Kneeled in front of the tabernacle, with cheeks wet from tears, I had choked on the words that I read, that because in that very moment, I did not believe them. "My soul, give thanks to the Lord, all my being, bless his holy name. My soul, give thanks to the Lord and never forget all his blessings." (Psalm 102: 1-2)
These do not come easy when you feel like you have been thrown into the middle of an enormous mess, paralyzed by fear of the what the next months will hold.
And God is so funny like this you know, because it was just hours earlier that I sat with a couple of Saints, masked as friends, who shared their own mess and doubts, and it was me that preached and encouraged and cheered them on."God works all things for good", "we knew we would have trials", "we have to hope in HIM", and so on and so forth.
It is not all good.
But it is all grace.
And I believe that with my entire heart.
Until I don't.
Until that final thing snaps, and the storm tosses me about, and I feel like my family is being shaken in a snow globe, and I am waiting until we smash to the floor and shatter once and for all.
I know you are a part in this, Satan.
Do not think you have fooled me for one single second.
You can go now.
You are not welcome in my home, or near my children, or in my marriage.
We serve the Lord.
I did not get up early to pray this morning.
I could hear the rain on the roof and my littlest one was snuggled close to me.
I know how my steps wake up the puppy and I did not have it in me to be standing in the rain with a dog.
And so I prayed the rosary while in bed.
It was all that I had in me.
But I gave to God as best as I could.
I assured Satan that he did not win, that my praying in bed was not a victory for him.
And then I finally sat with my coffee and prayers, and God showed me this:
"God is glorified in our realization of our dependence on him for everything." (Magnificat)
I fail to remember that when all feels shattered, and when I doubt. I fail to remember that no matter how bad, I still believe.
I fail to remember that it is not only when I am joyfully speaking or preaching and encouraging that I am glorifying God.
I fail to see that me on my knees, with cheeks wet from tears, shouting at God, "Where are you?" is not a display of my lack of trust, but a testament of how much I do depend on Him in all circumstances.
But it is so hard.
This is when gratitude is essential to survival. This is when prayer has to be constant if we hope to make it to that next breath. This is when wisdom and patience must be begged for through the holy name of Jesus Christ. Because I do not like to wait. Because I fear what is yet to come. Because sitting still and allowing God to fight for me is one of the most awful things I need to do.
"What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later." (John 13:7)
Who likes to hear that?
Certainly not a child.
And certainly not me.
But God also says this. "Do you realize what I have done for you?" (John 13:12) And while my immediate response is "Yes, of course, I know! You gave up your only son so I can have eternal life!"...do I really know??? Can I truly understand??? How can I, a privileged white girl who in comparison to the rest of the world truly wants for nothing...how can I possibly comprehend what he has done for me??"
And I can hear my own voice shouting the same message; to my children, to my community, to my husband. "Do you realize what I have done for you?"
And this stings, in a really good way, because it brings me right back to my knees in a completely shattered dependent mess, and it is here that I come to realize that I glorify God best.
It is here that I let go of me, and turn to HIM.
It is here that I open my tight fists, and hand to Him everything and everyone that matters to me most.
It is here.
Father in heaven, please grant us the wisdom to see your works in our daily lives, to see our suffering as an invitation to grow deeper in love with you, and to give genuine thanks in the "here", as we joyfully await for the promise of "later".