Is It All Up To Me?

catechism catholic existential questions god the father healing ministry healing prayers holy spirit ignatian prayer imaginative prayer inner healing is it all up to me jesus questions for god suffering

Inner Healing

Is it All Up to Me?

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Since the earliest times, humans have questioned their existence in the world. Questions about the purpose and significance of life include:

  • Who is God to Me?
  • How do I Hear God?
  • Who Am I?
  • What Am I Worth?
  • How Do I Accept Who I Am?
  • Does God Want Me to Be Happy?
  • Is it All Up to Me?
  • Where is God in My Suffering?

In this article, we ask God, through inner healing prayer, the existential question of Is it All Up to Me?

Beth (name changed) is a woman in her 20s struggling in her new marriage with issues around intimacy and vulnerability. Becoming a first-time mom only heightened her condition, a burden that made Beth feel isolated and alone. She sought inner healing prayer for relief from her symptoms and to understand her behaviors.

Upon meeting Beth for the first time, Melissa (as the prayer facilitator) tried to assess Beth's relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit through imaginative prayer. 

Imaginative prayer is an Ignatian exercise often employed during inner healing, where a person seeking healing asks the Lord for images, thoughts, and words regarding a question or a memory. 

As Melissa and Beth entered into prayer, Melissa utilized a tool for helping people experience their identity as a child of God. This method allows God to tell his side of our creation story. Melissa asked the Holy Spirit about Beth’s Creation Story

Melissa sensed God’s excitement about responding to this question, and Beth immediately saw an image of a greenhouse in her mind. In the greenhouse, Beth noticed many plants at various levels of growth, from seedlings with long, spindly legs to thick-trunked plants grand and tall. She noticed hints of violet, pink, and red peeking under green buds. She saw rainbows of flower petals in their full bloom and plants with more shades of green than she knew existed. 

The greenhouse gave Beth the sense of being cocooned and protected, and the air's moisture gave her a just-showered, clean feeling. 

She instinctively knew she was one of the seedlings, perhaps one with spindly legs and two symmetrical leaves that had just unfurled its face to the light. 

 Beth could see that the gardener was stooped down at work as she continued exploring her environment. She curiously watched the gardener, who whistled, hummed, and occasionally tapped his toes while he tended his plants. He topped off a newly replanted blossom with fresh, red-brown fertilized soil with one gloved hand. 

This gardener, Beth realized, was Jesus. He cared for all of life in this environment. Her eyes widened when he glanced toward her, smiled, and tipped his brimmed hat.

When asked where the Holy Spirit was, Beth looked around to identify the third person of the Trinity. A shower of dew followed a clicking noise. Beth looked up to see the mist drift down like a cloud from the sprinklers on the greenhouse ceiling. 

Of course! The greenhouse is an enclave with a built-in system of nourishment. Beth knew the mist was the Holy Spirit as the dew descended upon the seedlings. The Spirit comforted and nurtured her, giving her everything she needed to grow.                                                                                                                          

When it was time to identify God the Father, Beth had a difficult time. She said, “I can’t see Him. I don’t think He’s here.”

They waited and settled deeper into prayer as Beth continued to look around the greenhouse for God the Father. After a good time of silence, Beth's eyes popped open. 

"I know where God the Father is! He IS the greenhouse! He surrounds me and holds everything together. He’s the framework that keeps everything safe and secure, making it possible for me to grow.”

While Beth’s circumstances may not have changed or may not change for a long time, through this imaginative prayer exercise, Beth felt the freedom of knowing she wasn’t alone in her struggles and that not everything was up to her. God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were providing and will continue to care for Beth in her needs. Melissa observed Beth’s body relax and sensed her relief.  

Beth left the prayer session with surprise and a fresh perspective on discovering a new prayer experience with God.  

Deep down, many of our troubles come from not knowing who we are and not living in this place of security. Her security increased when Beth began to live from the truth that she was intimately loved and doted on by God. As she felt more secure, her ability to share more openly with her husband became easier. Granted, he’s a great husband and a soft place for her to land!

An excerpt from Catechism of the Catholic Church Paragraph 27 describes man’s existence in relation to God:

The dignity of man rests, above all, on the fact that he is called to communion with God. This invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. If man exists, it is because God has created him through love, and love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his creator.

Sometimes, we think life is all up to us; we forget that we are surrounded and protected every step of the way. There isn't a moment when God the Father is not holding things together. There isn't a moment when Jesus, the Son, is not working in our lives or the Holy Spirit isn't nurturing and consoling us. 

In Sarah Kroger’s song, Belovedness, she sings,

“You're mine, I smiled when I made you.

I find you beautiful in every way.
My love for you is fierce and unending.
I'll come to find you, whatever it takes
My beloved." 

Whenever you find yourself burdened and thinking, “It’s all up to me,” ask God how He felt when He first thought of you.