Some of you may remember Colleen’s post a couple months ago. She’s the sister of one of our Sisters who broke her leg severely. She is now on the mend and can walk with a walker. Here she shares the tough time she went through after Christmas and the beautiful work God is doing in her life:
Along with my outward healing the real renovation is happening on the inside. A peace has come over me that has never resided in me before… it is profoundly stripping away the exterior noise. When I gave my life to the Lord in a new way 3 years ago I jumped into everything I could to “soak up” the Lord – I sought Him in programs, retreats, charismatic renewal events, the crazier the better – and all of those things were good, I think they served a very necessary purpose at the time… I was leaving an entertainment rich lifestyle but entering into something rich and busy and the transformation wasn’t horrible – it was livable – God filled the gap of missing friendships with new friendships in Christ, our social calendar was just as packed and God was always a topic at social gatherings. I thought “this is it Lord, this is what conversion is all about! it isn’t so bad, you have filled my plate – and it is good.”
I began going to daily Mass, weekly confession and thought “oh, oh, okay God, THIS is what you meant by conversion, the crowds are smaller a lot older more quieter… but this is what you are putting on my plate – and it is good”.
When my fall first happened I was filled with God’s grace, seeing a blessing in every day. I knew that people’s prayers were sustaining me, I felt full of hope, I had many visitors, things were a bit quieter than daily Mass as I relied on others to drop by – but God often brought people at my doorstep and my days were filled with lovely visits and tea and prayer. I had finished my first course at Sacred Heart Seminary, I felt like “wow this isn’t so bad – even in physical difficulty God filled my plate – and it is good”
After Christmas the change was different, I had to go out of the house for doctors appointments and weekly Mass bringing a fear that wasn’t there before. Day’s were much lonelier as life resumed, kids went back to school and less apt to help with my day to day needs, I no longer had personal support workers in, My husband was taken away for several days at a time with work presenting new challenges and fears about being alone, I began a new course in Sacred Scripture – which was totally of God, but much more challenging and I didn’t see His reasoning in that right away… my plate felt empty, abandon. Weekly confession (in my home, Father would drop by) wasn’t possible anymore as Father’s schedule had changed, the people who were bringing me communion during the week stopped for valid reasons too. I was confused, I thought “Lord you know I need to receive you in the Sacraments, why are you not providing this for me?” I felt like the Lord had somehow dropped the ball, did He not see that I needed Him more than ever??? For weeks I was agitated and I couldn’t focus on prayer or school or anything. Many church related social things were happening and I thought “Lord I am supposed to be doing all these things, learning about You, growing in faith – why am I shut in? why am I being removed from all of these GOOD things??” No answer. No answer. No answer.
I was looking for the fire and the earthquake, the action so to speak. Feeling empty and useless, I picked up scripture… and I heard a small voice. The next day I picked up scripture, and I felt the Lord speaking to me. I had read scripture and certainly felt the Lord before – but this was different – this was very very different. Each day I poured over scripture and something inside of me changed. I would go to mass on Sunday and cry through the readings and then the liturgy of the Eucharist came alive like it never had before.
The other day a friend came to visit and confided in me about things that were happening on a social level, which I would normally jump into and try to problem solve and I felt the Lord tell me it was no longer my place – the Lord was clear, I clearly heard His voice and I knew my life as I had known it would be changed again. Who I thought I was, was fading away… my old habits, even one’s I thought were good – were not inline with what God’s plan for me is. I have no idea what His plan is, yet I am being told clearly to abandon the ideas I had for my life. Open you schedule, clear your calendar, listen to My voice. I remember my mum emptying her purse twice a year, and then transfer everything from her “winter purse” to her “summer purse”…. the Lord is telling me to empty my purse and there is no indication of picking up anything from the old and putting it in the new – like scripture talks about the wine skin…
At the beginning of lent I received a scripture that I know is God’s living word for me right now ““Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.” Hosea 2:14 And God is, and in this the pace for my life has changed. Whatever happens around me, is going to happen around me, but God is fastening me to His Word – He is setting up an eternal desert for me to return to – not a desert of tumble weeds and desolation – this desert is a quiet place to hear His voice, where an oasis of living water stands and when the world claims to have the answers, or life is difficult on the outside, or busy in a good way with the Lords’s work….I will be drawn back. It is our place, where He allures me and speaks to my heart.