A tough question to answer because I’m not quite sure. I have always been mathematical and analytically driven and writing was torture. As I began a new journey, seeking God, I began to write. My mind was infused with words and I was finding deep comfort. I was feeling as if my words placed on paper were communications of my heart and Jesus. My writing was becoming a refuge and comfort. I found the most comforting words and love abounded everything that I placed on paper. I sought love and received it and wrote about it. Diving into a piece of paper, the words in my mind and the conversations with Jesus were as real as I could have ever imagined. The love that surrounded me, the joy I felt amazed me in the struggles that I was going through. The only answer I can come up with is that I wrote because God gave me this gift to converse with Him, to feel safe and loved. Now I think He is asking me to share His love through this gift to others. I feel this is why I am writing. I pray it’s not about me but about what God wants to do through me as His vessel of love to at least one person. When I write I want it to tell a message of love, a message of God because it’s His story that is portrayed in each of us. He is the author of it all, the artist in each masterpiece.
This blog is a result of a blogging course… 😊
I always find that nature teaches us so much about life. It is awesome to just sit or walk along a stream of water or just watch a waterfall. We can learn a lot about our journey by watching a water stream flowing. Each moment we have in life is never the same, just as the water that is flowing before our eyes is never the same water. Life continues to move just as the stream continues to move. The directions may change as there may be twists and turns. There may even be spots where the water free falls. When obstacles get in the way of flow, the water flowing may change speed, yet it still finds a way to move around it and continue to flow. In our own life journey, when things don’t go our way or we are met with resistant, often we may become anxious or upset. Life continues to move. The beauty of the water stream we observe is that there is life all around it and within it. If the water becomes stagnant and has no way to move or be refreshed, it can become toxic, and not be life giving. Keep this thought for a second. Let’s parallel that to Jesus. In John 7:37, he says “If any man is thirsty, let him come to me! Let the man come and drink who believes in me!” and about another verse down it says “from his breast shall flow fountains of living water.” So as I reflect on the life giving stream of water flowing in nature, I draw parallels to my own self knowing that there is life giving water flowing within me. This life giving water is my faith in Jesus. Each time I come to him, he strengthens me and satisfies my thirst in a way that no one or nothing else can. If I fail to come to him, am not refreshed with his life giving water, and my life remains stagnant in the wasteland of adversity then my life will be barren and toxic. As my journey continues to flow, if I want it to bear fruit along the landscape of my life, it is imperative that I keep Jesus as the center and continue to come to him, refreshing my soul and pouring life into my heart. Have you come to Jesus lately and allowed him to refresh you? Have you just sat with him in the stillness of your heart, inviting him to renew you? If you are feeling lifeless, stuck in the barren wasteland, invite him to sit with you and fill you with this “life giving water” he offers to each of us.
Listen to the water pouring from the fountain. Can you hear the fast movement of “drip, drop”? Envision the water as your soul, mind and heart pouring out to Jesus. All your thoughts and the feelings within your heart are pouring just as the fountain. As the water free falls from its highest point, feel the surrender of your own will. Let Him guide you, give you strength and wisdom to bear your crosses in your life with love and humility. Feel the stirring inside you. You know He is near. He is present in the wind and in the flowing water from the fountain. He sings a song of peace to you as the birds chirp. He whispers ever so slightly that He will never abandon you. He will walk with you, sit beside you and guide you in each intimate time you spend with Him. All you need to do is open up your soul, mind and heart. He loves you and wants you to come to this place and sit with Him and pour out the deepest part of your soul, mind and heart.
Many of us are aware of the process of the caterpillar’s transformation to a butterfly. The unique thing about this process is that while in the cocoon the caterpillar disintegrates all it’s tissue except these imaginal discs that metamorphosis into the wings, legs, eyes, antenna, etc of the butterfly by division of cells. The caterpillar basically completely dies and is rebirthed into a beautiful butterfly. Along our journey in life, many of us experience this very same process of death and rebirth. The life giving cells that bring about our rebirth can only come from one source, God. Over the years, I have felt that I personally have gone through this process but it really wasn’t until recently that I realized the amazing beauty of this process, to be transformed in one sitting, to have joy completely fill your core. To tell my story is to tell of this transformation of a caterpillar that retreated into a cocoon and eventually died within but was reborn into beauty, filled with life. This life and this beauty is my faith and how God has revealed Himself to me through my Catholic faith and my community. To tell of my story, is to tell of His presence and His hand immersed within the story. My story could never be without the presence of Jesus, without His love and it could never be without the suffering. The landscape of my story is the fruit of His presence. The life within my story is the life giving water that sits at the core of my being, my faith and trust in a Father that is love and makes all things new, even the ashes. It is in my suffering that new life was birthed, the cocoon was formed, the caterpillar disintegrated and the beautiful butterfly immersed through my faith and a Father that will never give up on me, but will always make all things good.
Feeling overwhelmed? Feeling depressed, hurt, lonely, broken, unworthy? Feeling joyful, happy, excited? Do you think God meets you in all these regards? If your answer is yes, then you are on to something. If your answer is no, then let’s take a look. When we are at our most weakest, most vulnerable moments, are we more open to God? Is that when God says “Ah hah! I have a crack, I have space to enter, I am being invited.” At our most vulnerable moments, our walls begin to lower and we become more open to accepting God and so He meets us when we are ready, when we say “ok now I want you to come walk with me, carry me, I can’t do this alone.” This is when most of us will probably grow the most in our relationship with God. We shouldn’t feel guilty that it’s in these moments we cry out to Him the most, we pray the most, we seek His understanding, His comfort, His help. These are the times where He wants to come to us to give us His love and His comfort. These are the moments where He embraces our desire for Him, where He pours out all that He is for each of us. He also meets us in those joyful, exciting, happy moments. His grace and blessings are in all good things. His goodness and His love are showered upon us. Reflect on your moments of weakness, of pain, were you vulnerable to opening your heart to grow in a relationship with God? Did you accept His invitation? Reflect on your moments of joy and happiness, did you admire the hands of God and give thanksgiving.
As a mother, I am privileged to kissing “booboos”, cleaning them up and bandaging them. The greater privilege is comforting the wounded child, letting her know it’s all going to be okay. Just as a mother nurtures her child’s wound, so does God. God so gently “heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds”, Psalm 147:3. All He asks is that we trust Him to take control of the hurt and allow Him to provide the healing. He will comfort and heal the depths of the wound with His tender love, mercy, and compassion. He wants us to allow Him to guide us with His tenderness, to trust Him and not pick at the wound and reopen it. Just like a surface wound, if we pull off the band aid and pick at it, it never has the opportunity to heal. Our wounds may have lessons for us to learn as we look back upon them but God doesn’t want us to stay there picking at it. He wants us to see the disorders present and to fall into His grace and move into His loving embrace, where He will heal and bind up the wound. He cleanses our wounds with life giving water and His band aid is an everlasting covering of healing. Let Him nurture your wounds today as you open your heart to His healing love.
Take a journey with me into the woods. The morning air is brisk, yet calm and peaceful. As you embark into the woods, you aren’t sure where the journey will take you. You just know that God knows. This journey you are pursuing is not just an earthly journey through the woods, but a spiritual journey. Your mind is open to what God wants you to see, hear, smell, or touch. It is His tour. He is guiding you through the trails laid before you. As you enter the woods, everything looks brown with no room for color. Suddenly you hear a choir from Heaven, a delight to your ears, as the birds sing a beautiful tune to you and the creek beside you flows along enhancing the rhythm. As you walk along, the leaves beneath your feet crunch with each step and sprinkled throughout, you see signs of life, of hope, as you marvel at the tiny purple flowers along the path. There is life and beauty amongst the dullness and death. There are many knots along the way reminding you of the tangles and knots in your life. If only God could help you sort them and find the base of their entanglement. Further into the path, the creek is jammed and the flow of the water finds another route. The gentle peaceful flow begins to flow faster and more rapid when obstacles are in its way. Yet the creek continues to flow despite the changes. You finally reach a clearing, your destination to talk with God about all you have seen, to understand what He is telling you through all that you have seen, heard, smelt or touched. He looks at you and asks you, have you seen the beauty in the midst of the dullness, in the knots, and in the obstacles? You ponder His question and realize that all that you have seen are parallels to your life, the sorrow, lack of joyful moments, the entanglements and adversity. Then you realize that in the midst of this, you have also seen hope, beauty and peaceful surrender. At this very moment, you realize that the scenery before you was perfectly placed, just as the things in your life have been perfectly placed. You sit in the clearing for a moment and surrender your will, knowing that the fruit of what you have seen, heard, touched or smelt in the woods, despite the wilderness surrounding you, is a result of hope and life. At that moment, you feel peaceful, unafraid, and joyful because you are loved and you are not alone. Your journey bears fruit in the midst of all things, including adversity and sorrow. As you begin to journey out, you see a butterfly leading your way, a sign of your transformation from death to life.