My last resort...advice, please.


#1

Moderator’s Note: Due to the large amount of posts which gave advice in the Prayer Intentions thread, this thread was spun-off from that thread.

This thread is for responding with advice.
To offer prayers, please see this thread.

I have posted questions about various issues I’m dealing with on a couple different Catholic boards, and I’ve received a great deal of excellent advice, some not-so-great. But none of it is terribly helpful. Partly because I don’t give away much personal information, partly because I’m too cynical. I guess what I need now is prayer. It’s my last-ditch, Hail Mary (pun intended), end-of-the-road option. I myself can’t seem to pray because I feel like I’ve burned up the last bit of goodwill God may have had for me. I’m now so bound up with stress and despair I’m frozen.

Here’s a snapshot of my life:

Girlfriend: I think I love her, but I don’t trust my own head, or my heart. Part of me wants to marry her, part of me recoils at the idea for all kinds of reasons–not the least of which is the terror that such intimacy will cast a light on all my many flaws. Couple that with an intense and abiding jealousy over her continuing friendship with a musician who she once had a fling with (on a break).

Job: I have an “interesting” job as an editor with a relatively large paper, but the pay sucks and I’ve peaked there. My qualifications, experience, and education don’t leave me many options. I’m frozen at 30 and don’t know what my next step is.

Writing: I’ve known since I was fifteen I should write…something. But ideas are few and far between, I have no desire to be a reporter, and I’ve got a drawer full of the beginnings of “novels.” The only “goal” or “dream” I’ve had that’s lasted, or that has given me any hope to go on, feels like it’s slipping away. I’m starting to think I made a mistake, or that I have no talent whatsoever.

Other people’s success: I know you shouldn’t compare yourself to others on something like this, but I work in an environment full of ambitious, bright people. They all seem to know what to do, and how to do it. I stumble along through the dark, but everyone around me seems to be making great strides and successes.

Faith: One way or another, I’ll always be Catholic. God, though, is very far away from me. Most of that is my own fault, but that distance has always felt like the natural way of things. God is just…out there. That’s the way it is. I go through the motions, fall flat on my face again and again, pick myself up, and go at it again. But the routine is too familiar, and I can feel something like a breakdown on the horizon–maybe another ten years “off” or something.

So, that’s it. I’m a mess. I’m not asking for advice, (though I won’t tell you to take a hike if you offer it), but I AM asking for your prayers. If someone can just remember to add me to a list of intentions on a rosary, I’d greatly appreciate it. I’m not asking for much. Just a miracle. :o

Thanks,
MM


My last resort...a prayer request
#2

Hang in there, man. Don’t ever stop praying, and remember-God helps those who help themselves. God Bless.


#3

I’ll pray for you too. Try praying for inner peace first, then for God’s will. I’ve been through similar things, and that is the way I finally got help


#4

[quote=montanaman]I myself can’t seem to pray because I feel like I’ve burned up the last bit of goodwill God may have had for me. I’m now so bound up with stress and despair I’m frozen.

Faith: One way or another, I’ll always be Catholic. God, though, is very far away from me. Most of that is my own fault, but that distance has always felt like the natural way of things. God is just…out there. That’s the way it is. I go through the motions, fall flat on my face again and again, pick myself up, and go at it again. But the routine is too familiar, and I can feel something like a breakdown on the horizon–maybe another ten years “off” or something.

So, that’s it. I’m a mess. I’m not asking for advice, (though I won’t tell you to take a hike if you offer it), but I AM asking for your prayers. If someone can just remember to add me to a list of intentions on a rosary, I’d greatly appreciate it. I’m not asking for much. Just a miracle. :o

Thanks,
MM
[/quote]

You’re in our prayers. Welcome to being thirty :o . It sucks dude. But you know what… it does get better. And God isn’t far away. You might not feel His presence as despair plays it’s tricks on you but He is there. Figure out why you aren’t finishing one of those novels… fix that however it needs to be fixed, and finish one. Sounds easy, isn’t easy but it IS simple. Just do it… sometimes you have to actually have courage and pray like crazy for the strength to do it. But you’re in my prayers, and I’m sure plenty of other people’s prayers.


#5

Thanks, all. This place truly is a blessing.


#6

You are not alone! I don’t know a single soul who isn’t struggling in this world in one way or another. God calls us to be faithful, not successful. The world would have us believe otherwise. I have found that it helps to get out and help those in need. Such as to volunteer… anywhere. I go to our local nursing home and pray the rosary with the Catholics there. I learn so much from them that I feel they are helping me instead of me helping them. You could help at a boys & girls club by helping them to write stories. Kids are wonderful and have such great stories to tell. I too will pray for you, but I must admit, I will probably pray that you will write something that is Catholic in nature. (like Passion of the Christ)


#7

You are wise in deciding not to abandon your faith even though you feel “dry.” Rest assured we all go through these periods in our spiritual journies. Even though you don’t feel like praying, I encourage you to do so, even if it’s just a short “Jesus, have mercy on me” or “Jesus, help me.”


#8

[quote=rosarywarrior] I too will pray for you, but I must admit, I will probably pray that you will write something that is Catholic in nature. (like Passion of the Christ)
[/quote]

Here, here. I’ll pray that you both get closer to God and that you write. I truly believe that we Catholics have to do a much better job at engaging the culture and you may be called to do just that. Has it occured to you that maybe, just maybe, the Lord is allowing you to go through this difficult time so that you will be better at reaching others in similar situations, and yes, through the pen? Just a thought.


#9

You’re in my prayers. Regarding being 30 and feeling like you’re going nowhere career-wise: I am 31 and have had 5 different (very different) careers since college. None fulfilled me. I start law school in two months and I hope/think/pray that I have finally found the one thing that I will want to stick with. I have always been envious of those around me who knew exactly what they wanted to do. So I feel your pain and you are not alone in feeling that way!


#10

My brother in Christ, remember, no matter how bad you think you have it someone else always has worse than you, no matter what the situation is. That is my philosophy in life. Go to church and lay your problems at the feet of Jesus. He died so that we can live. Always place your trust in the Lord.

2 Corinthians:17

So whoever is in Christ is a new creation:

  • the old things have passed away;*

behold, new things have come*.***

Jeremiah 29:11-14

  • For I know well the plans I have in mind for you,*

  • says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe!*

  • plans to give you a future full of hope.*

When you call me, when you go to pray to me,

I will listen to you.

When you look for me, you will find me.

Yes, when you seek me with all your heart,

you will find me with you, says the LORD

and I will change your lot;……
**
*Matthew 7:7-8

Ask and it will be given to you;

seek and you will find;

knock and the door will be opened to you.

For everyone who asks, receives

and the one who seeks, finds

and to the one who knocks,

he door will be opened.


#11

Cajun-man,

That hits the spot. As I have a certain reputation to maintain in an office of misogynists and wolves, I won’t let the tears fall. :wink:

Seriously, thank you.

MM


#12

Aye - you know when you go through a period of darkness, it means God is near. It’s hard to clear all that chaos out of your head. I too, have unfinished novels, papers here and there, poems…Every year, I try, and every year I start out fairly good, only to burn out and stuff it all back in the drawer. Try praying to the Holy Spirit that guides you. Go to a Eucharistic Adoration and just listen. Sometimes you just need to gather up all the chaos, and give it to God. There have been times I have cried at the insanity of everything and basically shoved it upward and said, “O.K! Enough! I really can’t handle this anymore, you’re going to have to take it!” And let go. Let Him take all of your burdens and SERIOUSLY trust Him to take it. I promise you, if you do this, you’ll be guided. It’s almost scary how it happens, and you feel this peace descend upon you and suddenly you just KNOW. What to do with your life, how God wants to use your gift of writing, and just a direction in which to go. But, you really have to let it all go to Him.

I know, you didn’t really ask for advice, but we just can’t help ourselves, can we?

In my prayers, T.


#13

It’s so hard to be going through a “dry” spell. Most of us, including the great saints, have been through this…As the others have told you, it will eventually pass…I will certainly keep you in my prayers…Hang in there!


#14

MontanaMan

I can feel your pain in your post. I will pray for you. Please remember God will never turn away, will never reject you. He is waiting for you. It is you who have turned away Turn back to him! He **IS ** waiting for you. Perhaps if you can not pray right now, may be spend some time in adoration. You do not have to pray, just listen… You will be in my intention during Vespers tonight.


#15

“I myself can’t seem to pray because I feel like I’ve burned up the last bit of goodwill God may have had for me.”

God will never turn his back on you…even if you feel he should…if you feel that you can’t pray at this time at least listen for His voice…You will be in my prayers. Peace be with you.


#16

Montanaman,

I’ve added you to my prayer list. You sound so much like my daughter used to, but things got better for her, and I’m sure, if you stick with your prayers, they’ll get better for you, too.

[quote=Maggie]Welcome to being thirty :o . It sucks dude. But you know what… it does get better.
[/quote]

Especially after you hit 50. 30 was terrible, I never turned 40 (I was 39 for an entire decade), but 50 - Man that was a celebration.

John


#17

Montanaman,

You sound just like my dear husband (only he’s 40 :bigyikes: ). My husband is an exceptional writer, yet in a “dead end job”. He struggles with his faith, especially prayer. We’ve been married for 17 years and some days are more difficult than others. I keep telling him that its not too late to start writing, many people have 2nd even 3rd careers! :yup:

My prayers are with you. Remember God doesn’t always answer the way we want or expect HIm to. Keep trusting Him, He loves you and wants the best for you.

“Having been diciplined a little, they will receive great good, because God tested them and found them to be worthy of Himself” Wisdom 3:5


#18

MM,

Please forgive me if you think I’m out of line with some observations. I don’t usually offer advice on the internet to strangers, but as you can see, many out here share parts of your story.

First, I agree with the others here that it is when God seems far away that our spiritual disciplines come to play. Don’t rely on feelings…they will lie to you. Spend time in prayer, at Mass, in the rosary, or whatever you are able to do. I also find that listening to and singing praise music reminds me of God’s power and love, even when I do not feel it.

Second, and this is where you might think I’m out of line, try to stop thinking about yourself so much. Find some way to serve, and focus on others and on God. He has a way of working in our lives when we’re not looking!

Finally, don’t be in a hurry to get married, and absolutely do not marry this girlfriend if you cannot forgive her for the past. Marriage is hard enough; don’t go into it if you have extra baggage that has not been adequately addressed. I suggest looking at Christian marriage preparation materials even before you are engaged.

And remember, when it is hard for you to pray, others are praying for you.

Peace,

Ellen


My last resort...a prayer request
#19

I, too will keep you in my prayers. A poster above mentioned really short little prayers - try them. It’s amazing how well they work!

God bless you,
Sue


#20

montanaman,

First, I’d stop feeling sorry for myself.

Second, I’d stop using words like “issues”.

Third, if you can’t forgive your girlfriend then your not praying the Lords Prayer enough. You know, the part where it says “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

Fourth, Your frozen at 30? You’ve got to be kidding.

Fifth, I’m reminded of a story I heard about Bill Murray. When he’d write for Saturday Night Live and he’d hit a dry spell or couldn’t figure out how to finish a skit, he’d write something like this; “And then Gilda says something funny.” The point is, he’d write. It’s called discipline.

Sixth, why worry about other people and their success. There’s nothing you can do about other people. Envy is not good.

It’s time to step up to the plate my friend. They are going to be throwing high inside heat from now on. It is not going to get any easier. All you can do is take it like a man.

Bill


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