I am halfway through a two-week vacation from work. Perhaps vacation is not the correct word since I have spent most days packing and moving our belongings. I had a yard sale yesterday and will do it again next week since so much stuff is left. Deciding what to pack now and what we still need out is slightly exhausting for someone as organizationally challenged as myself. Thankfully, my family has been helpful in carrying oodles of boxes down to the car from our second story apartment that sits on top of a hill. Our apartment is in complete disarray. I look at our belongings, wonder what the heck some of them are, and attempt to make the yard sale pile larger than the “keep” stack. We are only committed to going on mission for a year, so getting rid of absolutely everything would be simply impractical.
Times like these try my faith. Last year, we moved and were turned down for mission work. Then, we moved again, and adoption did not work out. Thus, I feel somewhat apprehensive about doing this all over again. As I fumble through the business of sorting, boxing, taping, and loading, I often feel uneasy. What if this plan falls apart? What if we cannot come up with the money for plane tickets and vaccines? We will be reimbursed for travel expenses upon completion of our yearlong mission, but my bank account keeps laughing at me when I tell it of my dreams. Week before last, I moved money to our savings account aka the plane ticket fund. Woohoo! The next day, as I left work, a completely flat tire greeted me in the parking lot. Long story short, we had all four tires replaced, the cost of which nearly equaled what I had just put in savings.
My friend suggested I read some blogs of people volunteering in countries where we may go. She hoped this might ease my fears and give me an accurate image of what life is like in these places. I emailed her back shortly thereafter.
“I think I read the wrong blogs. According to my research, we are going to go on mission and DIE!”
She then sent me a link to a specific blog that did, indeed, soothe the crazy brain. But, still, the anxiety! I grow weary of it. I pray throughout the day, keeping in mind Padre Pio’s admonitions to constantly discern what is the voice of God and what is not.
Yesterday, at Mass, the priest reminded us to make Jesus the Lord of our hearts. This simple command struck me in a surprisingly profound way. Who is the Lord of my heart? I paused to look within myself to find the answer. What was happening in my heart at that moment?
Who is the source of such thoughts? Not the One who loves me more than I can understand. Clearly, I had not appointed the correct person to be in charge of my inner goings-on. The devil knows my weaknesses far too well. I cannot become complacent in putting God in charge of my heart. As soon as I invite Him in, pure joy radiates through me. I must now learn to make this joy my home, instead of tiny islands I happen to bump into occasionally.
Lord, I need that grace you promised me. Send your spirit to fill me with your joy and your peace. I am scared and tired. I want to rest in you, but many times I give up on the way. Thank you for never giving up on me. Help me see the path you wish me to take and to be not afraid.