Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy—“I got to have faith”–thank you, George Michael

Every so often I get really frustrated. When I don’t see anything happening in my efforts to get to Italy, I get bummed because I assume no progress is being made. No matter what the issue is, work, love life, personal life, if things are stalled, I get frustrated. And then I get down.

I need encouragement. I need to know that things are going well, that they are progressing and everything is going to be okay. But if I can’t see progress, how do I know it’s there?

I should have faith, I know. I should have faith in the God I follow. Yet I question. I wonder if the journey I’m on is something He condones. Is it the right decision? If I see no progress, does it mean I should retreat?

My faith gets tested. And it exacerbates my bipolar disorder because I get depressed when I feel I don’t have all the answers. I forget my meds and the spiral feeds on itself.

But in that despair, I find myself crying out to the God I follow. The One who I oftentimes forget I follow. I try to do it all myself. I try to get the answers myself. I lean on myself for confidence and deliverance, forgetting that, yet again, I cannot do it alone.

There’s an old saying that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”. That explains me completely. If this adage is true, then I could easily be in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Yet, when I emerge, finally, from my self-imposed human arrogance and realize yet again, that I can’t do it all by myself, I am delivered. I reach out to the One that I honor and follow and serve and deliverance arrives. It arrives packaged as I need it. Not in the manner I would like, but in the manner HE knows I need in order to keep on keeping on. And, believe this, it always arrives within twenty-four hours.

Why does it happen so quickly? I can only speak for myself. But I truly believe that it’s because I’m asking for what He wants and in His time. Not for what I would like, in my time and wrapped in the package I desire. He knows better than I do what I need and when I need it. Sometimes I think I know what I need, but truthfully, I don’t. I’m like a little kid who wants the shiniest toy in the store and who believes that shiny toy will make me happy, yet it’s never enough. Instead, the answer I receive is His and it’s what I need now.

Yet it’s never the final answer. How can it be? It is the answer that I need NOW. And that, I’ve found, is enough. Each day is another step towards the goal. And, while I believe the journey is the goal, each step gets me closer to what I’m pursuing. I’m not expecting all answers immediately. I need the answers when the relevant questions come so I can apply them.

And by asking for His answers in His time, I’m finding that they tend to be supporting this enormous decision to move to Europe. Yes, I know, I can interpret things to match my desires. Nevertheless, I know that I will never find out anything if I sit on my hands and do nothing. Yet, I’ll keep pursuing this. Doors are opening. Doesn’t that mean that I’m on the right track? It seems to me that if He didn’t want this new path in my life, roadblocks would be apparent and insurmountable.

I wish I could rely on Him more. I wish that I wasn’t so conceited and so independent, so hell-bent on believing that I don’t need His help or His guidance. I supposed that, until my dying day, I will struggle with this. But each time I reach out to Him, each time I humble myself, I’m renewed.

I’ve got to have faith.

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