by Sr. Sheila Campbell MMM Ireland 04.07.2022
Have you ever watched a toddler learning to walk? You know the way they lift up their arms to be raised up and, while the parent is holding both little arms, the child will venture one foot forward, and then hesitate. These first steps are rightly celebrated by the parents. They are the first steps towards independence and growing up.
My relationship with God is like a bit this. In fact, it is more like a dance. I take two steps forward in faith. Then I hesitate and take one step back again into disbelief. Sometimes I take one step to the side in a certain indecision, not knowing when or whether to go forward or to go back.
During all this “stepping” I think I am in control, but of course I am not. I have a ‘dance partner’, God, who is actually leading the way. God knows me inside out and knows that I am not brave enough only to ‘step forward in faith’. I wish it were that simple. So, God allows the backsteps and the side steps in order that together we can dance together into unity and communion.
One woman I knew in Brazil was trapped in an unhealthy marriage. But she lived with her husband and children in a house belonging to her mother-in-law. She had no economic independence. For years I saw her struggle to take a step into freedom, but fear of the future always made her retreat from a decision to end the marriage. Once she did leave, but went back again when the money ran out. I would love to say she found her freedom, but the last I heard her situation had changed little.
So, today I pray that God becomes her ‘dance partner’ and leads her into a happier space.