Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Home Part 3a…TRUST in Me

Very Brief recap…

Leaving the community was difficult, but because it was what God wanted for me, it was also very peaceful.  The week before my leaving, the rosary I had was “golden” and sparkling.  My fellow Postulants noticed it shining and commented daily on it.

The night before I left, the gathering of the Novitiate Sisters and Mother was filled with laughter and tears.  Many promised their prayers while others supported me with hugs and words of encouragement.  The next morning, my last breakfast in community, I was dressed in the only outfit I had – purchased a couple of days prior – and I felt both at peace and yet exceptionally nervous.  I was leaving a sanctuary, a place where I felt safe, loved, and appreciated.  I was heading back into uncertainty and potential violence…what was God thinking?!  And yet, I knew I HAD TO TRUST IN HIM.

And so it begins…

I don’t remember the flight back.  All I do remember was sitting in the backseat of my parent’s car quiet and somber.  I had no desire to say anything.  Tomorrow was Sunday and I was extremely tired.  Entering into the house, I thanked them for picking me up, went upstairs to the guest room (my youngest sister’s old room), closed the door and went to sleep.  The question, “What now, Lord?” kept running through my mind as I drifted into a dreamless sleep.

The next day in Mass the priest who knew me and my family (surface only) greeted me with “Hello, Sister Anne.”  I busted out into tears and just gave him a hug instead of a verbal response.  At communion time he said the same thing, “The Body of Christ, Sister Anne.”  Again, I busted into tears.  He had no idea that I was no longer in community.  My parents had communicated nothing (not yet, anyway…).

A few days later I sat in the confessional with Fr Don and told him all that had occurred.  He finally came to understand why I busted into tears at the greeting of “Sister Anne”, and humbly apologized for any undue pain that had caused.  We talked for quite some time and through this lovely priest God provided me with comfort and confession.  He had also provided me with a car.  I had $2500.00 saved up that God had provided through friends, family, and benefactors.  So when Fr Don told me he had a car for sale from a local parishioner who had left it to the church, I immediately took up his offer, had the car inspected, and then purchased it.

Remember how in Part 2b, I had told ya’ll about the mystical experience of seeing myself as Jesus saw me in that oblong mirror?  Remember how I told you that He had stripped me of my defenses during those last few months so that I would be ready for His healing LOVE?  Well, this was the beginning of that balm of Love that Jesus promised me.  My new (new to me) car took me up north to Cheyenne, Wyoming, and to a former confessor and friend of mine, Fr. Ray.

Fr Ray knew everything about me.  He was my confessor in Laramie when I was attending school and then later substitute teaching in the parish school.  When I told him of all that had happened he recommended a counseling service that the diocese worked with.  He even recommended to me the counselor who would probably best serve my needs.  This counselor was a faithful and practicing Catholic who understood the significance of God’s grace and Love.  So I looked into it and found that all was exactly as Fr Ray had described.

My initial consultation with Victor was incredibly encouraging.  He attention to detail and listening skills were phenomenal!  And because I had just come from living in Religious Life and had very little money, he refused to accept payment until payment could be afforded.   Victor’s concern was for my mental state and that was what we were going to work on together; so when he said he was leaving my spiritual side to the Lord. To which the Holy Spirit responded to me, “We’ll take care of it!”

The pathway of God is never easy.  Nor does God ever promise that it will be easy.  All He does promise is the gift of eternal life in heaven for those who will accept Him and love Him as Creator.  I had accepted Him and I was learning to Love Him, and so this new pathway, this new journey had many ups and downs, twists and turns, which is why I needed to keep my eyes on Him at all times. Have you ever read the book, Hines Feet on High Places, by Hannah Hunard?  It’s a story that I discovered after much of this journey, but one that reflected my journey in every detail.

My name was “Much Afraid”; my family was Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Fear, Jealousy, Anger, Sloth.  Their hold on me was tremendous.  Their control even more so as they were accustomed and well versed in the practices of manipulation and lies.  With fear and guilt, or sometimes pettiness and anger, I was kept “contained and shivering” for lack of sunlight – kindness, love, encouragement and acceptance.  This was not God’s desire for me or my life.  For He promised me He would heal me with the balm of His Love.

My Beloved was “like a gazelle, or a young stag.  Behold, he stands there behind our wall, gazing in at the windows…My beloved speaks and says to me: ‘Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away…’  My beloved is mine and I am his, he pastures his flock among the lilies.” (Songs 2: 9,10,16).   I could see the end of the journey, it was within my sights, but no short-cut could be had to reach the end before all was experienced, before all was healed.  The path was thus long and arduous with many snares and traps laid along the way.

At every major turn there was a family member there to try and lead me astray from this path and bring me back to the slavery of fear and doubt.  But my beloved was there, always ready to “come to my assistance”, always ready to “make haste to help me”.   A new location became necessary and God called upon one of His faithful servants to provide the space.

Mind you, I figured I needed to live in Cheyenne since that was where my counseling was and my confessor from my “Laramie-days” was there.  So I found a place, tried to exist in it for one night, but froze, became exceptionally ill, and realized the folly of my decision.  Thank heavens I was able to get my deposit back!  When God requires my cooperation, He doesn’t mess around!

That’s when a young woman appeared that I had known casually from years previous.  She was completing two masters at the local university and had offered me one of her two rooms in the apartment she had on campus.  When God so eloquently “kicked” me out of the place in Cheyenne, I took her up on her offer and moved in with her.  Like Victor, she too refused any rent.  I was to live there for as long as I needed; all she asked for was help with the food costs, and that I could afford.

For a total of three months, I was out of work.  Unemployment rate was horrible in Ft Collins, temporary placement centers didn’t even have work.  Then in May, I received an assignment in Loveland, CO.  I did data entry for a background checking company that was hired by this great government to screen boarder guards for INS.  It started out small with just typing information, but soon it quickly developed into finding inconsistencies and poor handwriting that began my calling the investigators for clarification.

This then led to finding dishonesty within the answers of the “researched”, the candidates applying for the job.  Pretty soon I was doing investigations as well as data entry.  Good thing, too, as Investigations was really back-logged with work.  Now all of the sudden the department was in “full-swing”, processing applications smoothly and efficiently, and receiving rave reviews from the government agency that employed them; when just prior to that they were threatened with termination from the job.  I felt good about what I was doing, and so I did my job with even more enthusiasm and proficiency.  In a temporary position, however, this will almost always be the downfall.  Once the work was “caught-up” and everything organized, there was no more work to do and I lost my job.

However, if I had not have lost my job, I would not have applied at the local Catholic School in Loveland, as a substitute teacher. I had recently started to attend Sunday Mass at this parish when I learned they had a school and so I applied. My application went from applying to be a substitute to being a full-time teacher. The principal called and asked me if I were interested in a full-time teaching position, and I said I would be, and an interview was set up. Oddly enough, the day of the interview was the same day that I had baked and decorated a cake for a cake-walk for their carnival and was about to walk out the door with the cake when the phone rang. 🙂

I had my interview followed by a tour of the school. As we talked, it became more and more apparent that I probably had the job. I think what gave it away, though, was when he said, “And this will be your room. It was the library, but that’s moving into another room back by my office.” God has an interesting sense of humor! (haven’t I said that before?)  He wanted me to teach again, while going through counseling, living in Ft. Collins commuting 25-40 minutes a day (pending on traffic), in a profession that I give 110% of myself when I teach. Hmmm…

What are you thinking, Lord?!  I MUST TRUST IN YOU, LORD? Yes, Anne, Let go of yourself and let Me love you!  Trust Me.  I will NOT abandon you.

Okay, Lord, you have my Trust… but help me in my moments of unbelief.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Part 3b…

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