St. Theresa’s Prayer
“May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.”
This prayer has been a powerful reminder in my life throughout several seasons of ups and downs. I read it tonight from a place that feels overwhelming, tiring, and as if there is lack in my life that I need to get busy and fill. Prayers and words like these speak truth into my tiredness and help to create a space within my questions. Prayers like this one don’t “answer” or “solve” problems for me, but they create space where there was none, potential for movement and healing where there was only grinding tension. It’s like something from deep within, pulls me, out of the tiredness that falsely seems to claim me, back to being the real me. And the truth of God’s abundance, God’s gracious overflowing arms-wide-open goodness – the truth rushes into that space.
The truth reminds me that I can rest. I can grieve and feel lost and not have the answers, but still grip to the truth that I know who I am and whose I am. I can cry out and wonder how God can allow people to get sick, die, and suffer; get angry as people do not reconcile, focus on self, and ignore the kingdom’s calls; hurt and sometimes wound me and others in the process. But I also know that God walks in and through this pain with me and with others. God does not let suffering consume any of us – even in death it doesn’t define us.
And so this truth yells out to me, screams into my cavern that I bring with me this night, bounces off the walls and echoes throughout my grief and tiredness and lack. The truth sounds – I cannot fill my own lack. If the job feels too large, too overwhelming, that’s because it is. I cannot carry it all, it is not my load to bear alone. My freedom comes not from dodging or escaping challenges or difficulty, not from planning ahead or steadfastly living so that nothing ever goes wrong (which, honestly , is how I tend to live most of the time). Freedom comes from walking through the dark times and coming out on the other side, bearing the burdens of others, and committing to straining to listen to the still small voice even through the fatigue. It’s not about having the ending all wrapped up or the journey all planned, but about accepting real life as it is – blessing what I can, lamenting what I can. It’s not about fixing people or controlling my universe, but about journeying with those souls precious enough to be called friends and committed enough to be in my lifelong community.
I came to this prayer tired tonight. I am still tired, but there is now space, a swelling of truth within my tiredness, a tentative sprout of peace inside that cave. May this prayer feed your soul and remind you of truth for whatever tires you on your journey. Amen.