As we journey in these last few days to the creche and the birth of our Savior, I pause and ponder the ways of our Heavenly Father. To love us – me – so much as to send a vulnerable little meek and mild child, born to a lowly couple in the quiet of the night, to grow up and take on the sins of humanity – well – it’s just a lot to ponder. The wood of the creche – the wood of the cross. The sins we lay down could be wrapped as gifts for this little King… He whispers to me … give me them… I want to let go but I’m holding them tightly, so afraid they will hurt him. They will; they do. But that is why He came. To go to the creche with empty hands or hands over my eyes or to not go at all would be a great loss. This King awaits me; he looks for those gifts every year as I tend to pick them back up through the year. Will this be the year I finally stop taking back this gift of who I think I am because it’s not perfect enough? That I haven’t sorrowed over it or felt guilty enough? No. The Lord God, the mighty King, born of a woman in a lowly stable, laid in a manger with hay in the dark and cold of a night, wants me to bring Him my gifts of sorrow, shame, abuse, neglect, abandonment, injustice, hurt, pain and fear – all my brokenness. He has new gifts to give me but my hands are full of the obstacles to His love. I know I must put them down – surrender them to His will and leave them there this Christmas.
I need to hear these words I’m speaking as much as you my followers. We must stop taking back, going into the past, reliving the pain and brokenness of what we could not control or was done by us or another who either knew better or didn’t. It cannot be any other way. Receive with me this Christmas. I ask you to let it all down – all the sin, brokenness and sorrow as gifts to Him who came to take them up and destroy them by his dying and rising. Receive the light of Christ. Walk in His light – truth – grace and He will give you all you need.
It’s so hard to be humble sometimes. I just want to be good and right ordered and help people yet it feels like all I’m doing is telling them what they need to do or not communicating enough with them. Yet I realize I am filled with concupiscence. I must review my own words spewed out for all to read. Where did my neediness come from? Why do I fall to depths I thought I conquered? I have realized, very strongly now, it is because Satan would like me to think I can still control so much. Yet everything is gift. My friends, family, coworkers, parish, community – the strangers at the bank and the gas store. All of us are gift and all we have and do is only from the one who gives the next second of breath to us all. Can I live in my thinking that at any moment, God could stop it all? That nothing I do is so important – my works and my faith are one but they are nothing without noting they come from God the most high Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier? It came to pass that God allowed me to be moved into a beautiful work for Him in Memphis with the Mary and Elizabeth Apostolate, and, that He would then allow Covid to make me look at my every step …. to count them out …. to put me in a state of insecurity in how long of a life God had me to live on this earth. God sure works in crooked lines.
I am better. My health is improving. My sovereign God has granted me a great healing of body and soul. And after much discernment and prayer, I believe my heavenly Father is asking me to step back with Him into a more “Mary vs Martha” role. I’ll be doing this from a new location and in doing so, I will have more time to heal, do Spiritual Direction, read and write some very important memoirs.
I will miss my missionary lady friends in Memphis greatly – these loving women who have become very dear sisters in Christ and I will become their intercessor, with great honor to do so. Memphis will always have a strong place of hope and healing in my heart.
If you are looking for a Spiritual Director, please consider looking up and supporting the MaryandElizabeth apostolate.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.