Be at Peace

Be At Peace

One day, as I was yearning to receive Our Lord, I said to Him: “Teach me what Thou wouldst have me to say to thee.” Nothing but these words: ‘My God, my only Good and my All, Thou art wholly mine, and I am wholly Thine.’ They will preserve thee from all kinds of temptations, will supply for all the acts thou wouldst make, and serve as preparation for all thy actions.’   ~  The Lord, to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

          I’ve been mulling doing something new for some time now. It’s a major decision and fills me with more dread than hope or excitement because it’s been so long since I’ve done something like this. I’m afraid it will end up a mistake and that I will have to deal with the fallout.

          Plus, my husband wasn’t on board with it. He felt it would be too stressful. He didn’t see why I needed to. Only now learning to leave busy streets to walk in meadows, would this decision take me right back to the point I must never return to?

          I never do anything without my husband’s support, more so for something as huge as this. Nonetheless, while I understood and shared his misgivings, there was no concealing the hurt that he wasn’t giving me his support. I would have welcomed him by my side, examining our options together. If it wasn’t right, then, I knew I would shut the door and get on with life. In dismissing my asking, once again, I felt as if I always had to be the one to make the greater sacrifice. I don’t think I’ve ever held him back from anything. Instead, if there ever was something he wanted, even if I had reservations, I always gave him the freedom to go for it. Yet, now, when I needed it most, I found myself alone by the gate. 

          In the past, having come up against such a wall, I’d have retreated. However, this time, something just wouldn’t let go. I found my thoughts returning to this decision over and over again.

The time for work is over

          Still, in trying to discern from afar, I didn’t get anywhere. So, last Sunday, I pushed open my gate and ventured out a little. I told my husband that I had registered for a virtual session and went in with fingers crossed. There were a number of ‘rooms’  before me and suddenly I felt so small staring up at at them for they seemed like towers to me. Everything about the experience seemed so foreign, so different from all I’ve known. I would have immediately left had it not been for a very persistent friend rooting for me from the sidelines. For his sake, I stayed on, if only to be able to go back to him and at least say that I tried. Still, there was no denying how lost I felt in this new world, huge and shot through with noise. Maybe my husband was right after all, why did I need this?

          Wandering around, I saw a door. Against my friend’s advice to try a different door, I turned this knob and stole in. Almost immediately, I saw something that caught me. Something I hadn’t expected, something that indicated that this might work after all. But I had questions and sought answers for them. The few unseen people I interacted with were polite but offered little by way of the specific encouragement I needed.

          At that point, my home was calling out to me. I wasn’t even physically visiting this particular place, yet, I was beginning to feel overwhelmed. So, just a few hours in, I felt I had enough and retreated home. Perhaps this was a sign that this path wasn’t for me.

          Late that night, I looked down and in my palm was a tiny flower from that room. It had followed me home. As if to say, Don’t give up just yet. 

          That night, I struggled to fall asleep. The fear of doing something new beat hard at me. That I would be doing something for myself after all these years worsened it. And going ahead without my husband’s backing was the hardest blow of all.

          Needing comfort, I called upon St. Anne, the grandmother of Jesus, and asked her to hold me. As I lay my heart against her, I told her I didn’t want anything to come before my husband or children, no matter how enticing it was. And then, I asked St. Anne to help me retreat from this venture. To give me the words for my friend who was hoping I’d do it. To retreat – but with no regret nor rancour.

          I fell asleep and awakened pretty early the next day, unusually fresh and alert. I put in some work but also spent a lot of happy time with my children. All through the day, sun-warmed westerly winds blew against the old windchimes hanging just outside our living room. The cheery lilt of the chimes was a gentle caress, just like the laughter and happy chatter of my kids, loving arms about my heart. Sinking deep into that joy, I gave myself up to it. 

          Soon, no trace of apprehension stained its mark upon me. I was filled with a deep quiet.

And with that quiet, came an unexpected nudge.

          My husband was home from work and I found myself telling him of what I had discovered during that virtual session I had attended on Sunday. It wasn’t with the intention of getting him to change his mind; he was my best friend and I never kept things from him for long.

          This time, I found a very different person before me, attentive and wanting to understand where I was coming from and where I wanted to go with this. Stunned at his change, it helped me to hold nothing back from him, not even my own fears and doubts. At the end of it, he even accepted it and encouraged me to explore my options.

At that, my heart swelled even more with that strange inner quiet.

          Armed with a new, silent confidence, I went back and did some searching, then, made some enquiries. And all through, my heart was at peace. It was basically the same journey of Sunday, and yet it couldn’t have been more different. I took the first polite rejection calmly and went on to knock on another door.

Past midnight on the 1st of June, I got some answers.

Something had been set in motion.

          My discernment is far from over. I still have a ways to go. What lies where the road dips out of sight? Will I go on and take the plunge, will I turn back? Will this journey of discernment be all there is to this experience?

          Give me a sign, I ask Jesus. In reply, He sets before me all the stages of my journey thus far, one by one. My lack of confidence. My nervousness at venturing into new lands. The shame of how little I actually know about anything.

Am I a fool to leave newfound grazing ground to head for the mountains once more?

          Give me another sign, I ask Jesus again. But I sense the time for asking is passing.

          Give me one last sign.

         Jesus’ reply is one I do not anticipate.

Be at peace, He says.

 

10 comments

  1. I can so identify with this. My husband is supportive, but I am reaching out for something new, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. He seems disinterested. His response is usually, “if you want to do it, do it”. Which is fine, I guess. But I badly need encouragement and support. We’ve been married 43 years. He has a LOT of health issues. I a his only care giver. I am sad and tired and looking for divine inspiration that is not yet here. It will come. I know this. But here, at this moment in time I am feeling somewhat defeated. Reading your post helped and for that I thank you. And I wish you clarity in your decision-making. God bless.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Perhaps your husband’s health issues consume so much of him that he has little left over to cheer you on; all he can manage is give you the freedom to pursue your interests. The fact that you seek more from him is touching as it is telling. He obviously means so much to you. In your place, I’d feel dejected and hollowed out myself.
      I will pray for help for you, Carol. There are a number of doors I can knock on and I will. May comfort and insight come.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Caitlyn. And yes, you are absolutely right. He is dealing with an awful lot. There was a time I could count on his full support, and some days I still can. I miss it when he is unable to give what I need from him. I know he wants to, he just doesn’t have it in him when he is being pressed from all sides. I know this. I guess I just needed to vent a bit. Sorry.

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  2. I hope you can continue to move forward in faith, and I’m so glad that your husband is a part of these decisions! It is scary to go in new directions, but you never go alone. Remember that. And I’ll continue to pray for you, and for Carol too. I hope you see how your honesty is a gift to the rest of us, it allow us to be honest about our struggles too. And when we share them with each other, we lighten the load for each of us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ann, thanks so much for that comfort. It’s true, I really don’t feel alone now. I know Jesus is with me – and so are my beloved blogging sisters. I wish the same comfort for Carol, too. We all walk and live better with the love of our family and dear-heart friends.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Change is always a difficult thing, but we never do it alone. God opens many doors for us even if the door seems only slightly open. I believe that He wants us to trust Him…to know that He is always waiting for us as we step forward. We have our fears; He holds our hearts always. Perhaps, when we focus on His love, and being there for us so completely, we can walk forward, fears and all, and just keep going. It is sort of like faraway music that you strain to hear when you step out into the unknown. You think maybe, it is not music meant for you to hear. Then, as you keep moving towards it, the sounds become clearer. Maybe, the music is meant for you after all…and maybe it is music wherein your feet will begin to dance to. But, first, you must take that step…

    Liked by 1 person

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