In August of 1974 on our family vacation at Hampton Beach, I was strolling our 2 year old daughter Lisa on the boardwalk, when I sensed some footsteps in back of me, there were Jesus footsteps, I felt the warmt of his presence, it was very consoling. At this time I had had numerous spiritual experiences, especially on life after life, the near-death experience and I was feeling very vunerable and still unsure of God's love, this experience at the beach was very comforting and again showed the truly amazing love of God.
On a Sunday afternoon in August of 1976, feeling somewhat despondent, I took a nap. I was burnt out what with running a business, caring for our 3 daughters, ages 4-13, keeping our home running smoothly and teaching religious education in our parish, being involved in Marriage Encounter, it was just too much to juggle. I definitely had what you some people call, The Messiah Complex. I was going to change the world.
During this nap, Jesus engraved in my heart the following words, "I did not come to suffer all this pain in vain; but to give you a new heart to beat as mine". I awoke feeling the burden lifted but also aware that I still had plenty of growing to do in this area.
I had to come to grips with the fact that the only way to change the world was to change one person, myself. So simple, yet so hard to do. I realized that I could not be in control of all these peoples lives, my husband, children, church, mother etc. I had to let go and bring peace to a somewhat chaotic lifestyle. I was a doer and this forced me to look at why I was doing all these things. Some of it was self-worth, doing it for recognition, to be liked and be accepted.
I have not conquered all this 100% but I am more aware of others feelings, lives and try not to put my two cents in. It is hard not to give advice, opinions and to listen with the heart and compassion.
Jesus came and gave his life to show us how to love one another. Letting go and letting others live their own lives and find their own destiny is hard, especially when you have children and you don't want them to make your mistakes. But they will learn as I have learnt to live with the choices that they make.
I learned to trust and give my children back to their Creator. A great burden was lifted. I truly believe that you must start letting go of your children the moment they are born. A child is a gift not a possession, ( Kahil Gibran in the Prophet)
Donna, Joanne and Lisa have grown into wonderful adults and I have to admire them for their independence, growth and the beautiful beings that they are becoming. To watch them with their own children is a gift of wonderment. They have bloomed where they were planted. To be a part of CO-creating with God in this endeavor is a blessing and a privilege.
In April of 1992, I took a 2 month sabbatical to review my life and where I was going.
I had another significant encounter with Jesus in a dream. There was a room with a long table and two benches on each side, at the center of the table were two wine glasses. Facing me on the bench was Jesus, he had a tender look, he held my hands and I explained to him how I was feeling about myself, the church, that all my life I tried to love others but fell short, that at times I didn't really know the true meaning of love and made many mistakes in my relationship with others, he said nothing but continued to gaze at me in a compassionate way and embraced me. No words, no judging, no advice, no comments just a deep loving gaze of acceptance. His Divine Mercy.
There are no words to share this encounter, it is love, Gods unconditional love. To love one another as I have loved you, this is what Jesus asks of his disciples, his friends.
ONE SOLITARY LIFE
He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village, where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty. Then for three years he was an itinerant preacher.
He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never traveled more than two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He did none of the things one usually associates with greatness.
He was only thirty-three when the tide of public opinion turned against him. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave.
Nineteen centuries have come and gone, and today he is a central figure of the human race and leader of mankind's progress.
All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the kings that ever reigned have not affected the life of man as much as that One Solitary Life - Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Footprints in the Sand
One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there was one only.
This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from anguish,
sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints,
so I said to the Lord,
You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
there has only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?
The Lord replied,
The years when you have seen only one set of footprints,
my child, is when I carried you.
Blessed are the poor in spirit