Are you there, God? It’s me, Sosie
Updated: Sep 12
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.”
~ Proverbs 3:5-6
For years I’ve been trying to escape pain and suffering. After losing some of my closest family members much too young, I wanted to run away. I wanted to go to where I could find peace - to the countryside. I searched homes every day and sent the listings to my husband. Up until my youngest was a year old, I even convinced him to visit some of these listings.
God kept whispering in my ear that it’s not the right time, this isn’t the way to heal, but I shut Him out and forged ahead with what I thought was the best choice for me and my family. The stress of children with extra needs plus loss can be unbearable. I just wanted a reprieve. I started to create a distance between myself and my husband. I was angry that he didn’t keep his promise to get me out of here. I was angry that he didn’t seem to care about my struggles and my suffering. This wasn’t the case, of course, but it was how I perceived it through my pain.
I finally had to let it go. I said to God that I can’t be angry anymore because frankly, I’m wasting my relationship and adding to my and my family’s suffering. It wasn’t just my loss and pain that stood out but all of our loss and pain. I had placed myself in a corner full of grief when I should have extended my arms and allowed us to heal together.
Lean in- it’s a beautiful, messy ride. But it’s good.
It turns out that it was the best and the right decision. My husband and I have always been best friends. Having all these things happen in a short amount of time meant that we couldn’t spend much time with others outside of family and we had to lean heavily on one another. That never changed. He has always been the person I want to spend all my extra time with. But, because I had mentally distanced myself we couldn’t be whole. We couldn’t be the strong team we had always been. There was a palpable space placed strategically in order to make things be the way I thought they should be.
So I let go.
By doing so, I let the Holy Spirit guide me just as He kept trying to do. He was guiding me to healing, happiness, joy and togetherness. It doesn’t take away from my loss or the day-to-day struggles that we face but it offered me a gentleness towards myself, my husband, my children and my extended family. Through shedding of my tough exterior fraught with my cloak of anger, resentment, and feeling encased in cement, I was able to shatter back to my core. That core that listens to my heart AND my head. Running away wouldn’t take me away from the things I struggled with. But it helped me avoid the responsibility of dealing with it and accepting it as my truth.
The ego is such a big part of our sense of self that it’s hard to see how big it can get without stepping back and looking it right in the eye. It reminds me of Marshmallow from the movie Frozen (the monster snowman). He starts off small but ends up grotesquely large (and very angry) wanting to destroy everything in its path. There’s no time for self-reflection. There’s no way it can be wrong. With each incident it adds another snowflake and eventually turns into Marshmallow. We tend to think that everything is about us when usually it’s not.
Funny thing is that as soon as I did this the entire world flooded in. I felt a hundred pounds lighter. I was able to see myself as God does. I was able to see my marriage as God does. I was able to see my beautiful children as God does. I was able to see my siblings, parents, extended family as God does. There’s so much misunderstanding in life. We see things through our own lens and expect others to fill those expectations. When they don’t, we take it personally when it was never meant that way. I started to listen to my heart, listen to my head - listen to God.
I’m finally living life now. I’ve shed the things that held me back. I’ve shed experiences in life that I felt held me back. I’ve shed relationships that I didn’t realize were holding me back or causing me incredible anxiety. I’ve shed the desire to move (for now). I’ve started living my life with purpose and understanding the power in just listening. Waiting is good.
None of this means that I’m spinning joyfully around in a field of flowers (which seems was my expectation of what happiness is). It doesn’t take away difficulties. It doesn’t make relationships any less work. What it does is allows me to see my place in where something went wrong. Why something happened the way it did. I’m able to accept responsibility for my part. I’m able to see why a decision was made, why it shouldn’t be made or why it didn’t go the way I wanted. One of my favorite songs is by Garth Brooks called “Unanswered Prayers”. In the chorus Garth sings, “Sometimes I thank God, for unanswered prayers. Remember when you’re talking to the man upstairs... Just because he may not answer doesn’t mean he don’t care... Some of God’s greatest gifts, are unanswered prayers”. I recognize the power and wisdom in this song as well as the intention of it in my own life.
I always tell my children you can’t just listen to your heart or just listen to your head. You must listen to both. When you do, you’ll know it’s the Holy Spirit guiding you. Lean in- it’s a beautiful, messy ride. But it’s good.
About: Sosie Matosian resides in Virginia with her husband, three children and two dogs. She has her degree in Biblical Studies from University of Northwestern with additional emphasis and certificate in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. She is passionate about sharing her faith with others and brings a personal perspective to the struggles one might face in their journey walking to and with Christ.