During the very first Mass I attended in Afghanistan, this was all I could think about. I looked around the small chapel with tears in my eyes thinking 'this is the universal Church.' I may be on the other side of the world but, during that hour of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, my soul is at home.
Sometimes I would wake up in strange places. Sometimes I would wake up on the bathroom floor. Once I woke up in a bus station downtown after a baseball game, escorted by a kindly police officer to his waiting cruiser and delivered unceremoniously to a detox center in the next city over where I attended college.
At a young age, sporting soccer shorts and a mullet, all I cared about was climbing the next tree and wondering when the new issue of LEGO magazine would arrive at my door. I asked for hot wheels for Christmas and role-played as the boy character for all our childhood adventures. I looked around me, saw my friends and sisters and knew I didn’t fit the mold. My (little) heart ached and wondered, “why am I so different?”, “am I good?”
How much I still struggle to be in control, to know what’s going to happen and predict life. Yet in those quiet moments, He was drawing me into a greater reality. The reality that freedom comes through becoming like children in front of the Lord.
Sometimes, you never really notice how you or your life are changing in the midst of it all. Gradually, things just become your new normal. But looking back, you can see how quickly things changed. That’s exactly how my love story with Christ has been.
“Catholic women, I must pose an uncomfortable question: Have you ever endured a pain so great that it emptied you of your faith? If your honest answer is yes, you are not alone. In fact, this letter is being written especially with you in mind."
I am thankful for a God who is re-teaching me to fall in love with Him, not just my own puppet version of Him, and for those who run with me in this beautiful marathon of life with all of its bumps and twists and turns.
“At 28 (almost 29) years old, with a 10-month-old daughter, a husband of 2 years, a mortgage, 3 books published, 40+ speaking engagements a year, a car note, half a Master’s degree, and more stress than I sometimes know what to do with, it’s becoming more and more evident, that following where the Lord leads is the only recipe to success that ever works…”
"I'm ashamed to admit that I have questioned and argued with God intensely in small areas and in large ones. Are you there God? Do you even exist? If you are there, do you care about me at all? These questions and others have regularly echoed in my heart…”
“Dearest Sister, I am writing this letter to you from a crowded coffee shop on a rainy Monday afternoon in Boston. It’s my day off, but like most of my days off in the last month, it doesn’t quite feel like one…”
"Even in the hurt, broken, scary, confusing, frustrating seasons, days, and moments of our lives, He is still God. He still, sees us, loves us, & desires the best for us...and is a good God. Do you really believe that? No - I mean, really believe it?..."
"Dear lovely Sisters, 'Every time we go to Mass we renew our vows to Jesus.' This fundamental truth became a reality in my life the moment I knelt the at the communion rail about to receive the Eucharist in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass..."