Life and other catastrophes · Parenthood · Relating to God · Spiritual growth and healing

Making peace with the questions

“Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”
My good friends Michael and Sheila Kimball from Longings End posted this powerful quote on their Facebook page last week. The words were penned by German poet Rainer Maria Rilk who lived from 1875 to 1926, and they spoke right to my heart.
On the day I read the quote I was consumed with frustration and worry over some issues with my son, and ‘what if’ scenarios had taken up residence in my head. But as I thought through what Rilk was saying, something inside of me relaxed. I love the part about living the questions now. Accepting them, rather than allowing them to tear us apart. Because, guaranteed, in every season of our lives we will have them. We will grapple with where our road is leading… what the future holds.
Image courtesy of: www.goodenoughmother.com
Image courtesy of: http://www.goodenoughmother.com
I want to be someone who truly ‘lives’ the season I’m in – who knows how to relax into it and let it be. I very much believe we must live intentionally, with strategy and purpose for the sake of keeping our lives healthy. But there is such peace to be had in accepting the season we’re in – in embracing its specific challenges. And for letting ‘good enough’ be good enough.
Rather than fearing uncertainty, we are wise to welcome it. Rather than battling doubts, we are sensible if we rest with them.
One of the most calming things for me is to remember my tomorrows are in the hands of the one who knows all about my yesterdays and todays.
When Jesus takes me home I’ll understand the rich tapestry of my life and his ultimate purposes for it. But for now I choose to make peace with the questions, knowing that my relationship with him is the ultimate answer in every stage and season…
““My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.””
(Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT)
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25 thoughts on “Making peace with the questions

  1. Great post Ali! I’ve been wrestling lately with how we tend to only blog or FB our best and neglect to share those things we wrestle with so am grateful for your authenticity and transparency!

    1. Thanks Rick! I agree – blogs and Facebook posts can often present a one-dimensional version of people’s lives. It’s better when people are real 🙂

  2. Breathing, we must exhale, and exhaling we can REST in His arms TRUSTING that He fits all the pieces of all our questions together in just the right way in His PERFECT TIME!

    God hears and honors a mother’s prayers {I know from experiences with my three sons, especially one of them who had a lot of serious issues during his senior year}

    BTW…A couple of months ago I sent you a personal email with some “mom encouragement” detailing some of the struggles and how God worked it all out. Not sure you ever received it. Hope so!

    PS THANKS for the mention and link to Longings End 🙂

    1. Amen to that Sheila!!!
      It’s always comforting to know when another mom has come through the challenges of parenting.
      I’m afraid I didn’t see the email Sheila – if there’s any chance of you re-sending it, the address is alisonleader@gmail.com
      Thank you so much for your encouragement 🙂

  3. Ali, I too, needed to hear this and embrace it. I get in more trouble when I try to understand what I just can’t right now. For whatever reasons. Thank you for helping me rest in the midst of it, knowing He is my ultimate answer no matter what. God bless you and your dear family!

    1. We all ask questions, don’t we, about the season we’re currently in. Praying that you and I would continue to rest with the ‘unanswerable’ and know God is with us every minute of every day,
      Blessings to you,
      Ali

  4. Been having trouble accepting the season I am in…trying to, but failing. It’s not that it’s a bad season, even. Just complicated. But this is a good reminder to cherish the times we have, regardless of the clarity of them. Thanks for this post.

    1. Hey Brian
      Complicated I get 🙂
      Praying for you as you cherish the moments, and the facets of the current season you’re in. Thanks for dropping by to read the post.
      Blessings,
      Ali

  5. I want to be someone who truly ‘lives’ the season I’m in – who knows how to relax into it and let it be. I very much believe we must live intentionally, with strategy and purpose for the sake of keeping our lives healthy. But there is such peace to be had in accepting the season we’re in – in embracing its specific challenges. And for letting ‘good enough’ be good enough. Rather than fearing uncertainty, we are wise to welcome it. Rather than battling doubts, we are sensible if we rest with them.

    How anti-anxiety is this quote by you! Big sigh of relief. Thanks!!

  6. I’m glad 🙂 Thanks for your encouragement.
    Praying that you’d ‘rest well’ in your current season and situation, at peace in the knowledge that it won’t last forever.
    Take care,
    Ali

  7. “But for now I choose to make peace with the questions, knowing that my relationship with him is the ultimate answer in every stage and season…”

    Good stuff, Ali. Where answers can’t be expressed in words God gives us Himself in Jesus.

    We so appreciate you at Longings End!

  8. It’s so easy to get caught up in the what if’s, I hadn’t thought of it that way, but by doing that we are missing what’s in the moment.

    I love this reminder: “One of the most calming things for me is to remember my tomorrows are in the hands of the one who knows all about my yesterdays and todays.” SO true! I hope you have settled with the issues you were having with your son.

    1. Thanks for the comments Janna – yes, I like to think that each season will bring ‘drama’ and questions along with it. The key is not to ‘catastrophise’ but to welcome the dilemmas knowing that God is with me and is working through them with me. Thanks, I do feel at peace that things will work out the way they’re meant to. It’s that balance between ‘resting with the questions’ and ‘doing’ what needs to be done to make things better 🙂

  9. Ali, thank you…. This post is what I have been praying for!!! I have been wrestling over a situation and spending too much time worrying and stressing over it but this post has put things in perspective!
    There was so much to take away from the post. I liked it when you said,
    We must be people who live the season we in – who knows how to relax into it and let it be…..
    Yes I have questions and yes I am battling some things but i need live in the now and trust that God is in contro!!! This was a powerful post.
    Thanks again.

    Rolain

    1. Hi Rolain
      I’m so glad God answered your prayer through this post. Yeah, I definitely know what it’s like to wrestle and struggle with a situation as opposed to ‘letting it be’. Praying that you would rest in our Father’s loving, ever-faithful embrace as you ponder the questions with Him. All will come clear at the right time, and the season you’re in right now will eventually be just a memory… Hang in there and stay strong 🙂

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