villaggio in estateAs I sit here today I’m looking around at a house that seems to have lost all order.  Clothes, toys, books everywhere.

I think “I’ve really lost control” but then I wonder “have I?”

I think my life is better when every detail isn’t controlled and when I let God do His thing.  Here’s why.

This October I received a blow that I never thought I could recover from.  Insert your biggest fear here *** (aside from losing a child or watching them suffer.)

What it is that was revealed to me isn’t as important was what I’ve learned, so far, from the experience.

As I stood in the bathroom absorbing the truth that had been spoken to me I was sure I would die that moment.  But I did not.  I’ll warn you now that this post is going to be very “Jesus Freak” like and that it may make some people uncomfortable.  But I feel urged by the Holy Spirit to write about it and so I will.  I will not reveal the issue nor the people involved.  Just know it’s something I never imagined would actually happen and I never imagined that I would live to tell about it.  Now, back to the bathroom moment.  In that moment of complete disbelief I could feel Jesus holding me up.  Literally.  How I wasn’t on the floor was beyond me.  My heart was on the floor, I think, but my body remained upright.  He was there.

I always thought of myself as a person who could “lay things down” at the foot of the cross. AmyCandles But I’m also very type A and certainly feel as though I can control things as well as Jesus.  I mean, I’m happy to let Him “help” but, you know, I have 11 kids.  I’ve got this.  Wrong.  I will say right here and now that I truly can do nothing without Jesus Christ.  The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit truly reside in me and without the supernatural power that they provide I am nothing.  So here’s some things I have learned over the past few months:

1)  You can seem to do all the “right” things and not get the results you are promised.

That’s OK. Do the right thing anyway.  You’re doing it for Jesus and not for the people who you think you are doing it for.

2)  Most people are good.

Most people are happy to give you a hug, pray for you, offer help even if you can’t tell them what the issue is.

3)  Even good people make grievous mistakes. 

Have mercy on them even if you can’t every hour of everyday.  Pray for it.  God will provide.

4)  People fall on hard times and shouldn’t be judged for it. PanicButton

Don’t assume if someone looks sad or angry or can’t pay their bills that they are bad or in some ways deserve whatever has come their way.  Mercy.

5)  Feelings are not facts and they should not control your actions. 

Your feelings are allowed and you should acknowledge them but they are not reality.  Try to climb out of that place of pain and anxiety and sometimes prideful thinking.  I ask Jesus many times a day to give me His eyes, mind, and heart for others.  Help me to see others as He does.  It works.  Just ask.

6)  The only One you can ever truly know and trust is God. 

Others will fail you, they will disappoint you, and they will hurt you.  Don’t put them in the place where only God belongs or you will have nothing to fall back on when they fail.

7)  Work on your relationship with God. 

Read the Bible, TALK to God but also LISTEN to God.  Sit in quiet. I hide in the bathroom with the fan on.  Ask Him what 6He wants you to know.  Just like any relationship your relationship with God takes time and dedication.  It WILL be worth it.  Trust me.  But it does take discipline and hard work.  People work at their college degrees, sports, talents, hobbies but think that God is just “there”.  He is but you must seek Him out.  Knowing HIM is the most important thing you will ever do with your life.

8)  There are things that seem important that aren’t. 

My kids don’t have to wear matching clothing or be perfect at the dinner table.  They don’t have to be the “smartest” kid or never have a dirty face.  My house doesn’t need to be pristine and my food doesn’t always have to be organic.  It’s important to care for what God has given us but perfect isn’t the goal and with 11 children can only mean insane mom and unhappy kids.  Showing them the LOVE OF CHRIST is the most important thing.

9)  Focusing on someone else’s sin will never bring you peace.

When you’ve been hurt you MUST grieve and you must process it but you must not focus continually on it.  That’s a tool of Satan and not at all from God.  That person will have to face God someday and He is the judge and jury.  Not you.  As Christians our desire should be that all people go to Heaven.  Therefore it’s best to pray for that person’s repentance so they will be in Heaven one day.  Mercy.

10)  The Sacraments are powerful.

Take advantage of them.  Reconciliation, Communion, Anointing of the Sick.  Get prayed over.  A lot.

11) Adoration.

Go often.  At first I would ball up on the floor crying in front of the Blessed Sacrament.  I would ask how He could “allow”EucharistFeb this suffering?  I was honest with Him because He knows my heart and thoughts anyway.  He always answered me.  ALWAYS.

12)  Miracles are all around us.

God sends messengers the give us words.  You must pay attention.  You must believe.  You must not fluff it off in some logical way that can be explained.  Supernatural power and grace is real.  I’ve lived it.  I’ve seen it.  I’ve felt it.  At my lowest moments when I thought walking away from God and/or the Church was my best answer God put a word or a person in my way.  Whatever it was brought me peace and broke through the walls I have put up.  Peace.  Joy.

In the end I’ve been digging through lives of the Saints, lives of my friends, lives of those who are brave enough to share.  I’ve met dozens of people, I’ve begged prayers from people I know and people I don’t.  I’ve spent hours in adoration murmuring nothing but “thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus” because it is in suffering that we are able to share in His cross.

A priest recently told me that Jesus was inviting me up on the cross with Him. 

I thought of those who have surely suffered more than me and felt guilty thinking I’m even within miles of the cross but later I thought maybe he was right.  I have danced around the bottom of the cross.  I’ve turned my back on the cross.  And now I’m there with Him.  And I’m grateful.  One thing that terrible tragedies make us do is pitch our pride.  I’ve been humbled.  I’ve learned that everything I have and everything I do and everything that I am is only because God allows it.  He is the only One that matters and when I ask Him to help me, show me, love me, hold me, guide me. All of it, He will.

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