If I Won a Billion Dollars

Lately, I’ve been a little tempted to doubt the goodness and mercy of God in the light of my many weaknesses and things I continue to struggle with in spite of firm resolutions to change for the better.

And I realized so often I lack an understanding of the infinite nature of God’s love. If I was to win a million dollars in the lottery I might invest it or save it (with a few splurges here and there), but if I won a billion dollars I’d spend with abandon on myself and others because no matter how lavishly I tried to spend it I’d still have more than enough.

Sometimes I’m tempted to view God and His love as if He’d be stingy with it in my sin or as if He could run out in the face of my misery. However, the truth is that His love is so great and so infinite that it can never be spent, never runs out, and is always available not just to the saints or ones who seem like they deserve it but to poor sinners like me.

I hope this brief reflection helps you trust Jesus a little bit more as you remember His awesome love for you.

Wishing you a blessed Divine Mercy Sunday!

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The Gypsy 

So today as I was doing my best to respond to my kind and inquisitive new dental hygienist she remarked, upon hearing bits of my life story, that I have a bit of a gypsy lifestyle.

By that, she meant I don’t live in the same place for very long and am not on a traditional career trajectory (where I’m holding x job in order to reach x goal in 5 years etc.)

It about made my day because, to be honest with you, my life has since become much more settled and routine the past year or so and I realized as she proceeded to grind my teeth to shimmering perfection that I had lost a good bit of courage in the past few months.

To backtrack, as I have recently been on a hiatus from blogging, I find out whether or not I can be considered as a candidate for something I really want to do in late January (pray for me please!) and I’ve been feeling the anxiety of the million reasons I could be rejected. I really have my heart set on it and so, being ever the optimist, I felt that as I’m now an adult on the wrong side of her 20s (I just turned 26) I should have a comfortable back-up plan to console myself with should I not be allowed to pursue said candidacy.

In the interim, as I’ve been sifting through a million different lives (because choosing a lifestyle is the essence of career planning) I’ve been really overwhelmed by all the uncertainty. There is nothing so exhausting as trying to secure your future happiness forever based on what you know in the tiny sliver of the present.

And I have been so busy that I didn’t even realize I had wandered so far down that primrose path. I slip so easily into living in the future that I did not catch myself in the act this time. Fortunately, my perfect stranger of a dental hygienist was there to do it for me.

While I’ve already admitted that my past from college to present does sound rather “gypsy” the adventurous, non-linear path was not the path I choose for myself. It was the path that God gave me through circumstances of life, job, and health. It was the path where I met God on the littler way and I would not trade it for anything. What the dental hygienist called gypsy, the Catholic Church calls pilgrim and that was the way of life I did not know I had been seriously missing until I ended up drooling on myself while facing a poster that read “Dental Diva.”

From living in the present moment with God I can attest that God does not always break through into your life via the painstakingly dramatic and obvious, sometimes He slips in through the ordinary people and events that make up your day. And I appreciated that He used my time as a captive audience to my unexpected but thoroughly appreciated benefit. Because it is so easy to forget the glorious truths I profess as a Christian and a Catholic. It is so easy to look back or look so far ahead of myself that I forget to look at God Who is always with me right now, whatever now happens to be.

And it is so comforting to think that the God of the universe is so humble that even in His majesty He descends to go with me to the dentist because it is so much easier to trust in the love of God when I remember how purely selfless it is. I always enjoy the act of remembering that truth because it gives me the courage to truly live.

 

Striving to Strive

I have a chronic condition, one that will remain with me the rest of my days. It’s treatable but occasionally the suffering is difficult because it is not the type that renders my life unlivable or warrants a rest, rather it is the kind that sometimes exhausts me interiorly and I get impatient.

There was a time pre-diagnosis where the suffering was constant and I was in fighting shape. I read the Bible a ton and I refused to quit, trusting not in what I could see but what I could not yet see. I sought to have an attitude of general surrender and live in the present moment which yielded much fruit (including this blog!).

But as I was diagnosed and began a regimen of medication things returned to normal. I got used to a very ordinary existence with a full-time job and plenty of friends and family commitments to keep me busy. Ironically, I find it harder in a way to keep up that same faith amid the routine of everyday living. It’s so easy to lose sight of one’s eternal destiny, the promise of a heavenly home, as one handles the many things that demand one’s attention.

Overall, I lead a very comfortable life and this comfort is actually part of the problem. Not to say that comfort is bad, simply that the more comfort I experience the more attached I become to it. I say this because I’ve noticed that now when I experience bouts of my illness instead of being willing to fight like a warrior for the end goal I want to whine about what it takes away from me and how it gets in the way of what I want to do.

Whenever I experience the struggle instead of being molded by it to grow and become the type of woman I want to be I get impatient for the struggle to be over and for things to return to my version of normal. I was listening to an ever so brief podcast by Fr. Mike Schmitz this morning who had a really good podcast on waiting on God’s timing that really gets to the heart of the matter. The idea he shared was that the only way God speaks to us is not in the future, not when we reach the goal, but now as we are striving. And the key to striving for anything successfully is the one thing it’s harder to do when suffering: be willing to wait.

So who knows, maybe one day by a serious amount of grace I’ll be a patient person…