“Wait for the Lord: Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.”
“Though the path is plain and smooth for men of good will, he who walks it will not travel far, and will do so only with difficulty, if he does not have good feet: that is courage and a persevering spirit.”
Saint John of the Cross
Not too long ago, my life changed dramatically. So many things occurred within a very short time it put me in a tailspin. It started me questioning what I was doing with my life. You see, I had spent my whole life trying to get ahead and to no avail. I never got that awesome job, and never was that awesome mother or wife. I was just me. I wanted something more. What was missing?
The way I figured it if I were going to continue to struggle, then it might as well be for a purpose greater than earning a buck. It needed to be greater than me. I had never gone after what I wanted. So I started searching. But what was I searching for or where did I want to go?
It meant a different set of struggles and goals to follow. I started praying fervently to find answers. I knew the answers would not necessarily be liked by me. But, I continued to pray. I prayed the novena for Prayer to Our Lady, Untier of Knots given to me from a wonderful woman at local sewing store. She gave me several prayer cards to share with others. I felt I had to make a change. I was being forced (by choices of others, not myself) to make one decision in particular.
About that time I started the 54 day novena (Nineveh 90) and started to see references Saint Francis of Assisi everywhere. All of this deepened my reflection. But, God had my back. He knew where he was sending me. As I sat there in the doctor’s office, a thought passed through my mind, why do you not finish that degree. Go be a nurse and help people. I thought I was crazy. I hadn’t thought about that for years. I had a family to tend to. But God said, “Don’t worry I will take care of you.”
At that point, more decisions were beginning to gel. My life was going to change dramatically. I left the doctor’s office and went right over to FranU (Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University or formerly Our Lady of the Lake College) to discuss the possibility. I was told by the counselor there what I needed to do in order to finish my degree. My husband and I discussed the possibility. He said go for it. I was still uneasy because I knew that we had been a two income family, and I had travelled quite a bit for nearly all of my adult life. I kept praying.
As far as the forced decision I spoke of previously, I kept seeing and hearing to be patient and to wait. My decision, although it was not popular amongst others who were also being affected, was to be patient and wait on the Lord. The next thing I knew another thought passed through my head. I had to question if any of this was a whim or was I actually being led. I asked a friend what they thought. He said that frequently God will place a thought in your mind, and he expects us to follow through. I told him how I felt that God wanted me to honor my parents by creating a community garden with a retirement home for the impoverished.
I can visually see the community. It would be several stories high with a garden with pathways surrounding it. The pathways would be wide enough that people in wheelchairs can roll past the various garden sections and possible even pick a vegetable or two. Different people from the community would come and garden there and share in the delights. Most of the food would be used to feed the people in the community and the local food pantry. And, of course, anyone who gardens can take what they need to feed their families, not more than what they need. But, currently it is still in my mind. I have spoken to various people about joining in on the idea, but no one has accepted yet. I understand it would cost quite a bit to get it started. But, if God wants this to happen, the door will open. I continue to pray. I have no intention of causing anyone harm, only to follow God’s way.
I have since gone from working a job which I had to travel over 50% of the time to being at home more. I am still praying, learning, and waiting on Our Lord’s guidance. Sometimes in life, we have to proceed down “the road less travelled”. Sometimes, we just have to jump when we are being prompted by the Holy Spirit. Do you have somewhere you feel you are being led? What is God’s calling for you? Are there changes in your life that you feel a strong conviction to make? Then my advice is to pray on it and make that jump. God’s got your back, but it doesn’t mean it will be easy. But, anything worthwhile is ever easy.