Silence

After eight long weeks, I was finally able to re-enter a church for Sunday Mass. The restrictions imposed by the pandemic that has plagued our country have started to lift. One of the biggest restrictions had been that people could not attend Mass, not in person at least. Thanks to modern technology, most churches had the ability to livestream Sunday Masses and other prayer services, like the Rosary, Stations of the Cross, etc., to their parishioners. This was a true blessing, but watching an online Mass could not replace the deep spiritual experience of attending an actual Mass with fellow believers. I have been unable to receive Jesus Christ through the sacrament of communion for over two months.

That being said, I should have rushed the doors of the church in order to receive communion and celebrate Holy Mass once again. At the beginning of this pandemic, I began to see the devastating effects it was having on the Church and started to envision what it would be like when we were finally allowed to attend Mass in an actual physical church. I pictured people flooding into church filled with joy and thanksgiving; people reuniting with each other and receiving the essential healing they all so desperately craved during this time of isolation and deprivation. Unfortunately, this vision was not the reality I encountered when re-entering the church yesterday.

First of all, I did not have the feeling of excitement I expected. I didn’t wake up in the morning filled with anticipation knowing I was going to receive Christ in the Holy Eucharist once more. Instead, I found myself making excuses as to why I should not go to Mass. I had too many obligations that day, and if I were to go, I would probably be turned away because the church had reached its limited capacity of 25% full. I feared I would be rejected by the church. Of course, this fear was illogical, but my mind still dwelled on it. I overcame all these doubts and hesitations and set off for church. When I arrived, the parking lot was almost empty and I had expected it to be packed with cars. I immediately wondered if I had the wrong time. Had Mass been cancelled at the last minute? The Holy Spirit quelled my doubts, and I got out of the car and went to the church.

In church I had to face the difficult truth that the state of this pandemic was still alive and well. We may have been granted permission to attend church, but people are choosing to remain at home and watch Mass virtually. The fear of catching the coronavirus is prevalent in our lives and though we can celebrate communally again, we are unable to celebrate as a complete community. Social distancing was blatantly evident by the blue tape on the floor indicating where we were to stand and almost everyone’s face was hidden behind a mask. I was so focused on maintaining social distance while walking up to receive communion that I almost missed my chance to fully encounter Christ in the sacrament of the Eucharist. My mind was engulfed by fear–the simple fear that I would make a wrong move and compromise the health of my fellow parishioners.

Amid all this trepidation and doubt, the joy of the Lord would not be denied, and the gift of joy He gave me will sustain me until the threat of the coronavirus has been totally extinguished. During Mass, a deep silence rested over the church, and within this silence, I entered the Lord’s presence. It was the first time the ceremony did not revolve around the homily or the dialogue I engaged in through prayer. In holy silence, the Lord is most present. He did not have a grand message for us all; He wanted us to be with Him in His home again. It seemed like a reunion with loved ones you haven’t seen in a long time. We first embrace each other without words; we know they will come later; it is more important to be with the other person and take in his or her entire being. I believe this was my experience in church. I may not have been able to physically embrace my brothers and sisters in Christ, but I was embraced by Christ. Before and after receiving communion, my body felt waves of goosebumps or “Godbumps” which is the better term. Every time I receive these “Godbumps” I know the Lord is near. The Lord was very near in that church yesterday, and He did not need to reveal His presence through grand and elaborate gestures, but rather in His deep and abiding silence.

Hope

He has Risen, He has Risen indeed. Praise the Lord, Glory and Alleluia.

I do not think I have ever been so starved to speak those words! There were many surprises that greeted me this beautiful Sunday morning–none of which I anticipated or expected. It all started at the stroke of midnight, ushering in the dawn of Easter Sunday. I gave up eating meat for Lent. Honestly, for most of the Lenten season, I really did not feel it was much of a sacrifice; I was perfectly content with fish and meat substitutes, but suddenly as we entered Holy Week, I was overcome with an immense desire for meat. It became so bad that by the time Good Friday arrived, I felt I could not survive without it. I was so weak, and nothing could dispel the need for meat. To make matters worse, I was consumed with guilt. Was I such a weak person that I could not sacrifice indulging in meat for only 48 more hours?

Midnight finally came, and it was officially Easter. I could finally have meat; I had made it through Lent. The feeling of failure still remained because I was following the concept that what we sacrifice in Lent is meant to bring us closer to God, by eliminating the distractions of this life, we could achieve true reliance on the Lord. Yet here I was on Easter Sunday, and all I wanted was meat, completely distracted from Jesus Christ and His triumph over death. When I prepared my meal complete with meat and took my first bite, my mind, heart and soul were cleared, and the weight of Lent was lifted. I was filled with the Holy Spirit, who revealed to me why my insatiable need for meat was not a sign of weakness at all, it was just the opposite. This desire for meat I had felt was not simply human hunger, it was spiritual hunger. The hunger I had for meat was truly the hunger for Jesus Christ. Throughout all of Lent, I have been underestimating the effects I was experiencing by not receiving the Eucharist every Sunday. Lent had become a time of blind faith and trust and easy thanksgiving. I thanked God every day for simple things, but I wasn’t praising Him, and I missed Him in the Eucharist. It was not until Sunday morning that I was finally aware of how much I needed Him. The hunger I had for meat is the hunger I need to have every time I approach Jesus and receive Him through the Holy Eucharist. I praised and thanked God for the gift of the meal He had provided, showing me that He is my Savior and without Him there is no hope.

I know meat is no substitute for the Eucharist, but nevertheless I felt satisfied for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic took away our ability to receive the Lord at Mass. Most importantly, I felt filled with hope. The season of Lent was focused on faith and trust, but not on hope. I concentrated on the suffering of the season and the meaning of that suffering, but I forgot about the joy our faith should give us. Easter morning, the sun rose and so did our Lord. This world is working tirelessly to find the solution to this pandemic, but I had forgotten that this battle has already been won on the cross. This day has come with a promise that our situation will get better; Jesus Christ has conquered death. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Broken

I feel as though I should start dating these blogs the way the captains on starships dated their logs on classic episodes of “Star Trek.”


Star Dates Log — 2004.10
Today marks the 12th day of being in complete quarantine. You can learn so much about yourself when you are alone with only your own thoughts to keep you company. You become aware of all your annoying habits because you start to annoy yourself. You can also figure out the way you would really like to live! One of the biggest surprises I have encountered about myself is that I am naturally a night owl. I have been trying to maintain a routine, and in trying to establish one, have discovered that I am at my best after 9 p.m. It’s been a constant struggle to sleep in the evening and I’ve been extremely tired every morning. Thanks to these days of quarantine, I am able to allow my body to sleep when it wants to rest, and work when it has the best ability to function. Although the state of our country causes a great deal of stress, I can find a routine that works for me, finally complementing my body’s natural rhythm.

This is an unprecedented, difficult time. I wake up every day with fear and uncertainty. With so much unknown, it is easy to give in to despair, and to the belief that things will never get better, but what good can negativity do? In all this suffering, there are great and wonderful blessings. Good Friday honors the passion of Jesus Christ, and His sacrifice for all our sins. Why was His suffering necessary? The truth is that through suffering, unimaginable graces can be granted. It is crucial to remember Christ’s suffering in times like these. When we suffer, we can offer that suffering to the Lord, and ask for His aid through our suffering, just as Christ’s suffering on the cross was offered up for the forgiveness of our sins.

During this period of isolation, I have become aware of how broken a person I am. It is now that Jesus Christ calls to me, He wants me to come to Him in all my brokenness. My prayers have been transformed throughout these days of quarantine because I am giving myself entirely to Jesus.

“Oh my Jesus, I am broken and scared. I am fearful that I will not be able to pay my bills. I am fearful that I may not have a job when this pandemic is over. I have let this fear enter my being, and my positive attitude to diminish. I do not like the person I have become. I do not like the person I am when I speak to my friends and family. In your name, Jesus Christ, I offer up my brokenness and imperfections for the salvation of this world. I humbly ask that my suffering, no matter how small it is, may help and work towards the betterment of this world and that the world can truly be made a better place through this pandemic.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Into the Great Unknown

I went to see “Frozen II”; I was not as excited as many about the movie because I have not been so impressed with Disney’s recent offerings.  I agreed to go with a friend, however, and another friend had actually told me the ending of the movie so I was not surprised by the “shocking” conclusion of the film.  This friend, along with several other fans, was upset because of the lead character’s decision to give up her throne and leave it to her sister.  From a good story-telling perspective, it wasn’t the best ending, especially when the first movie centered around the same character’s pursuit of the very throne she chose to give up in the sequel.  Even so, throughout the entire movie, I couldn’t help but relate to this young woman because I would have done what she did and in many ways, I am doing precisely what she did in my own life.
Last year the Lord delivered me out of the imprisonment of New York City.  I spent the following year recuperating and rediscovering who I truly was as a child of God.  By December, when I finally felt I had reached a state of calmness and peace, my employer decided to move the office to Connecticut.  I didn’t want to go–just like the main character in Frozen II. She was content with the status quo, but could not deny the call, the call into the great unknown.  Over the past month, I have experienced many ups and downs regarding this move.  I have even received temptations through other job offers that would allow me to remain in New Jersey.  While these offers were attractive, I was able to quiet myself and listen to the Holy Spirit.  I knew the offers were temptations meant to keep me from the Lord’s divine purpose for my life.  I need to listen to the undeniable call to go  “into the great unknown” as the song in Frozen II puts it.
In a recent reflection I read, this human drive to move forward was emphasized.  It made the point that dreams and visions were pivotal in the survival of Jesus Christ during his time on earth.  “When Herod had died, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” Matthew 2: 19-20.  Joseph received instruction through this dream and acted on it without hesitation because of his complete faith in the Lord, even though it involved great hardship.  The journey to Israel from Egypt was not easy.  Later in the gospel of Matthew, Pilate’s wife receives another dream that might have saved Christ’s life and she went to her husband Pontius Pilate to warn him.  Pilate did not listen to her and condemned Jesus to death.  The reflection concluded by making the strong observation also pronounced in the gospel:  “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”
As I prepare to move into the great unknown, I am gripped by many fears.  There are several actions I am required to take in this move that I have never done before, and I don’t know if I can handle them.  I hold onto my faith in the Lord as Joseph did.  The journey from New Jersey to Connecticut may be difficult and possibly dangerous, but as long as I remain steadfast in my trust in my Creator, He will make sure His will for me is done.

Do You Believe?

“Do you believe that I can do this?” Jesus asked the two blind men who came to Him pleading to Him to restore their sight.
“Yes, Lord, ” they said to Him.
Then He touched their eyes and said,
“Let it be done for you according to your faith.” Matthew 9:27-31
This was the essential message of the Gospel reading this past Friday, which also happened to be the Feast of St. Nicholas. It was a truly significant day for me, in more ways than one, and could be perceived as very bad or very good, depending on how I chose to answer the question that Jesus asked, “Do you believe I can do this?”
My day began with a doctor’s appointment.  I did not have high expectations for this visit.  Since I moved away from Colorado, none of my doctor’s appointments have been uplifting.  My blood sugars have been consistently going up–not to the point where they are uncontrolled, but just enough to be noticeable.  As I waited for the doctor, I prepared myself for more of the same news.  I was sure my blood sugars had gone up again, and my doctor would have to restructure my life and daily routine in the hope that my blood sugars would become more manageable.  To my great surprise, for the first time in over two years, my blood sugars had gone down!  Not only had they gone down, they had dropped over an entire point!  My doctor continued to say that all my blood work “looked great,” and there were no complications.  I left the office feeling as though I were on “cloud 9” and nothing could bring me down.  My life in New Jersey has become more and more comfortable and I had reached a point where I truly felt at home in the life I had created there.  The evidence that my blood sugars were once again in an appropriate range for someone with Type 1 diabetes was proof that I was now comfortable, so comfortable that even my blood sugars could “relax,” and provide me with a sense of normalcy.
This positive doctor’s appointment lured me into a false sense of security.  What happened next I never saw coming.  After my appointment, I headed to work.  The sense of joy and happiness was suddenly stifled as I walked into my office.  Something was off, but I  didn’t know what it was.  I resolved not to give in to negativity though; I put a smile on my face and began my work day.  At the end of the day, my supervisor came into my office.  “Great news!” she exclaimed. “We have found a perfect new office space and we will be able to move into it by the end of the year.  It is in Connecticut.”  From her perspective and that of most people in the office, this was good news.  They all live in upstate New York or in Connecticut, so their commute will be shorter.  However, for me, this news felt like a death blow.  Here I was, in a place of true peace because I had reached a state of contentment, only for it to be completely destroyed with this short, simple statement.  Just when I thought my life was stable, I learn that I have to uproot myself once again and move to another state.
My mind immediately switched to control mode, trying to come up with different ways I could fix this situation without moving.  My mind also began to run through everything I would have to give up–my place of residence, my church choir, my social community, my friends, my routine, my doctor (who had just given me the best news about my health!).  My heart was breaking and my soul fell into despair, but I did not stay in this depressed state for long.  Why?  Because the Holy Spirit intervened and gave me hope.  To be honest, this move was not unexpected.  I was initially hired knowing that the company wanted to relocate to Connecticut where the owner resides.  Nevertheless, it took a bit longer than they predicted, which left me with no choice but to establish roots in New Jersey.  The Holy Spirit reminded me of my commitment to Him back when I first accepted this position.  Now, although the timing seems off from my perspective, God is calling me to Connecticut.
I can see Jesus looking at me as He looked at those blind men in the Gospel, asking, “Do you believe I can do this?”  My answer is a resounding, “YES!”  Jesus led me from the depression of living in Colorado to the desert and wasteland of New York City, only to save me and deliver me into the promised land of New Jersey.  I have no choice but to trust Him.  He has a grand plan for me, and I cannot deny His call.  My life in New Jersey is beautiful and comfortable, but that was not the life I asked for.  I asked for life as a disciple of Jesus Christ, and a disciple’s life is never comfortable.  It is beautiful, but it is also complicated.
Immense change for me is on the horizon and it will not be easy, but I have my faith and it will be my faith that saves me.

Invisible

What I consider weakness, the Lord uses as strength.  What I see as a hindrance, the Lord turns into an asset.  All my life I have felt invisible and unimportant.  I had a desire to accomplish great things that would make an impact on the world, so I had to connect with the “right people.”  This was an ongoing struggle–whenever I attempted to make those crucial connections, I was overlooked.  Each time I went to an event I believed could lead to a life-changing moment, I was left feeling empty and a failure.  I would always blame God and question Him.  I was doing everything in my power to use the life He had given me as an opportunity to change the world for the better, but I ended up with doors being shut in my face.  What was I doing wrong?  Maybe I was not looking in the right places and not placing my trust in God, although I believed I was.
This past Thursday was the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, and at the Mass I attended, the priest spoke of Mary’s many gifts.  He mentioned subtlety, which I had never heard described before.  The priest used the example of Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth.  A young pregnant woman taking on a long journey through treacherous landscapes all by herself without WiFi, cell phones or cars–the priest emphasized the lack of modern technology that would have helped when the roads were difficult and thieves were everywhere.  How could Mary possibly have survived that journey on her own?  The answer lay in her subtlety–by the grace of the Holy Spirit, He allowed her presence to be felt but not intrusive so she reached her cousin’s home in safety.
I thought of my days living in New York City, walking the streets late at night after work.  The streets of New York are easily as dangerous as the roads Mary traveled.  More than a few times, my path was crossed by rather aggressive individuals hassling other walkers for money or food.  They would approach everyone ahead of me, but when I finally passed by, it seemed as though they didn’t see me.
I used to feel my invisibility was a curse; I wasn’t significant enough to be acknowledged, but now I realize it was a gift.  I resolved to place my faith in the Lord and trust that He will put the correct people in my path who will see me.  I was back in New York City this weekend and stopped in a church with a chapel open to all for prayer.  I had endured a long and strenuous morning and while I was in the chapel, a man approached me and asked for $20 for food.  I was somewhat taken aback–I am used to people asking for money, but $20 seemed a bit excessive.  Nevertheless, there was an aura of kindness about him.  I truly believe in the influence of the Holy Spirit and the importance of listening to His subtle promptings.  There was a peace about this man unusual for a person living in New York City.  He asked me if I was an actress and when I told him I wasn’t, he said I should be because I looked like one.  He continued to say he was a comedian, trying to be discovered by NBC.  The question about being an actress was most likely a line designed to get money, but I felt there was some sincerity behind it.  I have no desire to be an actress, but it was a career I once considered, and it was affirming to hear that someone, albeit a total stranger, thought I could be one.  Nothing happens by coincidence, and I am sure this man was placed in my path to see me, and that I might see him.  I gave him $5 and hope he used it for food.  The short interaction we had was uplifting and provided me with strength to get through the rest of my day.  Perhaps it helped him in the same way.  Our meeting was also a reminder that the Lord is in charge and only allows the “right people” to enter our lives at certain times–when they do, we need to pay attention.  We are all called to be in community with one another for we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.  When we are open to recognizing our fellow brothers and sisters as such, we can change each others’ lives for the better, even if only in small matters.
Thanks to the Lord’s blessings, I understand that I am not invisible.  I am fully seen by my Creator and Father, who is the only person that counts.  By placing my life completely in His hands, He has the ability to use me and make me visible to the people He chooses.  If I put Him first, ahead of my own desire to be seen, I can walk in confidence (and subtlety), knowing that everything I do will be done for the glory of God

Take Away The Sting

On Easter Sunday I went to mass and the priest told a story of a little boy who went for a drive with his father. During the drive the father rolled down the windows in the car and while the windows were down a bee flew into the car. The little boy started to freak out because he was allergic and he was terrified the bee would sting him. Finally, the father was able to catch the bee and held it in his hand, the little boy was able to calm down. After a while the father released the bee and it started flying around the car again. The little boy was once again filled with fear but the father held out his hand and showed it to the little boy. There imbedded in the father’s palm was the stinger of the bee. The father said to the little boy, “there is no reason for you to fear the bee anymore, I have taken away the stinger.”

This story is a perfect representation of what Jesus Christ did on the cross when He claimed victory over death. Yes, our physical bodies will die but our souls are promised eternal life. Not only are we guaranteed eternal life there are incredible graces and gifts that we can benefit from right here on Earth. In the recent scripture readings we hear the stories of the disciples and their stories after the resurrection. The image of them all huddled together in the upper room terrified of what was to come next is often a main topic after Easter. The disciples were literally paralyzed with fear. I find it near impossible to comprehend what those days must have been like without Jesus Christ. Even though we respect those three days when Christ died, we do not have to experience the true loss of Christ. I know what it feels like to put distance between Jesus and myself by my own design, that is a terribly depriving feeling by itself. I cannot begin imagine what it would feel like to be completely alone without God. Nevertheless, Jesus rose from the dead and He used that fearful experience the disciples encountered and brought great miracles from it. The disciples ended up going forward to proclaim the glory of God without fear. They went from weak and alone to strong and filled with the Holy Spirit.

“Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.” ~ John 20 19-31

They went forth and many ended up being martyred for their faith. They did it willingly because Jesus took away the sting of death. Without the sting they had nothing to fear and they could do the impossible by the grace of God. I have no doubt that I will come across many things in my life that will breed fear inside but I have the ability to conquer them. Once I recognize the fear I can bring it to Jesus Christ and break its power. In the name of Jesus Christ everything can be overcome.

One Less Day From Dying Young

One of my favorite music groups back when I was in middle school was Match Box Twenty. The lead singer was Rob Thomas who eventually broke off from the group and went solo. He recently released a new song which played on the radio while I was enduring a rather long drive on the highways of New Jersey. It was one of those great divine intervention moments. God had me right where He wanted me, in the perfect place and the perfect state of mind to hear what He wanted me to hear. I heard this-

“I’m not afraid of getting older
I’m one less day from dying young” ~ Rob Thomas

This came about a week before my birthday. As I have gotten older birthdays have gotten more and more difficult to go through for the simple reason I have not been in the place that I thought I would be at that certain age. I really don’t like that birthdays place so much emphasis on this need to evaluate your life up to that point in time. I always seem to come up short in regards to my expectations. This always resulted in me getting angry and blaming the Lord. “Why haven’t you given me this!” I would exclaim, like a ungrateful child throwing a temper tantrum when her parent wouldn’t give her an ice cream cone before diner. I was throwing a tantrum because I didn’t understand the workings of the Lord. I only saw my needs but like a good Father the Lord knew that I needed to have a good healthy diner before I could have ice cream.

Back to my time in my car with Rob Thomas. While I was so focused on the things that I don’t have I lost sight of all the incredible blessings that I have received and essentially the truly miraculous life that the Lord has gifted me with. The truth is I could have died several times through out my life. The main one being when I was diagnosed with type one diabetes but also numerous other times of just basic human stupidity. Each day I am one less day from dying young and that is something to be very thankful for.

In addition, the Lord has also resurrected life many times. The most recent time was when He delivered me out of New York and into New Jersey. It was a surprising revelation especially to me when I actually realized that I was almost exactly where I wanted to be at this age. I am living on my own, I have a good sustainable job and I have time to devote to My Lord and Savior. Why was I still complaining? There is still a missing piece, a husband and a family. I would like to share this life with someone. This still stings a little but I am reminded of that father who denied the child the ice cream. I needed to have a healthy diner first. I needed to rediscover myself and more importantly I needed to rediscover myself in Him! The Lord has a plan and because He has shown me the miracles He can perform in my life once I actually start listening to Him. I have faith and trust that He will lead me to that husband and family my heart desires. When it does happen though it will be the cherry on top of the ice cream. My timeline does not matter because the Lord’s plan is perfect and I want to follow His plan.

This year instead of asking for a gift from the Lord I gave a gift of myself to Him.

“Take, Lord,

and receive all my liberty, my memory,

my understanding

and my entire will,

all that I have and possess.

You have given all to me to you, Lord, I return it.” ~Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Perfect Timing

I have to confess this Lenten season has proven to be a true thorn in my side. I suppose that is appropriate considering in this season we are called to enter into the Passion of our Lord in the hopes that we can attain a closer and more enriching relationship with Christ. If I am being completely honest this Lent ha brought me closer to Him but I am still going to complain about it.

As of March 14th I have officially been living in New York for a half a year, seems like a big milestone. Unfortunately, right as this milestone hit darkness crept into my life. These past few weeks I have had to combat health issues, work issues, and living issues. Basically everything that could go wrong did go wrong. What made it extra difficult was that all this came after my birthday and seeing my mom, who visited for my birthday. The visit of my mom reminded me how much I miss her and how peaceful life can be. I finally admitted to myself how much I miss my home. I am so grateful for the friendships I have made here but at the end of the day I am still truly alone. Waking up and being alone without my parents downstairs and my dog sleeping at the end of my bed is excruciatingly painful and empty. By the time Holy Week came I had hit my breaking pointing. I was DONE! Done with the adventure of New York and I was ready to move back home. I even resorted to giving God an ultimatum which I know you are not supposed to do, He doesn’t respond to them anyway but in my darkness I gave up. I gave Him till Easter, if things didn’t change I would take the hint. New York was no longer the place for me and I would move back to Colorado. This pain I am enduring is not worth it. Life might not be great back in Colorado but at least I would be with my family and I would be home and safe.

By Holy Thursday circumstances had not changed and I was coming to grips with the reality that my time in New York was coming to an end… and then! I was working the closing shift on Thursday. We were busy because of Easter and Passover and in addition to that it was cookie day! I have already aired my grievances about cookie day in previous blogs but this day was worse than usual because we were preparing for Easter, 200 hatching chicks, 300 baby lambs, and 500 jumping bunnies. Argh!!!I endured the day with a true defeatist attitude, I was done and I didn’t care who saw it, no more smiling my way through it. The day was almost over and I was consumed with closing duties when I suddenly looked up and I saw him. Yes, I had a girlie moment. This guy that had been coming into the store off and on for the past few weeks had come in. He first made his appearance the week before my birthday. He caught my attention because he seemed truly captivated with the desserts we offered, he took a good 15 minutes just staring at our pastry display. I didn’t really mind he was very attractive. He did fine make a decision and the next day he came in again. Walking home that night I told God that if he came in again I would take it as a sign and I would talk to him. Miraculously, he came in again and even more miraculous I actually talked to him. We had a long conversation about the pastries and which ones he liked. He ended up leaving with a fruit tart, lemon bar and some macaroons. After that day he stopped coming in and the excitement of the encounter died. I convinced myself it was another experience the Lord wanted me to have to build my confidence. Little did I know God was just waiting to bring him back at the perfect time, Holy Thursday at my darkest hour. It felt like time stopped and I forgot everything. Our eyes met across the counter, I smiled and said “hi, I haven’t seen you in awhile.” He smiled back and said,” I know you weren’t here yesterday.” I was blown away, he actually noticed. We talked a little reviewing the different things he had tried and what were his favorites. At the end I asked what his name was, I gave him mine and we shook hands. I told that I hoped to him again and he smiled and said, ” hopefully at least two times a week.”

Okay, I know that this is very much a girlie story and I shouldn’t base my life decisions on a guy. Regardless, his presence has had strong implications in the past and clearly the Lord is using these encounters for something. I do not know what God is doing with them but I do know I had my light sparked again, I had my hope. It was even a little miraculous because I had been feeling my blood sugars dropping and I was starting to think I would need to eat something to boost them up but it turned out I didn’t need to because my blood sugars went up all by themselves after the encounter with the guy. The Lord is working, He is listening to our cries and He is answering them in beautiful ways and in ways greater than we could ever imagine.