I received an email from a 25-year-old daughter living at home, who feels as though her life is going nowhere as she is unmarried and seemingly is doing nothing “significant”. I’m posting here part of what I wrote to her, omitting personal details.
I do not consider myself to be fit to teach others about unwavering faith; however, the first thing to know and remember is that G-d is ever and always present in our lives, whether we are aware of it or not, and nothing in this world is happening without His direct supervision and guidance.
It can be difficult to realize that sometimes, as the story of us all is, as yet, only half-written, and it’s easy to doubt especially when horrible things are happening in the world (wars, disease, natural disasters) or when our lives seem to be crashing, and it appears we are in danger of losing those we love the most – or when we simply feel stuck and life is apparently going nowhere, which can be just as painful as we think of all the time that went by, seemingly with no purpose. When we see a half-completed painting, it’s sometimes impossible to figure out what the artist means to convey – yet. But when it is completed, oh, we stand back in awe and marvel at the beauty of it all. This is how it is going to be when we finally realize what His plan was – though the completion of it may not be in this world.
But personally, when I think back to some things in my life which were terribly painful, and I couldn’t understand why it is that I have to go through them – and then, a couple of years later down the road, I realized that these trials were necessary for the beauties and wonders I’ve been so richly blessed with. That it was, and is, part of the same path. This gave me just a tiny taste of G-d’s perfect understanding.
G-d loves us. He delights in every good deed and every positive thought. He created us, and he has beautiful, beautiful plans for our lives, if we walk through life putting our trust in Him alone.
It doesn’t matter how old we are, how seemingly far from where we would like to be, how deep in trouble, how desperate. There is no despair, no hopelessness – not when we realize that what G-d wants the most is for us to grow in closeness to Him, and quite simply, walk with Him. There is of course much more, but that’s the start – us realizing, and cherishing G-d’s presence, and turning to Him as our rock, our only ever present and solid hope, our dearest, closest, most trustworthy Father and friend. Nothing can replace that.
We cannot do it all on our own, and in fact, shouldn’t even attempt to. The burden of doubt, confusion, fear, guilt, uncertainty, loneliness and frustration can be grave when we try to hoist it all on our shoulders. But when we turn to Him in pure, innocent faith, it is easy to see how these burdens are lifted off us – and I mean especially those things about which we can’t directly do something, such as the future which is hidden. To stop worrying is not irresponsible or mindless. It the wisest, most sensible thing to do.
Not that we should do nothing. There is always something we can do, but once we have done it, the responsibility is no longer ours and we aren’t supposed to torture ourselves with thoughts that perhaps we haven’t done enough – but rather, trust and continue the walk of faith.
On a more practical note, it is important to enjoy every stage, and in fact, every day of our lives to the fullest, without thinking of it as a transition or a step to something greater. Even if it seems you are doing “nothing” in your life, and nothing is happening, it is not so. Neither should you see yourself as unemployed, but rather, as blessed with the gift of time which is not limitless and which is precious and can be used to do great things – I don’t know you, and of course, can’t tell you exactly what you can/should do with it. But it can bless countless people, among them yourself, and your loved ones and perhaps even people you don’t know.
I’m not sure how clear I have articulated my thoughts in this long and rambly talk, as faith is such a huge, all-encompassing subject that it isn’t really possible to “finish” talking about it, but I hope I managed to convey at least a small part of how I feel about G-d and His presence in our lives.
I leave you with my warmest wishes and kindest regards, and hope your life is beautiful.