I was driving to work one day and this little voice started to work it’s negativity on me.  I have a variety of names for it but one of them is my shadow.  This shadow of mine likes to wait until the right opportunity when I am tired, overwhelmed, or just trying to do things on my own.  This happened to be one of those days and there was just enough opening for the shadow to show its face.  As I continued to drive and to listen to this voice I began to feel the doubt increase.  But something happened that helped me to stop this voice.  I then said out loud, “Lord, I cannot handle this. I give you these thoughts to do with them as you see fit.”  Then ahead of me circling in the sky above my lane was this beautiful eagle.  This calm came over me and I was then able to ask the Lord to give me the thoughts, feelings, words and actions he wanted me to have that day.

Sometimes it takes me a long time to realize what is happening when this shadow comes before I ask the Lord to take these thoughts.  But sometimes it does not take that long.  When this happens I always thank the Lord for his help and guidance.  For me when I see an eagle or hawk I get peace and calming because whatever I was thinking about will be fine because God is with me and he has everything under control.

Do you find yourself in these situations?  What do you do?  Do you lift them up to the Lord?  As St. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 when he asked God to take away the thorn in his flesh and God told him, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” and Paul accepted and said, “…for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

We each have trying times all through our life.  What we do and how we handle these times can make us grow.  Here is the prayer from franciscanmedia.org and their daily email Pause+Pray! meditation for July 3, 2021.  I hope this prayer helps you the next time your shadow comes calling.



Loving God, I place my fear in your hands.  You know my strengths just as you know my weakness.  Let me trust that when I go through the darkest valley you are with me, surrounding me, empowering me, guiding and strengthening me so I can respond with courage to bring justice, reconciliation, and love to the world around me.  Amen.

 – Sr. Barb Knauf, SSJ-TOSF