It is no mistake.

Some use the word coincidence or happenstance. Some use the word God-incidence. Some use the phrase ‘you can’t make this stuff up’. All different ways to explain or describe seemingly random moments that occur in our daily lives.

Over and over, I’ve been hearing God whisper in my ear, “it is no mistake”. When I tell you I am 0% surprised by this way of phrasing it, I truly mean it.¬†They are the very words I read 14 years ago as part of a prophecy received by a woman who would become known as a founding sister of my college household. In that context, the line goes “…it is no mistake that you are together…”. Recently,¬†there was a need among our sisters and women who have not seen each other in over 10 years jumped into action. I was reminded immediately that God told the women forming this group that it was no mistake they were together. It was no mistake in 1992, it was no mistake in 2003 when I joined, and it was no mistake in 2017 that we were still “together” in some way.

Almost daily, since that recent event with my household sisters, I’ve had some type of encounter or experience in which I have that realization: it is no mistake. One moment in particular, was the day I randomly got a Facebook message from a friend inviting me to a concert at the last minute. I had no plans, so I agreed to meet her. In the car prior to the concert, I was writing in my journal. I wrote to God how I wanted to do more with my life, more than just donate money to good causes. I wanted to connect. While plans for a mission to Haiti were already in the works, that would be a short week of my time and then back to normal life. In the middle of the concert, there was the all too familiar “talk” and “video” explaining why you need to give to one charity or another that is now the mainstay of most Christian shows.

A man came out to talk about child sponsorship. He spoke about working with this organization and seeing first hand the work they do. I always stayed away from organizations that I hadn’t researched myself, but wasn’t this what I just asked God for not even an hour before? A way to connect that was lasting? A way to give that was more than a donation every month? I could communicate with a sponsored child and their family, I could share my resources and possibly even go on a mission and meet that family. I could change that child’s life…I could change my life. It was no mistake. I cried at the thought of my prayer being answered so rapidly. I smiled as I scribbled down my information on a little card and read the sweet little bit of information of this beautiful little boy. It is no mistake that I attended that concert. It is no mistake that I was handed that card with Ando’s picture on it. It is no mistake that my heart was open. It is no mistake that he and I are together on this journey. God does not make mistakes. He hears the cry of his people.

Choosing to see things in this way has helped me to see everything through God’s hands. Even when looking to the future, of things unknown, I can rest in the idea that even though things may not go perfectly or be as I expected them to be, I will likely still hear the sweet, soft whisper…it is no mistake.

 

A river of Mercy?

This past Friday evening, through the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I ended up attending a We Are Messengers concert in Fairfield with my ACTS retreat sister Emily. While I waited in the car for her to arrive, I realized I had no idea who this band was. I opened up my Apple Music app and looked them up. It turned out I knew a couple of their songs. Interestingly enough, the most transforming moment for me out of the entire night, was a song I heard for the first time.

I had gotten into a comfortable position as they started to play this song, barefoot, feet up, arms hugging my knees. In seconds, I felt like I was surrounded by my closest friends, singing my all time favorite song, that had always had a deep meaning to my heart. It was quite strange to think that way because I had not ever heard this song before. The song is called The River.

All the while, I knew there was something about this song, but I couldn’t identify just what. The more I thought about and sung along to it all weekend long, it came to me. An image of the cross, cracked in the center, and blood and water flowing down, into a river. A river of both blood and water. Very similar to the image of Divine Mercy. The chorus of the song then made even more sense than before:

I belong, yeah, I belong, yeah, I belong to the river

While journaling before Palm Sunday Mass yesterday, my mind couldn’t stop thinking about this river image. I felt like sharing the important points from my reflection, so here they are:

  • The river is both water and blood, this is important as they each have their own role:
    • Blood: to redeem and save
    • Water: to wash clean and heal.
  • We belong in that river, to remain in that river. In essence, we belong in God’s mercy.
  • If we stray from the river, we will loose connection to His mercy.
  • If we want to move away or venture off, we must dig deep and prepare to not be cut off from His mercy wherever we might go.

I recommend you listen to this song, especially as we prepare to enter into the season of Easter. The season of redemption and mercy is upon us, let us prepare to rejoice and be glad in it.

 

Not my home

A month ago, I had the chance to return to Franciscan University. Those of you who went there might be jealous of a trip that would include a Festival of Praise, Lord’s Day with your household, and reuniting with sisters you hadn’t seen in 6-12 years.

As much as I loved the people and praise parts of the trip, I once again faced the extreme discomfort that once caused me to only spend one brief year on that campus. I never fully understood why I hated being on that campus, that ‘city on a hill’ that mostly only atheists could hate. What kept me from peace at such a holy place?

I always thought it was simply that at the time I was there as a student, being a student was not my vocation as others so proudly claimed. That couldn’t truly be the answer though, could it? Not when I felt that same way as a visitor.

As I sat at a young adult holy hour a week after I got home, God blessed me with an answer. “That, too, is not your home.” I am restless there, I am restless here, I am restless, as St. Augustine says, until my heart rests in You, my God.

I don’t mean to sound like I’m some holier than thou person who desires Heaven any more than the next person, but I think being on that campus reminds me that not even a place where so many people are fully participating in our Catholic faith, it is still so far from the full glory that awaits us in our true home. I feel it most strongly there, that gut wrenching distance still left to go to attain Heaven.

Lord, give us the grace to be patient to see you and be fully at rest. Help us to rejoice for those that get to join you, even if we are not ready to be without them. Amen.