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Becoming a Gift

I woke up Wednesday, April 27th, and silently whispered to myself, “It’s my birthday today.”

I have to say, I have dreaded my birthday these past few years. My husband and I have no children, and my birthday always seems to be a major trigger to this emptiness inside. Anyway, my morning continued.

My brother called. He joked about when we were kids and was pretty excited about my birthday. Instantly I started crying. The emotion of deep sadness was pulsating in my chest. I explained to my brother,”It’s just hard but I’ll be ok..”

I sunk into my bed and cried after the call. Quickly the thoughts escalated to, “Nobody understands,” and, “Jesus, you don’t care.” Self-pity rose up and I was headed down that road of self-sabotage!

However, thanks to my journey with Metanoia Catholic, I recovered within the hour! (Bear in mind that before, this downward spiral would have lasted days!)

Throughout the past year, I have been focusing my journaling and self-coaching around our journey of loss and desire. I have participated in coaching calls and have had first hand experience of touching this emotion of deep sadness, processing it and accepting it.

So, on Wednesday April 27th when I felt the pain and emotion of sadness, I was able to recognize it and give it to the Lord. Jesus held me in that moment, and then I caught the thought!

Throughout the past year of journaling the default thought has been,” He doesn’t hear my prayer. He has no plan for me.”

Bingo! I jumped up and reiterated again to myself. I captured these lies!

I could recognize these lies because I knew this was not the voice of God. Asking for His interpretation, I knew in my heart that my Father loves me, and He is a God who sees me.

“For I know well the plans I have for you, says the Lord; plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope,” (Jerimiah 29:11).

Leaning into the truth that He was offering to me, I decided that I would get all dolled up and head to Mass, eager to be in the presence of this God!

There I sat, in a small country parish Church in the west of Ireland, handing over my heartache and the pain of loss to Him. I was filled with peace, comfort and a hope that is not deceptive. It was a very special Mass. I was present to heaven at that Mass. I was real!

After Mass, I was alone in the Church praying a rosary. A lady came in and was crying. She was from Ukraine. We started a conversation with a hug and finished it with a smile. I thanked God for the opportunity to be able to be a motherly presence to this beautiful, lonely woman who has been separated from her family! Who says birthdays are for receiving gifts? I knew that I was able to offer this young woman support because I had first allowed the Lord to minister to me.

Matt often shares this quote by Pope John Paul II, which I think is very appropriate in this instance: “Man cannot fully find himself, except through a sincere gift of himself.”

I had the best birthday ever! It was all because I caught the thought that was leading to such a lonely and desperate place. Through God’s grace, He cast out the lies and led me to Truth, which set me free! Free to smile at my Husband and family in the evening and receive lots of birthday wishes!

Praise our God who gives a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Thank you Metanoia Catholic!