Gods Presence

In a recent blog post, ” A 12 year old Atheist,” I wrote about my journey and what brought me to Atheism at a young age.

Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. 

In contemplation recently – a realization, an uncovering was made to me by God of all of the times that I had questioned His Presence.

Questioning God is not something that has happened in the past few years, but there were times when I thought my faith was so rocksolid, so definitively sound, I thought nothing could ever rock my world so much that I would say after the incident, “Where were You?” You know, in those times, it really did bother me a lot – to know that I was questioning again, His Reality, like I did when I was a child.

Isaiah 30:15 In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.

We have all had those critical moments in life where we are either on the edge, at a crossroad, or going into a place of desolation – wondering, where was He in that moment and if He loved me, why would He allow something to happen that would forever change the reality of life?

Isaiah 43:1 “Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.”

As we age, along comes wisdom, understanding and knowing Him in Truth. And so coming from a different place, a healthier spiritual place, I was thinking about those incidences in my life …

* Where was God, when I cried myself to sleep, listening to my parents fight at night?

God was in the wind, outside of my window and He was in the trees, that gentle sound of the wind, just hitting the leaves to start a beautiful harmony that would comfort me – amidst the screaming. There was not one time that I did not end up falling asleep listening to the sound of the wind in the trees.

* Where was God, when I was living in a car and sleeping in shelters with my mother? Did He not care about me and my mom?

God was in the warmth of the comfortable bed that I had that evening. He was in the smiles of the volunteers at the shelters that made me feel like I was a human being. I saw God in the woman that hugged my mother and told her it would be okay.

* Where was God when I was being physically abused by my mother, leaving bruises on only the hidden parts that people could not see on my body?

God was there that day in school, when He told me to go see my school nurse, because the next time I may not make it out alive.

* Where was God when I did what it is that He asked me to do in school that day and I was then sitting in the office?

God was there when I was asked if I wanted to go live with my dad, I felt that brave surge, which I now know is the Holy Spirit, guiding me to say that I did not want to go with either one of my parents – that I chose a foster home instead. 

* Where was God when I would go to the foster home and I felt so alone and so unsure and was asking myself, “What did I just do?”

God was there, in the woman that He chose for me, would ultimately bring me to Him and to the Blessed Mother Mary. Jesus brought me to someone who would forever change my life.

* Where was God, the night that an adult man held a knife to my neck as a teenager and took my innocence away?

God was there, He was there on the way that the light was reflecting on the wall. The way that the trees played off of the light, it brought me to a different place for that moment, a place where I felt the Presence of God without knowing it was Him in that moment. God was there in the courtroom when the judge had compassionate eyes and made me feel safe to testify.

If we all stop and really assess some of the most defining moments in our life, we will see that God was there in each one of those moments.

Why doesn’t He stop things from happening? Because God has given all of us a free will.

What Jesus will do, is if each one of us is willing to take our crosses and to unite them with His Cross, with His Suffering, He will turn our tragedies around to help one of our fellow brothers and or sisters that have gone through something like what we have. This is the ultimate goal in life, is to help another fellow soul get through some hard time by showing that you are a survivor and you came out on the other side even better than when you went in.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Gods Ordained In Marriage

Each morning I would walk down to Saint Anthonys Church by myself where I lived at the age of 16 and would attend the 8 o’clock morning Mass.

It was and still is something that I enjoy to do, going into the Church when nobody is there. I would often talk to God before Mass would begin. Kneeling in the front pew, some of those conversations would be about my future vocation.

I wanted to live my life as a Bride Of Christ, a cloistered Nun. Two years before, I had met with my Parish Priest and told him that I wanted to live my life as a Nun and he told me to come back when I was 18 because that Gods Plans were not yet revealed to me. I remember feeling a crushing pain in my chest not thinking I was good enough.  If that would not happen, I wanted to serve in the Missions.

I wanted in some way to be able to serve God.

As a child, I was different. I knew I was different because a lot of the things that my friends liked, were things that I was never interested in. I was drawn more into nature, into solitude as a child. I remember when the Springtime would arrive and the ant hills would form. I was fascinated with ants as a child. I was fascinated at how little they were and the kind of workforce that they were.  There was so much new adventure everyday to be had outside. Nature was my best friend and that’s where I would naturally gravitate towards.

I was not antisocial, as I had a lot of acquaintances and I had a few good friends. I was outgoing, but when I had the chance to be by myself, I would choose to be alone.

I remember one time, I was around eight and one of my ant friends looked tired and hurt and so I made him a little cardboard box that I found downstairs in my basement and I put a soda cap of water in there with some leaves, some grass, just a little something to make sure that the ant would be really comfortable. I took care of that ant and released it. Whether I caused more harm than good to that little ant, I will never know, but taking care of that little life, was fulfilling.

When my friends and I became teenagers they would talk about getting married and having children and I always remember feeling the awkward one out because I didn’t feel those things. I never once even dreamt about a wedding dress or a cute home. I was determined to change the world at that age, in my own way, and that all started by me taking care of a baby ant. While most girls would take care of their baby dolls I was taking care of ants.

I was never planning on even having children because I wanted to serve only God; I never saw marriage as a vocation. When you are young, you see the world in a very different way. I did not witness a healthy marriage growing up between my own two parents. 

With no apparent answer coming in sight from God, I continued on with my daily life of walking back-and-forth to the two jobs that I had. One of those was retail and the other was working at a hotel. I was very self-sufficient even as a teenager and I always financially took care of myself, I never asked money from my parents, friends or family. Being seventeen and having no car, I would walk to do my laundry and food shopping.

During those walks, some of them being many miles, I had a lot of alone time with God. I was not in the age of electronics and cell phones were much too expensive for many to own.

The best part of those walks would have to be walking past the ocean. Living on Cape Cod there was always something beautiful to see.

 Jeremiah 29:11 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Two weeks later, God would have it that I would meet my future husband. 

Our first date was to Martha’s Vineyard. It was a wonderful time and we ended the date with having Ice cream. When he went to bring me home, we had forgotten that we had accidentally locked the keys to the car and it was so funny. We had to have the gentleman who was keeping an eye on the gates help us to get our car keys out of the car. It was a memorable and funny first date.

God saw that the relationship was good. We would go on to have two children and at the age of 32, I was no longer able to have children due to stage four Endometriosis. I already had two operations prior due to the Endometriosis.

I was told by a Boston GYN specialist that my case of endometriosis was the most severe that he had seen clinically since he had been an obstetrician. He was two years away from retirement when he took on my case.  The fact that my husband and I were able to even conceive children was a blessing and we both know that and are so grateful to God. Because many women in my situation are not able to have children and many of those women are in my own family, due to them having endometriosis.

Mark 10:9:
 “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Being so young, Joey and I did not know much about life. And I think the wonderful thing about that, is growing up together and learning about life together, being the same age and being able to experience the hard times, the good times, the births of our children, it has all been a journey that we have been on with God. Our journey is very unique and different from any other marriage.

My husband and I are both hard workers and we have always provided for our family.

Psalm 119:1-8

 You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him. That’s right – you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set. You, God, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it. Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set; Then I’d never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel. I thank you for speaking straight from your heart; I learn the pattern of your righteous ways. I’m going to do what you tell me to do; don’t ever walk off and leave me.

A crisis would hit our marriage when we were in our early 30s (to be written in a future blog) I look back now and I realized that if it was not for this crisis, and the way that God had His Hand over our marriage, we still would’ve been going down the same exact path today and we most certainly probably would’ve been divorced.

It was a journey that we both would walk, fall, stumble and we still stumble – almost 30 years later etc. to a healthier future, being guided by the hands of God.

My husband and I told each other that one day, we would share our story about our marriage as we know that people need to hear about young couples who are still together in-spite of major crisis.

If our tragedies can be turned into triumphs and can help one marriage stay together – when perhaps it was going to end in divorce – then everything we have ever been through in our marriage was worth all of the pain and suffering.

… more to come

Holding On

Being different is hard, especially in the world we live in today. Being different when you are still not sure of your own reality, is a little bit harder.

“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” -St. Jerome

Saint Jerome said it perfectly, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” For some who were not raised in a traditional Roman Catholic household, it is understandable why family and friends scratch their head when they see a family member who is completely opposite from them – the one who is traditionally seen as the black sheep of the family.

Being different, but being different in a way that should be a good thing, is becoming rear.

 “But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Are you different from your family? Did you ever feel like there was something wrong with you because you didn’t fit in to what their perception of you should be?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, know that there are many black sheep’s in your grazing meadow. You are not alone, even though you may feel that you are at times. It will be during these times that you will find God, and if you already know God, you will have a deeper understanding of God. Not every step back, every grievance, every tear that you have had means that you have a bad hand in life.

God will use these setbacks to fulfill His Vision for your life.

Satan Never Attacks the Same Way Twice

The past 24 hours has reminded me of walking in the desert with the Israelites. In my life, Satan never attacks me the same way twice. The closer I get to God, Satans attack’s are different than they were years ago. My walk with God began when I was 15. I thought I knew Satans attacks and when to be careful to not fall into his trap.

Like how God meets us where we are, Satan knows where God is meeting us and stands at the fork in the road. Gods Grace enlightened me this morning in the midst of silence about the attack from Satan. He told me He allowed it and Satan wanted me to fall, that Satan wants me badly and to be vigilant.

If you are under attack, you may not even know, if you are feeling at odds with yourself, ask God to reveal what is going on.

Your prayers helped me tremendously. Intercessory prayer is one of the main must haves in life, in more than one way.

January 24, 2016

I awoke this morning and laid in bed. I haven’t been in a good place for a few days and my Faith has been tested. I asked God what more can I do. I immediately saw Simon helping Jesus carry His Cross. Jesus kept dropping the cross He was carrying, the cross He was to be crucified on. Simon stepped out of from the crowd and helped Jesus. Simon took part of the suffering of Jesus.

I felt a sudden peace come over my whole body. I felt God tell me to partake in her suffering. To help her in the only way that I can. I will be there for her just as Simon was there for Jesus. I cannot pray this cross away. This is something that she must go through. God showed me her healthy, in Heaven and assured me that when her time on earth is over that she will be walking the Emerald streets in Heaven. (Revelation 21:1)

Today, from now on, I promise that I will have a happy heart, I will remember the promise that God put into my heart this morning. I will keep that vision of my Mother healthy in body and mind. She was born into tragedy and now she’s dying a tragic death. Her life has never been easy, from the moment that she was born. One day, I will share her life story and it will have a happy ending ❤️ I love you so much Mom ❤️ We will carry this cross together. I promise you. ❤️

Redemptive Suffering

As iron is fashioned by fire and on the anvil, so in the fire of suffering and under the weight of trials, our souls receive that form which our Lord desires them to have.

–St. Madeline Sophie Barat

“What do you mean that you are going to offer up your sufferings for the souls in Purgatory and the people that are here on earth? ”

The above statement is a question that I get asked. My answer to the question always is, “I do not believe in letting any kind of suffering go in vain. “

So, how can your suffering help another person on our shared earth? It starts with you wanting to let your pain, hurt, insults and whatever else is going on at this time in your life – for the better of another.

Do you believe, that there is a payoff from holding onto your hurts?

If God gives you an abundant harvest of trials, it is a sign of great holiness which He desires you to attain. Do you want to become a great saint? Ask God to send you many sufferings. The flame of Divine Love never rises higher than when fed with the wood of the Cross, which the infinite charity of the Savior used to finish His sacrifice. All the pleasures of the world are nothing compared with the sweetness found in the gall and vinegar offered to Jesus Christ. That is, hard and painful things endured for Jesus Christ and with Jesus Christ.

–Saint Ignatius of Loyola

The most unselfish thing that any one of us can do, is to let go of our hurts. We hold onto them, because in reality, we get something from holding on to the hurt, isn’t that true? What is it that we get from holding onto it? Why would we not just let it go when we know how we feel every time we think about it? Maybe perhaps it is because it is a protective barrier that we put around ourselves, an excuse to not speak to the person, or to confront the situation that has caused us grief. Change is always painful and it comes down to this, you can either decide to stay in the current state that you are- mentally, emotionally and especially spiritually, or you can take that dive and give up all of your hurts and angers; give them to God. Offer it as a sacrifice for the person that made you feel this way. If anyone needs help, it is the person that hurt you.

Prayer for finding Peace 🕊

Dear God, I don’t want to feel this way anymore. I feel like so much of my life has been spent on going back in my mind, about the hurts that have been done to me. I do want to move on and it is not that I am forgetting that they hurt me, it is that I am choosing happiness for myself, instead. Please help me during this time in my life and in all other times. I choose to forgive for myself and for You. Amen.

Offer up your hurts for the better of another person. Never let your suffering go in vain, any kind of suffering, even the suffering that you see as you watch the evening news, God will take those sufferings that you have and will use them for the good of another person. You must leave them at the Foot of the Cross. There is no other way.

When Family Walks Away

“Teach us to give and not count the cost. ” St. Ignatius de Loyola

I am the only girl out of four brothers. I am the third oldest. I came from a divorced, dysfunctional family.

At the age of 14, I told the school nurse that I would not live with either one of my parents. She asked me if there was other family. I told her no. It came down to my own decision of putting myself into foster care. The events that led up to the decision of placing myself into the foster care system, perhaps at one point, I will write about that.

I look back now and I see that being at such a young age of 14, it was a very adult decision to make. It was only by the Grace of God that I made that decision.

While I knew of God and was Baptized as a child into the Roman Catholic Church, that was as far as my up bringing with God went.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” Jeremiah 29:11

God would have it that I would meet a wonderful woman and this woman would forever change the course of my life through God, Jesus and Our Blessed Mother Mary.

Fast-forward to 30+ years later, I am a mother of two adult sons, a wife for 25+ years, a daughter, a sister, a fur mommy to two Boston Terriers (my girls 😊) and I think out of all of these, being a daughter to God is my greatest accomplishment, a work in progress, never ending, alway trying to improve.

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. – Galatians 1:10

I think the hardest thing for anyone to accept is the emotional and mental attack’s from family.

When we think about family, we see unconditional love, acceptance, hope, trustworthy, a safe place; for me, this is what my understanding of what family was supposed to be.

With time, time brings healing to everything. I am at a place in my life now that happiness is truly within, and, I have a great peace. Make the decision today or at least- consider – to stop seeing yourself through somebody else’s eyes. The only Sets of Eyes that you should ever be trying to get approval from, is that of God and Jesus.