There was a time in my life when my mind was open to anything being possible. I believed in praying and being fulfilled. I believed that doing the right thing as much as possible made me a good person in the eyes of God and if I did as I was told, adhered to what I was taught in the catechism classes, went to confession and tried never to repeat my sins I would have a good life. I was a child. I became a teenager. I was young and I had a good life. I wanted it all. I got older and my eyes were seeing real life and I went from wanting it all to wanting just enough. I wanted to be like they say in medical reports “unremarkable”. I did not want any drama. I wanted the most regular of lives. I wanted things to stay as calm and uneventful as they were. I just wanted to fly under the radar.
I got what I wanted for a while. I flew under the radar but I always had a strange feeling that the other shoe was going to drop and when it did, it shattered my “unremarkable” world. I no longer believed in miracles – only hard work and luck. I didn’t believe that it was worthwhile to ask so that I should receive. I barley knew where to seek in order to find my answers and I had given up knocking because so many doors were closed to me. For 16 years since the shoe plummeted to earth, I have been waiting to hear God. Over 16 years, in spite of my tumultuous relationship with Him, He has answered me occasionally, in spite of whom I’d become but I never heard Him. I never got the answers to the questions I had asked time and again. Why was I going through what I had been going through? What was I supposed to do? What did this journey mean? What was I waiting on? What was going to happen? I heard my voice directing my instincts and I thought that may have been Him speaking to me, but I never believed that it was. I had lost anything in me that pointed me toward blind faith. I tended towards logic and the scientific. I based my conclusions on facts. The hardest thing for a person raised with religion who faces daily adversity is to balance faith with fact. Faith, for a person like me at times became fantasy but when I watched the faithful find success, I knew they were doing something I used to know how to do, once upon a time…only in my grief, in my anger, in my frustration, I forgot how use faith and my faith melted into fear and it crippled me.
One night, after 16 years, I had one of those moments that is freakishly unique to me. I believe we all have bizarre moments that only we alone feel and can describe. One moment I get from time to time is a feeling that lasts about 3 seconds where I get a calm sensation that all is well. All is as it should be and it makes me smile. It is a brief, wonderful, peaceful feeling. My unique moment that night was new. I ditched my rosary and my usual prayers to try and talk to God. I wanted to try and hear him – again.
I sat alone in my room and quietly uttered words like I was explaining what I was searching for to a friend. Then I sat with my legs crossed, turned my palms upward and closed my eyes and waited. I didn’t wait very long before I shut off my own voice and heard a voice that was very familiar to me, then another and another before the original familiar voice spoke again.
Without getting into details I will say that by allowing myself to be truly still for what I believe is the first time in 16 years, I got my answers and I accepted them because I understood them and it felt amazing. It was freeing. The tears were brief but they were happy ones. They were tears of relief and of gratitude. I suppose it – this feeling – these answers were worth the wait. I have been left with a sense of true acceptance of the tasks of my journey. I have been left with a stronger appreciation of my blessings. I find myself lighter, secure in the knowledge that my life, albeit challenging in so many ways, is supposed to be this way and for the first time in 16 years, I’m truly okay with it. Everything I have, everything I have achieved has been earned. Everything I don’t understand, I am certain I soon will. And the things I am waiting on, will come to me when the time is right. That night, I accepted patience. That night, I learned that I have to be kinder to myself and cut myself some slack often. I must continue to work hard and try hard but to also be okay with just taking a break when I want to and not dwell on outcomes or incessantly search for answers. What I felt that night made me realize that I am being taken care of. I realize that I am not unnoticed. I understand that the path I walk is my path and no one will ever walk it better than I do. That night, I finally found the joy of living the life I live, with all it’s twists and turns because I am the only one who can live it this well. I certainly was never meant to fly under the radar. I was not meant to be unremarkable.
I have always believed there is something greater than me. I don’t know the bible very well. I have struggled with my relationship with God. But in all my ups and downs with my faith, I never let it go. I am a spiritual person. I use my faith like a life line tethering me to a boat as I jump in and swim in choppy waters, riding the waves as best as I can. I have sunk many times but it has always been there within reach and I have grasped it tightly many times and pulled myself back to where I needed to be. Gone are the days when I scheduled going to mass every single weekend into my life. On some days in this life of mine, I have been called to be the person who removes all extra activity from our day and be the one who keeps the weekend uneventful, with just the four of us being at home together, doing whatever it is we feel like doing. Some weekends I am called to be my husband’s wife and my children’s mother, doing things together as a family before a busy week begins. Some weekends we go to mass and every time we do, it is special. I think when we do go, we see things through different eyes and listen to and interpret words in a new way and we appreciate being there sharing that hour together.
I had a beautiful connection that night and I feel changed. I don’t feel worn down thinking about the things I have to do or the way I have to do them. I am satisfied that in the instances where I know I have given my best with no positive results, I have done nothing wrong and I have to accept that while I cannot control the actions of others, I have to believe that my efforts will bear fruit in time. I feel okay about things being a little more difficult for me and my family. I feel okay with having to take 10 steps to an end result when other people may only have to take 2. I feel okay with the struggles I have waded through and I don’t expect that much will change or become stupidly easy from this point on, but who else better to deal with shit and turn it into magic and joy than me. I have solid partners in my three men. They give me immeasurable strength so I can get us all where we need to be. My life is certainly not charmed but it is substantial because I am “remarkable” just the way I was meant to be. It may have taken 16 years but I can finally say I can hear Him and I know now everything is just as it should be, things are going to be just fine and for this realization that took so long to materialize, I am remarkably grateful.