14 August 2005

A place to learn how to find peace

I found my way to the blog, Holy Experience, and it is now a place of spiritual refreshment for me. The woman who writes it is remarkable in so many ways. Her spirituality is expressed in ways most familiar to me from reading the saints. She is living out her vocation, and doing it with grace. Not just her own gracious ways, but by accepting, depending on, and working with God's grace, at every turn. Her spirituality reminds me of my patron saint's, whose Carmelite sisters wondered if there would be anything to even say about her after her untimely death. St. Thérèse of Lisieux' life within the convent walls was that quiet and unnoticeable. What they did not realize is what was subsequently revealed to the world: that the quiet, ordinary sister's spine was made of stainless steel, and, unbenownst to them, she had met her challenges with profound courage. And, sometimes, that courage meant giving up and letting go, letting God live through her in spite of her strong will.

One weekend I sat and read the archives. There were tears in my eyes the whole time. Later, I realized why. This young mother, many years my junior, is mothering me, too, by sharing her reflections and prayers.

The day of reading and mopping my eyes did more than just comfort me. I felt healed. For a few years now I've been grieving the choices I made which led to losses which were calamitous for my life as a woman. There is so much I just don't know... or I've had just enough exposure to it to know how much I missed, which is a special kind of pain.

By reading Ann's blog, I know now that I'd never have survived family life. My issues of trust would have doomed any relationship I attempted (and, in fact, did). God protected me. When other women my age were marrying and raising families, I needed to be where I was.

My lack of trust must be healed before I can move ahead to know anything like a normal life. So, as I put my life back together again, I go back to God, and hang my head, and confess my sin of pride - because thinking you can take care of yourself better than God can is pride, pure and simple. My entire adult life was organized around avoiding any more emotional pain of a certain type. I succeeded. What I could not fathom was how much - how much - I missed in my blind search for security.

Ann's reflections help me to see that, but in a loving, mindful way which, for some reason, doesn't wound me. I am more at peace about what happened in my life than I've been in years. She has helped me find peace... from the heart of her busy, growing family.

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