A few years ago, my good friend Bridget and I were having a conversation about sin, and she said something that has stayed with me since: “All sin is simply a result of us grasping at a good thing that we don’t trust God wants to give us freely.” Oof.

I have seen myself do that repeatedly in my own heart and life: gossiping to gain acceptance into a group of friends because I’m lonely, using someone to get what I want professionally or personally, lying to gain admiration and respect… the list goes on. We grasp because we don’t trust. But we also grasp because of another big struggle: our pride.

This past week, I was listening to a podcast that described our struggle with pride as “anytime we put ourselves before Christ.” As soon as I heard that, I was drawn back into my behavior over the past few weeks. I spend time with Jesus every morning, but almost every single day I had been getting up and doing something else during my appointed time, behaving in a way towards Him that I never would if a person were sitting across from me in the room. My actions communicated to Him, “Yes, this is your time, but I have more important things to do.”

And it wasn’t just in prayer: I was wandering into mass late, drifting off in the middle of the Rosary, and failing in my daily commitments to grow in my faith. Not because I had other pressing matters to attend to, but because my will and my body wanted to be doing other things.

It brought to mind an image of the solar system: all of the planets moving around the Sun in perfect precision, never crashing into one another, staying in their delicate orbit, at a perfect distance to avoid being burned up or frozen out. When I live with God as the Sun in the solar system of my life, I experience the fruits of peace, joy, patience, virtue, and courage. But when I put myself (or someone or something else) in the center, everything gets off-kilter. Pride is putting myself at the center of the solar system, making myself my god.

Our culture is not very helpful in fighting this very human impulse. Mugs and candles and self-help books tell us to be our own hero, to save ourselves, to make it happen, to “girlboss” and hustle our way to what we want. It’s radical and counter-cultural to step out of the center of our lives and make way for God to care for us.

The only way we will ever be able to turn from our pride and trust God is by making intentional, daily (sometimes many times a day) decisions to give Him control. (Side note: He already and always has control, so it’s only a decision on our part!). When we trust God in the small things, we learn to trust Him in the big ones. Is there something on your mind and heart that’s causing you worry and anxiety this week? I encourage you to give it to Him, saying “Jesus, I trust in You, take care of everything.” (The Surrender Novena is very helpful in this!)

God has everything for us. He is honored to be trusted by us. He loves us and knows us better than we know ourselves. This week, let’s release the burdens of performance and striving and accomplishment to rest in His good and loving arms.

In Christ,

Jane


What I’m loving lately….

Natalie Layne

This girly is such a bop – basically a Christian Sara Bareilles. I love “All Joy” and “Amen,” and she’s been on repeat this week!!

The Great Divorce

Y’all already know how deeply I love C.S. Lewis, but I was inspired to pick this back up this week, and wow… it’s such a GOOD read. A favorite quote from the intro: “But what, you ask, of earth? Earth, I think, will not be found by anyone to be in the end a very distinct place. I think earth, if chosen instead of Heaven, will turn out to have been, all along, only a region in Hell: and earth, if put second to Heaven, to have been from the beginning a part of Heaven itself.” Wowwwww.

My new fireplace!!

I moved into a new apartment this past week and I am over the moon about my new fireplace!! It’s been sub-30 in DC this week and having good friends over in front of the roaring fire is beyond sweet. Also, highly recommend the alcohol-free wine from Fre for anyone doing dry January/Fiat90!

Prayer requests

  • For the soul Ryan Realbuto and for the healing of his family
  • For a friend walking through heartbreak
  • For all those who are sick

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Jane Kennedy

Jane Kennedy

Jane was born in Australia, raised in California, and is overjoyed to now call NYC home. She graduated from UCSB with degrees in Political Science and Communication and spent the past two years working in criminal justice reform. She is currently an MBA student at NYU Stern, focusing on entrepreneurship and strategy.

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