Friday, July 24, 2015

spiritually crazy

Confused and feeling empty one second.  Clarity and fulfilled the next day.

What happened and how did I get here?  Well I know for sure the power of not only my prayer but those who have been praying with and for me has totally worked.  I don't know why people don't pray more, but I digress.

So I was trying to explain how I felt to someone by saying, "I feel like I'm just throwing up air - dry heaving if you will."  But this wasn't a physical act, as I could only use this to describe what I was doing spiritually.  Every day I was telling God, "I'm letting go.  I'm letting go.  I'm letting go.  I don't even know what I'm giving You anymore.  But whatever it is I still have within me, just take it."  I wanted to feel like I was relinquishing everything I had in my power so as to allow God to take complete hold of the wheel.  That's a tough thing to do when you feel as though you've already given Him everything.  So all this "giving" left me feeling "empty".  But I didn't feel depressed or without God.  It was a different kind of "empty" I've never experienced before.  I wasn't truly at peace, but I wasn't feeling in despair.  I just wasn't "feeling".  It's not a spiritual dryness.  I know what that feels like.  This feeling was foreign territory to me though.

Anyway, I was at a point of confusion wondering what my next step was, when I was reminded of a story I once read,

When the brilliant ethicist John Kavanaugh went to work for three months at "the house of the dying" in Calcutta, he was seeking a clear answer as to how best to spend the rest of his life. On the first morning there he met Mother Teresa. She asked, "And what can I do for you?" Kavanaugh asked her to pray for him.

"What do you want me to pray for?" she asked. He voiced the request that he had borne thousands of miles from the United States: "Pray that I have clarity."She said firmly, "No, I will not do that." When he asked her why, she said, "Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of." When Kavanaugh commented that she always seemed to have the clarity he longed for, she laughed and said, I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God." (story shared by Brennan Manning)

So my next step was to pray for trust in God.  I mean I was already taking steps in the direction, but I needed to continue to pray for that and listen carefully as to what to DO.

Well today, God finally answered me.  The answer was to not DO anything.

WHAT?!!  Crazy right??!  Don't do anything!??  It's because the answer was deeper than that.  So today I went to mass, and for some reason I was pretty emotional during the consecration.  I don't know if it was where I was sitting, but the crucifix behind the altar was just more prominent in my vision/mind and all I thought of and felt was LOVE.  As unworthy and small as I felt at that moment, God simply told me He loved me sO much that He died for me so I can have eternal life with Him.  This isn't mind blowing news, people.  I know God loves me so much, even unto death.  However, today was different.  That's the part I can't explain but just KNOW.  In faith, God told me how much He loved me.  So much that He has only the best plans for me and I should trust that.

Then I understood and said, "Yes, Lord, I trust in You."  That was it.  He didn't have a next step for me.  He just allowed me to be overwhelmed with how much He loves me, leading me to remember that I am His daughter and He will take care of me in every aspect of my life.

I left mass saying, "Lord, I'm ready."

Those are crazy words that I fear to say, but because He loves me so much...that love drove out fear.  I'm so glad I spiritually purged myself of my own craziness in order to make room for God to fill me with His love.  I guess all that terrible dry heaving and emptiness was worth it, as it is a blessing to be filled and feel what I felt today.  I didn't find clarity as to what to do next, but I felt clarity in understanding what was going on in my heart (if that makes any sense).

Perfect love drives out all fear.  Now I'm just filled and overflowing with love for you.  Amen.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

hard hearts

I had a Sundate with Jesus this morning.  The first message I received was, "If today you hear God's voice, harden not your hearts."  The first time this verse really struck and stuck with me was back in 2012, during the Intimacy Weekend Retreat I served.  Since then, I've tried my best to really be sensitive to His voice and not just choose my own desires over His overall plan.  All this "obedience" led me to asking Him, "What's it all for?"

Don't get me wrong, I can already hear the voices of the many friends and family that will tell me, "Maricris, God has great plans.  We just have to trust in Him."

I love you all, and I get it.  But in my humanity I couldn't help but ask Him that.  All the things we do to live a righteous, holy life.  All the things we do to keep our hearts guarded for God's love alone.  It's a formula for a life of true happiness.  I know that.  I understand that.  But sometimes, I can't help but stop and wonder what MORE He has planned for me.  Yes, I will of course dwell in His presence and wait patiently.  I will continue to live my life pleasing to Him.  I will continue to work hard in my prayer time, service, work, and love for everyone around me.  I will continue to keep my heart open despite these moments when I want to just take control of situations in life.  I will continue to listen for His voice.

But is it okay that sometimes I just ask, "Lord...what's this for?"