It's coming up on 2 years since I made a big move in my life. I left my home state, some of my immediate family, a house and a job I liked, and moved to one of the largest cities in the US to be with my love. We are married now, but when I moved, we weren't even engaged. Some people thought I was nuts, others encouraged me to follow my dreams and my heart. As difficult as it sometimes is to live here (I believe I said just last night in an emotional meltdown that I "hate it"...) er ... I'm still glad I moved because Love Wins. Jobs, houses, cars, etc. are all negotiable, but being married to my love is the most important thing.
I've been blessed throughout my life to have people fulfill the role of grandmother, grandfather, godmother, godfather, caring adult, mentor, etc. We weren't that close geographically to our grandparents growing up. We made a concerted effort to see at least one side of our family 1-2 times per year, but by the time I'd graduated high school, my mom's parents had passed. And by the time I graduated college, my dad's parents had passed. Thankfully, there always seemed to be family friends and church folk who were so kind to us as kids and filled that role. I have somewhat of a strained relationship with my parents. And, although they did their best, it was so helpful to receive love from some really dear people without the drama and family dynamic that sometimes comes with parents. Later, when I worked in a church, I had many friends who were little old church ladies. I love (and loved) them dearly. Some of them have passed on. They had seen it all and had the wisdom of many years of life behind them. I was just starting out, and they were always happy to tell me how to do things. In general, we shared meals, a community bond, our faith, and a sense of family. Since I moved, I really don't have anyone in my life that's like that anymore. I really miss it. I think I need it. I don't have any elder family members nearby, and I haven't tapped into that demographic at church. But, for those whose love was so instrumental in my past, I always try to write down the "life lessons" they taught me or things they said to me that I don't want to forget. I really cherish their memory, and feel them around me, even if they've gone to their eternal reward. As the daughter of one of these friends told me at her funeral, "She taught you how to love." Yes, she did. And I have such a long way to go.
We are getting our house blessed this weekend by our priest. I'm really excited. I've only been to one other house blessing in my short life as a Catholic. Not to mention that we really need it!!! Just this week we had a pipe burst and damage our ceiling, in addition to warranting MAJOR repairs. The day after we got married, there was a poisonous snake on our front porch that tried to bite my husband. (For real, you can't make this stuff up!) I don't want to seem superstitious, but I have to say that all through our wedding preparation, my husband and I both felt attacked. He was even in a major car accident that came within inches of killing him (hit on 2 sides by 3 different cars). My well-meaning but anti-Catholic parents tried to prevent the wedding. Every part of it seemed like a struggle. Now that we are married, we just really feel like we need the extra blessing from our priest. We have anointed the house with holy water and prayed over every room, but this will be great.
Speaking of the devil... I guess it's hard to know when something you've lived with your whole life isn't normal. I have always been one to worry and have anxiety, just by personality. It wasn't until last year that my therapist helped me realize that I had actually had panic attacks my whole life. And I just thought it was, you know, another Tuesday morning. Some of it has to do with physical stuff (like hormone and blood sugar imbalances). However, some of it is spiritual. With this in mind, I realize that there is a WHOLE LOT in my life that is not from God. Thoughts that I have, really dark and horrible and self-hating thoughts that I thought everyone had to combat. Turns out, that's not the case. Anyway, I have started to resist this and recognize that these unloving thoughts are NOT from God. I call the devil "the resistance" sometimes because it's like a feeling I have that things are harder, like pulling teeth or dragging someone along as they resist when the devil gets in a situation. Sometimes he manifests himself by being a resisting force in a situation, when that situation would be good, or just to steal your joy. (See #3 above - our wedding planning was full of a "resisting" spirit). And sometimes, in my fight against him, I have to resist and stand firm. "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7) I don't want to blame the devil for my own sin, for the regular difficulties in life, or for blood sugar imbalances, but I have to say that since I have starting resisting The Resistance with the name of Jesus, sacramentals, and other prayers, I have noticed a huge difference. If you read interviews with exorcists, you'll realize that the battle is real, and we should just be on guard to do all we can to stay faithful, to fast, and to pray for our intentions and for those we love.
I have decided that reading comments on the internet is a really fast way to lose all faith in humanity. People are SO cruel, ignorant, argumentative, etc. So, I have made a concerted effort to leave positive comments whenever I can to counteract that presence. And to IGNORE and not even read the trollers.
I don't even know the Coakley family, but I have been so touched (and heartbroken) by their story over the past few weeks. If you have any spare change to give this beautiful new widow and her four children (3 + 1 on the way), please consider doing so. We are the body of Christ, and she is in need. You can donate or read more at this link: https://lovelikepaul.com/ or follow the developments on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/paulandanncoakleyneedamiracle. Every day is a gift.
Going the way of the do-do-bird?
Are blogs becoming extinct? Why are some of my favorite bloggers doing more podcasts than blogs now, or drastically reducing their blogs? It's so depressing to me. I can't listen to podcasts at work, but I can read a blog so much more easily. If they really are going extinct, like most things, I tend to catch on right about the time it's too late.
T G I F and happy weekend!