Has it been a rough summer for anyone else? Just me? Cool.

My grandmother passed away in July, projects and proposals at work have been painfully slow-moving, and navigating relationships has been difficult as well.

Lately, it seems like everyone wants something from me all the time. (I’m not a mother, but moms, can you relate?!)

In the midst of the chaos of everyday life, and ESPECIALLY in the summer when we can get out of normal routines, prayer often takes a backseat.

A few weeks ago I was laying in my bed crying to Jesus about how my life hasn’t turned out the way I wanted it to or thought it should. (I’m never not dramatic.)

I repeated a line from St. Teresa of Avila to Jesus… “if this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few.”

I heard a little voice tell me that I would be happier if I would walk away from Jesus. I could spend all my time and money doing the things I wanted, no commandments or obligations, no tithing or prayer, no need to put anyone first except for me, myself and I. I could just leave it all behind and be “my own person.”

I suppose somewhere along the way I started to believe the lie that my life should be easier because I am a Christian… or that I should get what I want because I “do things” for Jesus.

In scripture, Jesus never promises an easy life… but he does promise that he won’t leave us. In fact, he tells us that we WILL suffer for him, but he promises to shoulder the burden of suffering with us. He knows that life is hard because he lived it, down here on earth just like each of the rest of us, and he gave us free will so he will let us go through this life without him if we choose that. But would I really be happier if I walked away? Or would I, like the rich man, go away sad?

I started to think about a few “what ifs?” What if, instead of walking away from Jesus, I doubled down on my commitment to him? I certainly didn’t FEEL like I loved him in those moments, but what if I stayed? What if I recommitted once again, and found a way to love him even though I was angry, hurt, and sad?

G.K. Chesterton in an essay once wrote, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”

So I vowed again to try the Christian life. I set an alarm for my prayer time every single day and I promised to be more persistent in prayer. I said YES once more to picking up this cross and carrying it. As Robert Frost would say, “I chose the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

This blog was written by a guest writer and parishioner, Brittany Anderson. Brittany is a financial planner by day and evangelist by calling. She spends her free time Instagramming her many random hobbies and checking things off her 30 Before 30 list.