Thursday, September 24, 2009

Where Am I?

I know it has been a while, since I have posted anything meaningful. I have excuses, but I will not share them here. Without sharing the external details of what has been going on here the past month, I have finally determined where I am internally and why I just do not know what to write. My heart and mind have been pondering very deep, eternal things lately, in bits and pieces anyway, and I just cannot decide if I want to or need to share them, and if so, with whom. Let me try to explain.

We had a family vacation planned for this past week for quite a while (since March), but due to certain circumstances, my husband was not able to take off much time to go. So, I invited a friend to join us for the time he would have to go back to work, a friend whom I have not seen in over a year and hold very dear to my heart. The plans were all set. I was talking through in my head the things I wanted to share with her about the past year and the past month, all of these deep thoughts, many questions I wanted to ask her, and ideas to bounce off of her. It was going to be quality time with a true spiritual companion (and her adorable children!).

As a family, we had a fabulous time, probably the best day and a half we have ever had as a family of four! What a precious gift to my husband and all of us (thanks, Mom & Dad, for the trip)! Then, my friend called to say her children were sick and could not come. The next morning, my children woke up sick with what sounds like the same cold virus. In the chaos that ensued, I had a wonderful time with my children, as we took short trips out to the pool and/or beach when they were up to it. Through it all, I simply prayed the Lord would speak to me, despite my inability to endure much quiet or set aside prayer time due to my frustration with the whole situation. I put no effort into talking to Him or listening to Him, though; it just was not in me - pathetic, I know. I left it all up to Him.

But, of course, He still spoke. I started realizing in tidbits when I was lost in thought around afternoon naps and mindless cable television at night that my desires to share my struggles and joys in conversation with my friend in person were too much about me. The Lord reminded me about the hidden monastery of my domestic church and that sometimes we have to suffer alone, like Our Lady. It is said that her most painful suffering occurred between Christ's Ascension and Mary's Assumption, the time she was left alone to ponder her own deep thoughts in her mother's heart. And, I realized maybe I did not want to share all that anyway.

You see, I thought my friend could be the voice of God for me. I thought her encouragement and joyful spirit would be golden, and I know that it would have been if she had come! What really happened is that in being physically alone for the rest of the trip, I discovered how lonely I am in my heart, and more importantly, that there is no remedy for that loneliness other than God even if I do confide the depths of my heart to someone. (pity-party stops here)

This is not, because I have no friends. I have been blessed with a group of wonderful friends here (although no one, yet, with whom to have those deep conversations), and I still (barely) keep in touch with a variety of precious friends from around the country to whom I could turn in this situation and would definitely be a balm to my soul. The reality of it is that the thoughts I am having do not need to be shared with someone to be validated or cured or whatever else I think I am seeking. Just as I have shared before, I need to embrace this cross as my own, let these thoughts settle in my soul, and become comfortable with them residing there, maybe forever. Does that make sense?

So, here I am, alone in my mother's heart, learning to live with the crosses and blessings He has chosen for me, and trying to find peace with it all. This is what we all do, isn't it? But it has to be like this. It is His will. He is forming me by fire, even as I can barely say more than a few words to Him or listen to a few seconds from Him. He knows what I can handle and is spoon-feeding me bit by bit the grace I need despite myself.

He is awesome.