Walk On Water

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          Skipping happily to my day at home this quiet November morn, I heard from within me the strains of a new song, Wherever You Lead by Kristene DiMarco. Leaning in, I tried to make out the words, seeking what God had willed for me. But the words, the lyrics, slipped out of my seeking reach.

          I was not in the least troubled. This morning, stopping by my altar, I had told Jesus I wished to offer up my days as a prayer of thanksgiving and also as a prayer for the Holy Souls, for this is November, when Catholics pray in a deeper way for those who have departed. I have three days off work. Linking up to the weekend, I have five glorious days and I am determined to live them right, in joy and thanksgiving, and may anything of worth from my days be gifted to my precious friends, the Holy Souls of Purgatory. How great their love for me has been and still is, this tender generosity of spirit of these saints-in-waiting. How many times they have warned me of danger, saved me from the rising creek. How many times, when the roads have been so dark, they have sung God’s leading to me, and with their voices in my ear, I have made my way from pain to joy.

          Everything of my November for them, I vowed.

          And then I busied myself with happy things. A small plot in my garden had been dug up and was now waiting for some new occupants. The original pot of dearly treasured Egyptian Starflowers which I had bought during one happy visit to the garden centre earlier in the year needed a new home. An attempt at a transplant some months before had initially disappointed me; I felt the new plant-babies didn’t take to their new dwellings and that I would soon lose them. Two other new plants I was trying out then, the Blue China and the Everlastings, had failed. Against the anguished backdrop of all that was going on in our lives, I had felt the sting of those garden failures deeply.

          But I refused to give up. I kept on watering and feeding the starflowers, coaxing them to fight to live on. In some ways, I think I saw our fates as intertwined; if they died, I did too. If they lived, so would I. For long weeks, it seemed a lost cause. Then, in a sudden turn of tides, the Egyptian Starflowers rallied back. Somehow, hope had reached their roots. With each passing week, they began to grow stronger and soon lushly flourished with grace, health and utter beauty. Every day, I visited them. The flowers would happily cluster together and gaze up at me, as if willing me to believe in miracles. That anything was possible.

          Today, it was time to build yet another home, a bigger home, for the starblooms. Then, I had some reading and writing to get done for the course I had enrolled in. Joy rose in delicious curls within me.

          Soon, into the quiet of that peace, God’s word gently slipped in. It was clear and precise.

Walk on water

          Everything stilled within me. Walk on water. Fix your eyes on Jesus. Do what seems impossible.

          Courage has never been an arrow in my quiver. I am easily scared and I am afraid of so many things. If I am ever emboldened, it is only by virtue of love; only love for someone can propel me forwards and out into the storm and into the darkness.

Walk on water

          What impossibility is God calling me to? Still battered and bleeding from the violence and abuse only dark hearts know how to inflict, all I wanted now was to curl up away from the eyes of the world. I wanted us, my family and I, to become unseen and unknown, to slip past human knowing invisibly, for to be seen was to ask to be hurt and harmed. Let down by family, by friends and even by Church authorities, the illumination of October has been shocking and brutal. It seems as if those who claim to love do not even know what it truly means and entails.

          Drained and exhausted, all I wanted was for us to be left alone. Yes, to remain in the cave of God’s holy mountain but beyond that, freed from even His call. Instead, last week, He sent His Word,

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Prepare

         I saw the word appear 4 times. I was alert. 4 was the sign of the times. First of Covid-19 and the pandemic; and now, the vaccines and the vaccine passports. What do I prepare for? How do I prepare? I had asked Him back in return. By His heart to wait, I then sent my angel, charging him to not return till God gives the word.

          My angel returned presently, bearing the reply,

Forgive

          So, in obedience, from my mind, I said the words, I forgive. Not from my heart, for so wounded was it that I felt no real forgiveness could be summoned from it. I forgive, I said mechanically, over and over, that old week of October.

          And then, a strange vine was laid upon my heart. I release you from my debt. It was an odd turn of phrase, unfamiliar, nothing I had ever prayed before. Nevertheless, I bound it to my own prayer.

I forgive you. From my debt, I release you.

          Name after name, person after person, I called to mind. I forgive you. From my debt, I release you.

          Nothing changed in my heart and I wondered what good was such a prayer prayed from a heart hardened by hurt and sorrow. But something within me remained undefeated. I forgive you. From my debt, I release you. Slowly, veiled by mists, my heart turned. I forgive you. From my debt, I release you. Slowly, softly at first, the prayer took gentle root in my heart. Then, it began to come forth with a new vigour.

          Just like my starflowers. And then, each time I prayed the prayer, it yielded with nary a trace of reluctance.

          Now, today, 4 days since joy began to unfurl anew in my heart comes the new call,

Walk on water

          Do the impossible.

15 comments

  1. Oh Caitlynne, your journey and mine are so similar. I know nothing of what you have gone through, as you mentionnabuse and being hurt so deeply and your sorrow. You mention fear too. You mention being let down by family and friends and even church. I too have known all those things. I also know the forgiveness thing. I spent the whole of Advent one yer on my knees forgiving everyone who had ever hurt me including those who were sttill doing it. I share all of that with you. I felt so much for you when I was reading this. But, like you, something of nature lifted me and inspired me. For me it was the ospreys, and one in particular called Lady. It is amazing how God uses nature to heal and inspire us. I feel for you Caitlynne. I love the Walk on water bit, as I too got those words when I had my cancer diagnosis and when I was in so much fear. And Jesus caught me as I started to just walk.

    I pray for you Caitlynne. As I am writing I have a beautiful song on called “Christ for me.” And the “Bleeding Lamb of Calvary,” and of His sacrifice for us. Only Heesets us free.
    Li truly hope you have some wonderful days in your garden Caitlynne with nature and God. Hugs to you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This was so beautiful, Lorraine. Thank you so much for reaching out. I know something about your journey and all your struggles, and you walked this Calvary long before I did. What you have endured and still endure, is beyond words. Today, as I reflected on walking on water and what it would entail, I realised that I wouldn’t be alone. I have souls like you, beautiful, tender people with so much love in their hearts for all those who struggle; I have the saints and the Holy Souls. When I walk on water, I will walk together with and supported by so many.
      And together, we will reach Jesus.

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  2. When my dad passed away in my early thirties, I was heartbroken. We were so very close. I felt in my heart there was a room and it was only for him. In time, I came to understand that although he was not with me here, his love was always there. I came to understand that I did not have an ’empty room’ in my heart. Love filled that space. Throughout our lives, God teaches us so much about what love is. Because of Him, we can go forward even when we feel that we cannot. HIs love fills up all the broken cracks and spaces we do not know how to fill. This is the miracle of His Fatherly love…we struggle in many different ways, but God is always at work, mending, caring, fixing.

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    1. There is certainly something to be said for growing the tree of understanding in time. What was uncertain and impossible before becomes more possible with the growing of the soul. God took this long before He now asks that I be ready to walk on water because I have needed this grace of time. Maybe it’s also because only now do I realise that when I do begin that walk, I will not be alone❤

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      1. Yes! You are right about the passage of time…we learn as we go. We sometimes feel so very alone because we are deeply hurt at the time, but God is always with us through it all. The ‘growing pains’ are never easy, but with each step, we move forward. Later, when we look back, we see that we came a very long way…I think we underestimate how important those little steps are…Praying for you…each and every day.

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  3. I love this post for too many reasons to list. I always think of Peter walking on the water to Jesus and then wavering and sinking. But Jesus always saves – even when we have so little faith!! Enjoy your mini vacation! I will be adding my prayers for you and your family. We have just finished the month of the Rosary and will be praying, as is the whole Church, for the Holy Souls.

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    1. Thank you for praying for us, Val. Will need it for whatever lies ahead. I’m not much of a water-walker (even firm ground trips me up!). But the same call goes out to every one of us and it’s now my time, I guess.

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  4. Your post has hit home with me. I have been struggling with forgiveness for a family member that I have not communicated with in over 9 years. I am not even sure what caused the rift in the first place. This has been a heaviness in my heart for so long. Now with the holidays coming, I feel such pain and loss more than any other time of year. I pray on this all the time and the phrase that comes to me consistently is “let it go and move on”. With God’s help, I am trying to do just that.

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    1. Forgiveness can often be a mystery. I was raised to understand that forgiveness always meant going to the offended person and begging to be allowed back into his/her good graces and that until that happened, the hurt wasn’t erased and I wasn’t freed. Naturally, such a training evoked bitterness, especially if the circumstances of the hurt were murky or if the offended decided to make things tough for us.
      Thankfully, I have long since moved on from that life of bondage and that teaching. I have learned since then then that while forgiveness always begins with us, it is always God who works the miracle of healing. It is not something we can or should force or even direct. If you’re hearing the Spirit tell you to let go and move on, then that is the path of forgiveness God wishes you to take. You have been freed; now He wants you to trust Him that He will take care of things.

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    1. It so does, Ann. I have broken down and fallen many, many times but your prayers, support and wisdom have always helped me rise yet again, clear-sighted and in hope. I might not be all that crazy about the Internet and the cyber-way of things, but it has brought you into my life and how I treasure these precious relationships. God bless you, Ann.

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