Friends, it’s been way too long since I’ve ventured into the blogosphere and shared how I’ve seen God present in my life. It’s not that I haven’t been inspired, I certainly have! Many of those inspirations started out to be new posts but died on my laptop because I simply didn’t have time to finish them. Let’s see if I can change that with this funny little family story that happened recently.
My daughter, Mary, and her husband have two sons, Patrick, 5, and Declan, 2. They recently relocated from Lake Charles, Louisiana to Olathe, Kansas due to my son-in-law’s job change. They have a new future in front of them with a new job, a new house, new schools for the boys, a new parish and, with hope, new and fulfilling relationships. But, that last day, the day they loaded their car, locked up the house, and said goodbye to the neighbors was a traumatic one with lots of tears being shed.
As they gave last hugs to their neighbors and walked back to their car, Declan cozied up to his sobbing mother, hugged her leg and said with all sincerity, “It’s okay, Momma, I take care of you.”
The tears didn’t stop once they got in the car and headed north. Both Patrick and Mary were crying. At one point Patrick cried out to Mary, “We have to go back, Mom, we can’t leave them, we have to go back!” Mary replied, “We can’t Patrick, we have to keep going to our new house.”
Declan, who is really too young for all that sentimentality, quickly followed up with, “Will you guys be quiet, my babies (stuffed animals) are trying to sleep over here!”
Several miles later, Patrick calmed down and became quiet. After a while, he said, “Momma, I have to tell you something”, to which Mary replied, “What do you need to tell me, Patrick?”
Patrick answered, “Momma, God just talked to my feelin’s and He told me everything is going to be okay. He told me we’re going to like living in Kansas. So, it’s okay, Momma, we’ll be okay.” From that moment on he was good to go.
“God just talked to my feelin’s!” Oh, how I wish that we, as adults, could dispose our hearts so easily to listen to God like this child did, making that leap of faith and turning loose of his anxieties and regrets and simply trusting in the Lord!
Why is it so hard for us to take heed of the Lord’s words, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 18:3) It’s because we spend most of our time trying to be in control of our lives, doing things our way. It’s difficult to stop and listen to God and accept what we hear especially when it’s opposed to what we want, or when it pulls us away from our worldly attachments, or causes us some sort of suffering. But, when we do make the effort to listen and follow His lead we are guaranteed a better outcome than that from our own disordered choosing.
The key to getting there is to build a strong foundation of prayer, to grow in our interior life and in our relationship with Jesus. It’s spending time with Him daily in meditation, conversing with Jesus, telling Him what’s on our hearts and then listening to Him tell us what He wants us to hear.
It is only through following His will instead of our own that we discover true and lasting happiness when we listen and hear Him say, “Everything is going to be okay.”
Postscript: Declan admires his big brother, Patrick, to no end. He constantly looks up to him, watches every move he makes and carefully listens to every word he says. After Mary and her family began to settle into their new surroundings, Mary took Declan shopping with her while Patrick was in school. Declan found a toy he liked and the ensuing conversation went like this:
Declan: “Momma, I heard God.”
Mary: “What did you hear?”
Declan: “God talked to my ears.”
Mary: “God talked to your ears? What did He say?”
Declan: “He said let me get this [holding up a set of dominoes].”
Mary: “But I thought he told you to get the fishing game?”
Declan: “And this!”
Mary: “God wants you to get both of those?”
Mary: “I don’t think so.”
Declan (with a sly smile): “Okay, I put it back.”
Gotta love that boy!
“Dear Jesus, help me to hear your voice in prayer as I try to discern your will each and every day. As I encounter distress in my life help me to remember that You are always with me, that when I place my child-like trust in you ‘everything is going to be okay’. Amen.”
(Everything is Going to be Okay! was first published on the blog Reflections of a Lay Catholic)
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