Tuesday, March 12, 2013

On Healing...

I've mentioned before that I'm a member of an awesome online Catholic Moms group.  This group is probably single-handedly responsible for both Mike and my "coming home" to the Catholic Church.   These women have supported and challenged me in ways that I cannot even begin to list here.   I love them all dearly.

It's no different during the time of the year that we Catholics call Lent - approximately the 40 days before Easter.  One of the moms presents us with a "daily Lenten resolution" for every day during this liturgical season.   I try my best to accomplish it, but this year I have been having a harder time than usual.  Maybe it's the exhaustion and the fact that my schedule just will not seem to slow down....or maybe it's a bit of laziness on my part.   I've read the challenge every day, but some days...well....it just doesn't happen.

However, today's challenge really spoke to me.  You see, this was what I woke up to this morning:

The man went and told the Jews that Jesus was the one who had made him well.
Share some way in which the Lord has healed you. Share with your family, with on-line friends, co-workers, but share some way in which He has healed you.

Guys, I can do this one.  Maybe not totally coherently, but I'll give it my best shot.

You see.....I'm a totally different woman from the one I was even three short years ago.  

Three years ago, I would have described my life as:

not fulfiling

I was stuck in a rut, convinced that I was supposed to be making a difference somewhere - - anywhere -- but not at home with my children, which was where I was being "forced" to be due to our finances and Mike's career choice (he was a medical resident at the time, working at least 80 hours a week, leaving me no time to be "fulfilled" professionally).

We were practicing Catholics, having come home by this point, but I was still convinced that I was not where I was "supposed" to be.  I was restless, certain that I was missing my chance to "make a difference."   I researched different training/education programs and degrees, spending hours trying to find a way to work them into our budget and daily life.  I went on  interview after interview of different jobs that I just *knew* would fulfill me.

And none of it came to pass.  I was offered some of those jobs (all but one, if I remember correctly), but we just couldn't make them work financially or logistically with Mike's schedule.  I was bitter.  I was frustrated.  I was restless.

I was angry with God.  Very angry.  I could not understand why He wasn't letting me fulfill my role in life.   Why was He keeping me from doing what I was being called to do?

I begged Him.  I pleaded.   I bargained with Him.  I tried to bribe Him (give me this job and I'll make sure to tithe more!).  Hey, it works with kids....I apparently had no shame in trying to get it to "work" with Him.

I finally broke down one night.  It was another night of being on my own at home.....finally having gotten all three kids in bed after being the sole provider once again.  (I was pretty worn out by the end of the fourth year of residency....it didn't exactly make me a nice person).    I spent so much of that night sobbing, praying, journaling....asking Him what I was doing so wrong that He wouldn't give me this one thing.

And then it hit me:   I wasn't being denied my "calling."   He was still there, patiently calling me to a life that He had planned for me.....a life in which I could glorify Him and do His work, just like I had envisioned.   The call was still there......I just was ignoring it.   I wasn't listening to what He was actually saying.....just listening for what I *wanted* Him to be saying, and that wasn't coming.

At that moment, I felt like that picture of St. Paul being knocked off of his horse.  I finally was being blinded by Him and hearing His call......and my whole world dropped out from underneath me.

I realized, in a split second of clarity, that I was already physically answering His call.  I was a mother.  I was a wife.

I just wasn't there emotionally. 

He was calling me to glorify Him, to serve Him, as a mother and wife.  As a member of a family. And I hadn't been listening at all.

At that moment, I asked Him for forgiveness.  I asked Him for healing (and followed it up with a fantastic confession that I still remember every second of, to this day).   I asked Him to help me see Him through the everyday tasks and happenings in my life as a mom and wife.

I'd love to say that, at that moment, I was a changed woman.  But I wasn't.  I'm pretty darn stubborn (just ask Mike).  It took many moments of crying out to Him to be healed.  I still have moments when I have to remind myself to turn to Him, not myself.   More than I'd like to admit.   It's a hard struggle when the "outside world" is telling you that all that matters is your own physical happiness, at the cost of everyone (and everything) around you.   It's hard to remember what love really is when all you are being trained to do by your culture is love yourself.   

But He did heal me.   Through groups like that awesome moms' group.  Through blogs like this one.  And this one.  And this one.   And this one.  He healed me through the love and encouragement and laughter and friendship that I found through these brilliant, awe-inspiring, funny, smart Catholic women........and through them, I found the confidence to try to witness to my own faith through this blog, with "real life" friends, and in our family.  

I'd always wanted to be a mom - it's one of the few things that I can say I always wanted to be "when I grew up."  The career would change (teacher, veterinarian, nurse, etc)....but motherhood always stayed the same.  

It took falling off of my horse and asking Him to pick me back up, but I eventually realized that my calling in life wasn't one of those careers.....but it was the ultimate career, the one I was created for:  motherhood.

I am grateful for His healing.  I'm not sure where I'd be today if it weren't for that.   I'm pretty sure I wouldn't still be married - my frustration and bitterness had caused that much of a struggle between Mike and I.   I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be as happy and content as I am at this moment, sitting in my favourite room of the house (our playroom).     I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't be laughing as much as I do today - enjoying every moment, even the unplanned, messy ones.  

I thank God every day for healing my bitterness, my restlessness.   I thank God for allowing me to see His beauty in my calling as a wife and mother.   I thank God for the greatest gift of all:  the gift of joy.  

Joy abounds in my daily life as wife and mother - and I thank Him for healing my blindness to it.

""Men can heal the lustful. Angels can heal the malicious. Only God can heal the proud."  St. John Climacus

"An integral part of any celebration is joy. A celebration can be organized, joy cannot. It can only be offered as a gift; and in fact it has been given to us in abundance. For this we are grateful. Just as Paul describes joy as a fruit of the Holy Spirit, so John in his Gospel closely links the Spirit to joy. The Holy Spirit gives us joy. And he is joy. Joy is the gift that sums up all the other gifts. It is the expression of happiness, of being in harmony with ourselves, which can only come from being in harmony with God and with his creation.
It is part of the nature of joy to spread, to be shared. The Church’s missionary spirit is nothing other than the drive to share the joy that has been given to us. May that joy always be alive in us, and thus shine forth upon our troubled world."  Pope Benedict XVI

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Heidi!!! I can relate on a few levels :) such a great post to read!