Whatever God Chooses Should Be All the Same to Us

Whatever God Chooses Should Be All the Same to Us

I didn’t expect to feel sadness at a wedding.

Anything near tears, I assumed, would come from the overwhelming joy of seeing a good friend get married. And while I was definitely happy, I was startled by the profound loneliness that pervaded my heart, even as I sat in a pew with beloved friends and was surrounded by many people I knew. Grateful that my friend was receiving that for which she had long prayed, I discovered a sorrow that I didn’t want to find at that time or in that place. The human heart frequently seems inconvenient, but I’ve found that leaning into that is more helpful than ignoring it.

Near the beginning of the liturgy, I heard the priest proclaim a single word in the midst of a longer prayer. He said “home” and I was immediately asking the Lord where my home was. Looking over the priest’s head, I saw the crucifix, arms stretched wide and side pierced, and within myself I heard Him say that my home was there. In His side, opened so that mercy could pour out, was my home, my refuge, the only place I belonged on either side of Heaven.

As my blog slowly moves from being thoroughly unread to something that people I know and don’t know read, I find myself hesitant to ever speak of being single. Some of my former students occasionally look at my blog as do co-workers, and it feels odd to share this particularly deep desire, even if it seems obvious or assumed or commonplace. Yet it also feels odd to share so many other parts of my heart and then withhold speaking of the vocation I feel called to, simply because God hasn’t fully answered that prayer.

I’m a melancholic and as such I am accustomed to longing. One of the most enduring longings has been for marriage and a family. It isn’t my only desire, but it is the one that seems the most fervent. This newly married friend is one I often spoke of this longing with, as we questioned when it would be fulfilled and wondered how it would happen. So I understand to a degree why this wedding also filled my heart with a bit of sadness. It was because my compatriot had what she longed for and I was still waiting, still hoping, still wondering when and if it would happen.

Continue reading “Whatever God Chooses Should Be All the Same to Us”

Childlike Trust

Childlike Trust

Kids can get away with so much.

Whether it is because they are adorable or because we can chalk it up to their innocence, they are able to do things that are unthinkable to adults.  The small child that escapes the proper place in the church pew and scampers toward the front of the church is often met with smiles, even if the bishop is offering Mass.  A few weeks ago, a child at an audience with Pope Francis ran to the front and when the Swiss Guards tried to block him, the pope welcomed him forward.

They also seem to have the freedom to just ask for things.  My nephew once saw some money sitting on my parents’ counter and, after clarifying that it was indeed money, asked if he could have $40.  Children are quick to ask for food (even if it is the food you are eating), a drink from your water bottle, and anything else that might be slightly weird for an adult to request.

Yet there is such freedom in their general disposition.  A freedom that is nearly enviable when one considers how they present their needs and desires to those capable of actualizing them.  It made me consider how freeing it would be to approach God the Father in that way.  What would it be like to truly be His child, with all of the fidelity and trust found in the hearts of the little ones? Continue reading “Childlike Trust”

Sometimes God Procrastinates

Sometimes God procrastinates.  He has had all of time knowing what will happen and yet He still waits until the last minute to pull things together.  Yet the sudden perfection of everything falling together comes off as far more dazzling then if it was revealed in advance.

For the past couple weeks I’ve been thinking about a Bioethics Certification course.  The reading and assignments are done online and then participants attend a seminar this fall and a case studies day next May.  The problem?  The cost.  The certification program is $2900 and then travel, lodging, food, and transportation for Bismarck and Philadelphia would need to be arranged.  It seemed an impossible amount for a Catholic school teacher with a remarkable amount of debt.

The beginning of this week I talked to my department head at school.  Sister thought it sounded like a great idea and encouraged me to talk to the principal about funding.  The conversation with the principal the next day was a little less uplifting.  He told me an amount that would cover the trip to Bismarck, which left me questioning if I could financially pull off the rest of the tuition and trips.

In desperation, I sent an email to the Bioethics center asking if they had any scholarships, donations, or funds for those who wanted to do the certification but couldn’t afford it.  I wasn’t extremely hopeful, even though I told them I was in the e-mail.  It seemed this dream wouldn’t be fulfilled.

The next day my parents called and left me a message.  We filed taxes incredibly late and so they were letting me know what my tax refund would be.  I was a bit surprised at the amount and my first thought was that it would definitely help pay for the certification program if I ended up doing it.

My mom and I went out for supper the next night and I talked about it with her.  I wanted to do the program but I didn’t want the cost to spiral out of control.  It would be stressful to realize part way through the program that it would cost more than I anticipated.  My biggest concern was how much the trip to Philadelphia would cost.

That night I talked to my housemates about the program.  It is obvious that I want to do it, but I was still conflicted.  In bed that night, I asked Jesus to make it clear to me if He wanted me to do the program or not.  Time was running short to register for the program but I wasn’t entirely convinced.

The next morning I was giving a couple quizzes in my classroom and I checked my e-mail.  There was an e-mail from the priest in charge of the bioethics program.  He said they tried to find someone to help me out financially and a donor offered $1000 for a student who needed tuition assistance.  He was wondering if I would accept the money and he hoped it would enable me to take part in the program this year.

I sat there in shock looking at my computer screen.

It had all fallen together.


Between the tuition assistance and my tax refund, I would only need to cover a few hundred dollars.  The school was offering to pay for the trip to Bismarck but I could maybe stretch that a little more.  All that was needed was me to cover Philadelphia.

It was a beautiful feeling that morning.  The Lord had pulled it all together and just in time.  I grabbed another faculty member to watch my students take their quiz and I called my mom.  Speaking the words that I had only read so far was incredible.  She was not surprised but said she expected something to come up.  The joy began to overflow and I started to cry a little.

There was a deep-seated peace within me.  I wasn’t wondering anymore about if the Lord wanted me to be in this program or if it was my own desires.  He pulled everything into place in the perfect time.

So perhaps God wasn’t just procrastinating this entire time.  Maybe He was teaching me to wait patiently and to trust in Him.