It’s so hard to hold on in the darkest of days. I need to remember to be like Mary Magdalene, waiting at the tomb when all seems lost. Like Our Lady in Luke 1:45, I must trust that what You have revealed for me is true. And You have revealed nothing but hope. But light. But joy. But peace. You don’t set up disaster for me, or anyone. You want to protect me. You want to love me. You want me to be happy. You want to heal me and You want me to be healed and whole. There is victory in You. All I have to do is say yes. And today, with a shaken and trepidatious breath, I. Say. Yes. Here I am, Lord. I am Yours. I am no one else’s but Yours. I come to do Your will. I come to beg Your forgiveness and let You love me. I come to accept Your healing in Your way that I have been fighting for so long. I come to say yes. You are here. You are here with me and here to stay. And this time, I’m not going to leave, either. Take me, Lord. Take all that I am. Take all my messes. Get rid of all the heinous lies. Clean up my fresh wounds, and tend to my long-lost scars that are taking forever to fade. Empty this dirty, muddy, awful water glass of mine that had been collecting dust, rocks, and sharp stones of hurts and pains from the sins of others, my failings, and the lies on my heart for far too long. It’s Yours, Lord. Take it. Today, I am okay with being emptied out and empty, because I have You. And drop by drop, You are going to fill me up with new life and the best water imaginable that makes me healthy, healed, and whole again–walking each step with You. I am safe with You, with this beautiful reality of safety, light, protection, and peace. With You, I won’t get hurt so deeply again, and I trust in that. You will make this messy, crooked spiral of a path I’ve been going on straight. Thank. You. All my love, joy, peace, gratitude, and life to you. I live, love , and serve for You.
With Eternal Love,
So…it’s been awhile. Graduation happened. Moving to New York happened. And somewhere amidst the sentimental and tough goodbyes, compassionate hellos, the jungle of concrete, minor existential crises, NQR train delays, and endless job hunting, the most painful, confusing, shattering, shocking, hellish storm of my life hit. One of those things that “blindsides you at 4pm on an idle Tuesday,” as the poet Mary Schmich said (or as Baz Luhrmann so sweetly proclaims in my earbuds whenever I need a pep talk). I felt like the rug of my whole life was pulled out from under me. Or better yet, it was like a guy who tries to be smooth and do the whole I’m-going-to-pull-the-tablecloth-off-the-table-leaving-the-dishes-still-perfectly-intact-trick* but fails miserably and all the dishes and glasses break and shatter to the ground. And I was/am the dishes and glasses: a broken mess. (*Note: I’ve always wanted to learn how to do this and have joked around with my brother at many a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal about trying it. If anyone knows how, do tell haha.)
Anyway, all similes and half-hearted attempts at humor aside, what I’m really getting at is SUFFERING. Seriously though, why do we have to suffer? Growth. Getting closer to God. Those are the go-to answers I used to spill at people. But weathering this insane storm has forced me to come to terms with this. I spent lots of angry time in prayer, asking God why. Thinking He did this to me somehow or that I was messed up, crazy, or that the sins that were inflicted on me by another were somehow my fault. Then one day in spiritual direction, this amazing priest laid all the cards on the table and dropped the mic. He said that God loves the free will He gave us when we use it as we are supposed to in choosing to love Him and serve others. God hates free will when we use it to hurt other people.
Then my spiritual director looked me dead in the eye and said, “You may not like looking on the bright side now (and I was thinking, “Yep, here we go, another chorus of ‘better to have found out now than later,’ or ‘good riddance!'” that never actually help but instead make my stomach turn), but have you ever thought that Jesus lets people use their free will to an extent, but at the same time He is all-powerful and knows how much His daughter can handle?” I sat there with tears in my eyes and in awe as the priest continued to tell me that God protected me from getting more hurt. That in this pain He was crying with me, hurting with me, hurting for me just like He did on the Cross. And all that time I had thought that God did this to me, and that He wanted me to go through this pain to learn some sort of lesson. But all along, God was hurting, too. On the nights when I can’t sleep and am crying at 4am, God is crying with me and whispering a lullaby of love into my ear to gently rock me back to sleep. That on the mornings when I wake up sick to my stomach and shaking with anxiety, God is holding me tightly and still. That He’s hugging me on the subway on my way to work, protecting me and saying, “You can do this! We’re going to have a great day!” God didn’t do this to me–He stepped in and rescued me at just the right time from the wounds inflicted upon me by another before I got hurt much, much worse. You see, suffering happens because we live in a disordered imperfect world that is not our home. And bad things happen as a result of the disorder. God hurts with us and wants us to draw close to one another and to Him amidst the chaos. Because He’s there. He’s not only wiping away our tears but crying with us. He’s on the Cross for us every time we get hurt. Dear friends, God doesn’t want us to be hurt. God wants us to be happy. He wants us to be healed. So today, let us empty the murky water glasses of our lives and let Him love us.
Blessings and Peace,