Rachel’s ankle injury started off as a few weeks recovery time and has now been over 5 months due to some mistakes made in her care. She has had an amazing, optimistic attitude throughout. It taught me a lot on how to deal with the challenges we face, especially when mistakes are repeatedly made. Below is a conversation I had with Betty on a decision I made for Rachel’s care. In the end, the decision turned out to be very good, although it did not seem like it at the time. I thought that I had discerned wrong. Here are Betty’s words in red:
Don’t say, “I don’t have discernment.” Say, “I feel I don’t have discernment. God, I’m coming before you to learn how to discern. I thought this is what I heard in prayer.” I guess it’s your perfectionist that gets in your prayer, since your prayers aren’t loving. They’re judgmental. It’s coming at a rage at yourself. I wonder if it makes it hard to answer your prayer.
The more I’m in the Divine Will, the more I’m convinced that there are no accidents in life. When things happen, God has a plan and what we need is the humility to let go of wherever we interfere and cause confusion in God’s plan. “Forgive me God. I hold up to you if I rushed ahead. I’m sorry. Can you help us now?”
You go into a rage at yourself and that’s not what’s needed right now. What’s needed is proper discernment. “Lord, what are you showing us? How do you want us to pray? Can you say, “Lord, help me break this bad habit of going into a rage against myself out of judgments I’ve formed on myself, when I think I made a bad decision. I need to get sharper, so I don’t fall into this bad habit.” Your energy needs to go into the positive. Pray, “Lord, open the doors that need to be opened for Rachel’s ankle recovery. If I screwed something up, get us on the right track.” The important thing is not that you judge yourself, but that Rachel gets help.
We are after turning to God and asking him for help. We pray that God opens the doors that need to be open, and that He close the ones that need to closed. I wrote Betty’s prayer entitled “Sr. Betty Igo’s Prayer of the Obedient Heart.” on my blog posts. I try to pray it daily, as I’m praying that God only open the doors He wants open, and that He close the doors that need to be closed.
Say, “Lord, please help me open the door within me to live a life of being able to receive mercy. Take me out of Hell and condemnation. Replace the condemnation. Show me how to open the door of mercy and forgiveness towards my human weakness.” Satan’s favorite trick is to get us to beat ourselves up. Learn to laugh at this stuff.
You’re making a choice when you say, “I’m tired.” It is usually followed by “I can’t take any more of this.” Satan loves that place, because when a person gets to that place, they’re really in danger, because it’s a demonic lie. But if the person bites it and continues to chew on it, they may wind up in despair, losing their faith, and/or losing their relationship with God.
I ask, “Why do you bite?” Why do you say, “I can’t take anymore?” It is based on a lie. But you’re deciding to chew on that lie, and open the door to be tortured more. It’s a life of living Hell rather than peace. So, why do you choose it? Why go there? Our decisions make a big difference as to whether we live a life of peace or a life of Hell. These aren’t good decisions you’re making. You don’t have to make these decisions.
Smell the sulfur. Stay out of the “what ifs,” because it pulls you into a bad place, where Satan takes you into possibilities. Watch the condemnation. It has the ability to destroy you and God’s mission for your life. Do you see the truth of this? I don’t play with Hell, because I’m not strong enough to stand against it.
Life is a series of mistakes and learning from them. If you give up on having to be perfect, God won’t have to bring all these mistakes in your life, because you’ll accept that you’re a creature. You’re almost forcing God to bring a lot of mistakes in your life to teach you how to handle them. Maybe that’ll be a motivation to give it up. Say, “I’m not perfect, and that’s ok.”