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Never Orphans

“Why are you letting these bad things happen to such good people?”

“Where are you in this pain, God? I can’t feel you.”

“Why can’t you just have us all get along? I am tired of all this fighting”

“WHY???”

These are questions I feel that unfortunately, most of you reading this can relate to.  Bad things happen to good people.

2017 was a very difficult year, which during the last month almost became unbearable.  I never lost my faith in God, but I questioned His plan.

It might be something as serious as losing a friend to cancer, an acquaintance taking his life, a divorce in the family, losing a job, death in the family, or a tragic natural disaster.

It might be something simpler, like getting a bad grade on a test, not performing as well as you could in sports, a break up, an illness, or having plans cancelled on you time and time again.

It might be none of those, or all of those.  It might be that you see these things happening to your friends and you can’t help but feel useless, frustrated, or/and angry because nothing you do can fix anything.

But that’s the thing: That was never your job anyways.

Amid all this chaos and suffering, one thing becomes abundantly clear: You were never meant to live this life alone.  It’s impossible.  When you try to go it by yourself, absolutely NOTHING makes sense.

The only thing that makes sense in this whirling mess of this world is the stillness and strength of the Cross.

God never planned for us to live this way, with so much pain.  He desires for us to be in full communion with Him.  In full joy with Him. However, you know the tale:

Good ole Adam and Eve decided to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the rest is history.  Sin, suffering, and death entered the world.  That vision of God’s perfect Will was broken. However, the story doesn’t end there.

God humbled Himself so much to become the most vulnerable among us: a child. I think that in this day and age, where the child in womb is so threatened, this holds an even greater meaning.

Fast forward multiple years, thirty-three in fact, to the final hours of Jesus’ life.

Jesus was betrayed by one of His closest friends, arrested, abandoned by his followers, beaten until the flesh was hanging off His body, mocked, spat upon, whipped with reeds, crowned with thorns, which were then jammed into His head.

He then was forced to carry a 300+ pound cross for 3 miles, up a hill.  When he got to the top, He had giant nails slammed into His wrists and feet.  He hung, naked, for multiple hours.  It is most likely that His arms became dislocated at the shoulder, and every breath He took caused Him sheer agony. Every time He would have tried to take a breath He would have had to have put weight on his feet… the very ones that had just been nailed together.

But the humiliation wasn’t over yet. He was mocked by the chief priests and the people. He was even persecuted by a thief that hung on a cross right next to Him.

“He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Messiah of God”

“Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us”

The thing is, my readers, Jesus didn’t have to do any of that. If He was just a man, it makes no sense for Him to take it that far.  There was no point to it all if He was just a normal person..

But Jesus wasn’t just fully man.  He was and is fully God. 

If we look at it in that light, it makes so much more sense.

You see, like I said earlier, God didn’t want any of this to happen to us.  But He loves us so much that He was so tired of our struggles and, He told us: I cannot let my people suffer anymore. I will rescue them from the pit of hell.  I will set them free. I will not leave them orphaned.

 So, He came down, and died freely, so that we might have life in Him.  He did this out of love.  He could have easily let us suffer alone, but God is good, and He cannot contradict Himself.

God never promised that this life would be easy.  In fact, He guaranteed that it would hard when He said, “In this world you will have tribulation, but take courage: I have overcome the world.”

Rest your burdens upon the Lord. Entrust to Him your fears, worries, despairs, pains, and wounds. Give Him those struggles in order that He might edify them.

Let Him fill you with His love, trust, grace, hope, joy, charity, and peace.  Let Him bring you freedom.

Let Him love you.   Let Him guide your path.

Give God a chance.  He might just surprise you.

Have a blessed 2018 everyone.

~IAMWE~

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Through the Centurion’s Eyes

Woman

Who are you

To stand there so silently

As the crowd around you screams so loudly?

Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”

They shout.

But you do nothing.


Woman

Who are you

To flinch every time

The prisoner receives his lashes?

He deserves this.

Why can’t you see that?

Dry your eyes.


Woman

Who are you

To gasp in shock

 At the size of the cross

This man has to carry?

Why do you care?

Get over it.


Woman

Who are you

To fall as the false prophet does?

He is weak.

You are healthy.

Get up.


Woman

Who are you

 To dare break through

The crowd and touch this man?

As I rip you away,

I hear you whisper

He is my only Son


Woman,

Mother of this man

Why are you watching this?

Save yourself the agony

Of watching your son

Die for the crimes

He has committed.


Woman

I cannot take your weeping

I NEED SOMEBODY TO HELP THIS MAN

I shout.

This will be over soon.

I promise.


Woman

I have found a man

Who I will make help your son

Simon, a Cyrenian.

He will carry your son

On his journey to

Calvary.


Woman

I see the relief in your eyes

As the one called Veronica comes forward

Wiping the face of your son.

I cannot let her do this.

As I pull her away,

I’m sorry.


Woman

As your son falls the second time,

My patience wears thin.

GET UP,” I shout

As I whip his legs.

And then,

I see your face.


Woman

I just want this day to be over with

I want your pain to end.

I’m sorry I have hurt you

By hurting your son.

It is my job.


Woman,

I see your loving look

As your son in all his agony

Takes time to comfort

The weeping women

Of Jerusalem.

Why?


Woman

As your son loses control of his cross

And falls to the ground,

completely crushed by it,

I see you fall too,

Sharing in your son’s pain.

 Why did you come

Today?


Woman

As your son is stripped naked,

I see you reach out in sorrow for him.

I’m sorry.

This is part of the humiliation

Each prisoner

Sentenced to death on the cross

Is subjected to.


Woman,

Why do you submit yourself

To your son’s shame?

As he is nailed to the cross,

I hear you wail.

Each time the hammer

Drives the nail through

his bloody body,

you shudder.


Woman,

He is dead.

Your son

Is

No

More.

I’m sorry.

This had to happen.

It is the law.


Woman

Why has the sky gone black?

As your son exhaled his last breath

Why did he say

“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”?

Was not his father Joseph

The carpenter?


Woman

Normally the body of the guilty one

 hangs all day and night.

Joseph of Arimathea

Has requested

It sooner.


Woman

We are told to break the legs of those crucified,

So that they die quicker.

Your son is already dead.

So I pierce his heart

In order to save you

Some pain.


Woman

WHAT HAVE I DONE

Blood and water

Rushed forth from

Your son’s heart.

And the water and blood

From his side

Bathe my eyes,

My heart is opened.


Woman

TRULY YOUR SON

IS

THE SON OF GOD.

What have I done?

Forgive me.

Forgive me.

Please.


Woman,

I look at you, staring at your son.

In that moment, you turn to me,

With a solemn serenity mixed

With sorrow on your face,

And you say

I forgive you, as does

My son.”


Woman

Let me give you your son.

Let me take God

Off the cross.

Hold him.

One last time.


Woman

As you go to bury your son,

You invite me to come along.

Me?

I have murdered God.

How could I go?


Woman

You beckon me.

“He did this for you.

To save you from your sins.

Come, and honor my Son,

Our Lord,

And know of his love

For you.”


Woman

As you lay your Son

In the tomb,

You almost seem happy.

Why?

I ask you this.


Woman

Your reply leaves me hopeful:

“He has gone from us,

For now.

He will be back,

Sooner than you think.”


Woman

It is the first day of the week.

Only three days

After Jesus

Moved on.

The tomb is empty.

CHRIST HAS WON!


Woman,

Help me.

May you always

Lead me

To Your Son.

Amen.

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Letting Go of What I Crave The Most

Hi.  This is my first time doing this.  Writing a blog, I mean. I’ve spoken to people before.  Everyone has to at one point in their life, right?   So be patient with me?

You see, this is a huge step for me, rambling on for everyone to see.  I much rather be in the background, without a lot of people noticing me.

Why am I writing this, then?  Well, maybe because I’m bored, or maybe because I need to tell all y’all something, in hopes (I guess) of finding out I’m not alone.

You see, I’m terrified of intimacy.

No, not sexual intimacy.  Get your mind out of the gutter.  I’m talking about letting people get close.

Now, if you knew me, you’d be all “But you’re one of the most outgoing people I know.  What are you talking about?”

Well, let’s be real.  I don’t really get to hang out with people all that often.  Most of the time, if you see me, I’m joking around with my coworkers.  Yeah.  That’s cool.

I’m totally okay with that type of friendship.  It doesn’t entail me getting close to them.  Just being nice.  Just being kind.  Sharing a smile, a joke, and a laugh.

I’m totally okay with meeting new people too.  Just don’t expect to know the real me quickly.

You see, I’m terrified of intimacy. 

Yes, I know—I said that already.  I’m making a point.

You see, I’m not prone to trusting to people.  And I’m not entirely sure why.  So, if you’re close to me, and you know how I’m REALLY doing, then consider yourself lucky.

Oh, and I lied.  I know why I have such a hard time trusting people.  But telling you that story means that I trust you.  Sooooooo yeah.

If you met me, I’d probably seem like the happiest, most optimistic person you’ve ever run into.

Welp, that’s a mask.

While I don’t identify myself by my temperament, I might as well let you in on a little secret that might help you understand me.  I’m melancholic-phlegmatic.

So while I’m joking around with you and seemingly like I’m having a good time, I am.  But everyone once in a small amount of time? I’m second-guessing everything I’m doing and saying.  And doing so, I’m quite often a wreck (like the Eminem song—“His knees are weak, palms are sweaty; He’s nervous but on the surface he looks calms and ready…”)

I’m my own worst critic, and my dear friends know it.  Anyone else with me on that one?

But if I stop and think about it, I think I know all too well why I’m scared of intimacy.

Maybe the reason I’m afraid of getting close to people is because I’m afraid of getting close to God

Waittt WHATTTTTT???

Scared of getting close to God?  That’s ridiculous!

Is it really though?  Think about it.

Being close to God means that you’re going Him the ability to influence decisions in your life.  In essence, it means you’re giving Him Control.

Now, I don’t know about you, but to be perfectly honest, giving God control over my life scares me.  Why? Because it means that I’m letting Him have a huge part in deciding my future.

Well, why is that such a big deal?  Well, my “problem” is that I am a planner.  Essentially, I like to know what I’m going to be, when I’m going to be doing it, where it’s gonna happen, and who will I be doing said thing with?

See, there are so many times where I say “okay God, here, take control.”

And then He asks me to do something I didn’t plan for.  And like a spoiled child who doesn’t want to share, I rip the reins from His loving hands and say “oh that’s great God, just not right now.”

Do you ever do that? Please tell me I’m not alone in this.

You see, I was up late last night, and I was thinking (A dangerous pastime I know), maybe the reason I desire control so much is because it comes down to pride.

Like, when we say “no” to God, in reality what we’re doing is saying “Hey, God? That’s a great idea, but my way is better, so no thanks.”

So maybe what we all need to start doing, little by little, is saying “Hey God, that’s a great idea.  I want to do it my way, but you’re asking me to trust you.  So help me trust you.”

Maybe it’s time to let go of what you and I want the most: Control.

Perhaps it’s just the sleeplessness, but that’s what I came up with.

Either way, it’s food for thought.

Catch ya later,

—IAMWE—      

   

Surrender: Easy to talk about- harder to practice

Over the past few days, I have been asked multiple times what my dream is, and what I hope my future will look like. Each time I am asked, I always give a list of my plans, of the things that I am doing right now and hope to do in the future, but, if I’m being honest…

I have no idea what my future holds. Do you ever feel that way?

I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s a beautiful thing.

“SAYYYY WHATTT?” I can hear y’all say.  “You’re content with having no idea what you want to do with the future?

Yes.  I am.  Let me explain why.

Proverbs 19:21 (NAB) says it perfectly: “Many are the plans of the human heart, but it is the decision of the LORD that endures.”

I can make my plans (and I have done so). I can work towards a future (and I am doing so). Ultimately, however, if my plans are not what Jesus has planned for me, I have to be okay with that (still working on that).

It’s all about free and total surrender.

Now, when I say surrender, I’m not talking about the “you’ve defeated me in battle so let me surrender so you don’t kill me” type.  I’m not talking about the “I’m not gonna do anything because eventually God will bring something my way.”

When I say free and total surrender, I’m referring to a mindset a little bit more like this: “Lord, this life you’ve given me has never been my own.  You know well the plans You have for me.  I have plans and I’m doing things to reach goals, but if the goals I have don’t match what You have in store for me, please help me to be okay with the twists and turns that I will face. I freely give up what I have desired because I know Your designs are so much better than anything I could create.”

I’m talking about the type of surrender in which if I have plans and God asks me to go a different direction, I am able to lovingly say “I am your handmaid; do unto me according to thy word.”

Like I said before, my life has never been my own.  Your life has never been your own.  We belong to God.  That’s never going to change.  He loves us too much to cast us away, even when we sin.  He will never leave us orphaned (John 14:18).

That’s why He gave us the Sacraments.  So we can always run back to Him and receive the grace He so desires to give to us.

How do we do this though?

We need to let go of our desires. These desires aren’t bad, per say, but we need to talk to God, and to follow His will.   It isn’t enough to say “Ugh, okay God, I’ll do what you want” and then complain about doing what He has asked you to do.  It’s about unifying your will to God’s Will.   Once you want what God wants, it will become easier (please note that I didn’t say easy) to let Him have His way.  You will desire what He desires.  And then, you are free to totally surrender to His Will.

It sounds complicated, but really, all you have to do is have the humility to step back.   St. Mother Teresa said “…You cannot love unless you have humility, and you cannot be humble unless you love.”  So love God. Be humble.  Surrender your desires and make them unto His.

Why put it off?

Until the next time,

~IAMWE~