Monday, June 26, 2017

My own road to Emmaus

It's been awhile since I wrote on the Pillars on a regular basis. Believe me, I have missed my enthusiasm and fire. During the past 10 years, (wow, it's been that long since I decided to share my thoughts and faith!) I have tried to inspire, teach, and just plain share my Catholic faith through the lens of my family life. Over these years our children have grown, my role as mommy has transitioned, and I have suffered depression like I had never experienced before.  Our youngest, who also suffers with depression, went through a rebellious time and at this time she has settled down, but has not returned to the Church and does not share some of the moral values we taught her.  Our other two children have since married and just recently my husband and I became grandparents for the first time.

During this time my faith has been severely tested, my prayer life: challenged, my very person; defeated, and my parenting; questioned. At one point, as I stood in the middle of our street watching my then 18 year old daughter drive away in a taxi to meet people she shouldn't know and do things she was taught better about, I turned her over to Jesus. My prayer life was spent, exhausted, and strained at best. In my desperation to survive the next unknown several hours I needed backup and who would be the only one that could do ANYTHING to protect her.....Jesus. I walked back up to the front porch to my husband with somewhat of a sense of relief, or at least the load on my shoulders lessened. My faith was hanging on barely by a heavily shredded string.

Throughout my life voices have driven me, guided me, and taught me lessons for the next phase of my life. Recently that voice was none other than my own husband's. He is not a Catholic, but has supported me while raising our children all these 24+ years.  For the past 16 years, he has accompanied us to Mass every Sunday, even ushered when needed and loves being part of the hand-bell choir....crazy! One Sunday morning while we were in the throes of our child's rogue period, I sat at the side of the bathtub in our bathroom debating whether is was even worth going to Mass.  I was exhausted from worrying, waiting, and praying for this child to apparently deaf ears, I thought.

My husband walked in to see that I was getting ready for Mass and finding me in a slump by the tub. He said, "You need to be getting ready for Church." I said, "I'm not going." He said, "You HAVE to go!" "No, I don't, why? No one is listening to me, No one cares about my prayers....so, why bother?" His eyes grew huge at that point and he said, "You HAVE to go to Mass, you just have to!" I said, "NO, I don't and I'm not." He then promptly walked away saying, "Well, I'm going to Mass!" "What??? Why are YOU going to Mass, you're not even Catholic!" I said. "Well, SOMEBODY has to go to Mass, and I'm going." he said as he walked into his closet to get dressed.

I walked away grumbling, but ended up going to Mass with him. Sitting next to him during Mass, I saw something that I had never seen in him before, his fidelity and conviction towards MY faith. Later, he told me that I had scared him and that I'd lost my faith. At that moment, I knew what I had to do......I had to grow my faith back and give God my trust and faithfulness again.

My husband kept telling me that prayer doesn't work the way I wanted and needed it to, I fought him on this. He would tell me, You can't just pray and expect things to happen the way you want them to." "But why not! These prayers are for the good of our daughter and our family...it's not like I am praying for a million dollars or something!!" He would just keep telling me that God doesn't work that way.  Since that time, about a year and a half, I have purposefully worked on my faith, I consecrated myself to Our Holy Mother, prayed the rosary nearly every day, and the Divine Mercy chaplet at 3 when I remember to. I attend Mass regularly as usual along side my husband and I am a bit smarter for it all.

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