duty station for them compared to previous. But wow, Ben goes. That means Ben is an airplane ride away (based on the current information we have). He would be able to come home only as we have funds for him to fly, the military will not pay for any of those visits.

So….right. How to pray in this situation. I truly don’t know what I want. I don’t want to move knowing how brief it will be. I do not want Ben to miss the majority of a year of time with us, especially when it’s of our own choosing.

We don’t have to make any decisions yet, and we still need to be informed of where he would be attending school. That particular detail – the location – is going to be a big factor of this decision process. We don’t get to choose that part, however, the Air Force will tell us where we are going. What do I pray for? The locations we would want to move everyone to? The locations we would not?

I’m sure others have been in similar situations. You want to get the job but it means leaving good friends and coworkers. You desperately need a snow day but don’t want to shovel (just me?). Someone has to die for your family member to receive a life-saving transplant. Whether serious or otherwise, there are genuinely times when we just don’t know what we ultimately want to happen.

I have had to step back and recognize that, in the end, it’s not supposed to be about what I want. I want a lot of things, cheesecake and yarn included, but that doesn’t mean I always get them or actually need them. In this particular situation, what I want doesn’t actually matter because I have no influence over the situation. I can’t call up the Air Force and let them know how I desire things to play out. It’s in God’s hands, not mine.

Which means I need to change my prayers. I could say, “I don’t know what I want so there’s no point in praying about it until the Air Force gives us more information, then I’ll think about it.” But this is a lie perfectly planted by the devil himself. St. Paul tells us to pray without ceasing. We shouldn’t put God on hold until x, y, or z falls into place. Or worse, come to the conclusion that God is only worth praying to if x, y, or z happens.

I may not know what I want, but God knows what I need. Instead of praying for what I want to happen, I have been trying to root all my prayers in Jesus’ prayer:

Not my will, but Yours be done

Luke 22:42

This situation isn’t about me, though it affects me. This is bigger. It is about where God desires our family for the next year. The people we will interact with, the blessings we can offer others, the blessings others are called to share with us. By pulling myself back and checking my emotions, I am slowly becoming more peaceful about the phone call that will, fingers crossed, hopefully be coming to Ben soon. Whatever God is calling our family to next will be hard, but I trust it is going to be God’s will for our family. He will continue to provide for us as He always has.

I have only come to this place of peace because of Adoration. We are blessed with a 24-hour Adoration chapel at our parish. Whenever we are at the chapel, aside from Sundays for whatever the reason, Gabe, our 3 year old, asks if we can stop in. We only spend a few minutes, but those minutes add up. No matter the time spent, the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is powerful. I am so thankful for these minutes and that it is Gabe who has drawn me into that quiet space. It was there I felt those simple, hard words resonate within me.

Perhaps what God is calling you to next will be hard. Maybe you don’t know what you want next from a present situation. That just means that He is already preparing the grace you need to shower upon you as you set forth into that new place. Join your voice with Jesus’. Allow your desires and wants to diminish as you gaze upon God’s loving face. As it is Advent, this is a fantastic season to spend time in Adoration. Run to God, open your hands and let Him see you know know what you want next. Let Him remove that burden of choice from you and allow His Will to become your true desire.

Daily Graces. kktaliaferro.wordpress.com

Book Review: Journey Through Advent: A Daily Advent Devotional for the Catholic Military Woman

Being in, or affiliated with the military is a unique life situation. It is something that touches every single element of my day. If asked to describe myself, one of my defining characteristics is that I am a military spouse. What I absolutely adored in Anni Harry’s new Journey Through Advent is is that it celebrates military life without being exclusive about it.

Continue reading at Catholicmom.com

Daily Graces. kktaliaferro.wordpress.com

Faith in the Shadow of a Mountain

 Faith the size of a mustard seed

Faith can be super easy, especially when things are bright and cheery. It is easy to see how God is working in your life when everything is going well – you managed to clean your house, your kids are getting along for more than 3 minutes at a time and actually remembered to say “please” and “excuse me.” You or your spouse just got a raise at work and you are planning a weekend away to celebrate. You just paid off a car. Your son just got accepted to the college of his choice plus got the scholarship necessary to get him there. Your daughter just scored the winning goal in her soccer tournament, boosting her confidence in her athletic ability. You can really feel something when you go to church and father’s homily this week was as if it was designed for you. Yes, life is good.

But sometimes life isn’t so good. Sometimes, it might feel like there is a mountain in your way, blocking out all the light so all you can see are shadows shifting in the dimly lit valley. You forgot to pay the credit card this month. Your kids are fighting constantly and one is starting to talk back with harsh, hurtful words. You or your spouse just lost a job or there is a real threat that it could happen. You did not get accepted into the position you were hoping for. The baby refuses to sleep for more than 2 hours at a time during the night and you couldn’t figure out what was wrong. You go to church but don’t feel any connection. You do the motions but your soul isn’t on fire, your heart is apathetic, your mind is elsewhere. So many things can happen that are outside of your control and you feel as if everything is spiraling down into a meaningless, disorganized, futile mess.

There is a constant hidden within both of these rather polar images. Underneath the perfection and the destruction is God. Under the organization and the chaotic whirlwind is Christ. Under the model behavior and blatant disrespect is the Holy Spirit. Whether you feel it or not, each time you receive the Eucharist you are consuming the King of the Universe, becoming intimately united with the Savior of the world and of your life.

The God who loves you, made you, and has a specific purpose for you remains with you through it all, even when it seems as if all hope is lost. When the mountain appears too hard to climb, God is there, reminding you that if you have the faith of but a mustard seed, mountains can and will crumble.

***I am dedicating this post to a dear friend of mine who in the very near future will be standing at the bottom of one of her highest mountains. Her husband is deploying for a year while she remains at home with two small children, one just barely 5 months old. This is a mountain that all too many before her have faced and more will face it yet, but this knowledge does not make it any easier to climb. If you have a moment as you read this post, please lift up my friend and her family, for the safety of her husband, and for all of our military brothers and sisters who so honorably and selflessly answer the call of our nation.

Photo found via Pintrist, this is not my friend nor do I know this couple
Photo found via Pinterest, this is not my friend nor do I know this couple