- I was described as "bubbly" for the first time in a decade. This isn't new for me -- I've been called "bubbly" many times -- but it's something I haven't heard in so long because I fell into this spiral of self-consciousness right before I reverted to the Church when I was 21. That self-consciousness came across as shy, which I was as a result of it.
- I've apparently displayed a confidence that few people (at least those who haven't known me for over a decade) have seen and it's shocked them. I heard a few "who are you?!" comments a few weeks ago because I surprised people with how talkative I was during an outing with the young adult group I've become a part of. I've always been reserved and an introvert but I'm actually a somewhat of a social introvert. I like talking to people and socializing, but in small doses and in certain circumstances or else I get fatigued and, therefore, quiet. After socializing I need a good day or two to recover, too. Again, I was overcoming with self-consciousness which hindered the social side for a decade but I seem to have rediscovered it.
- I tanked the exams during the first half of the novena, the ones I studied the hardest for. When I stopped stressing over them, started taking better care of myself (by slowing down and resting more often), I actually did better on them. In fact, I did better on my final exams than I did on all the other exams... and most were comprehensive final exams.
- The people-pleaser side of me seemed to have finally gotten a clue and I've been thinking less about how people would react to my thoughts and words. That's not to say that I don't think about wording certain things more carefully so I don't offend or hurt other people, but I've certainly stopped caring about what they think about me personally. The (seemingly) controversial post on mental and emotional purity is an example of that.
- I had a number of things pop up (i.e. having to repeat a course due to a classmate's plagiarism - which affected my grade, having a temporary financial aid suspension, etc.) which would've normally sent me on an anxious doom spiral but which didn't affect me as much during the novena. I'm sure that it goes back to my resolve to trust God completely and let go of my stubbornness in favor of doing His will. Once I started doing these two things, my world completely changed for the better.
- The St. Andrew Christmas novena -- which began during the second half of the Rosary novena -- included the intention of detaching myself from everything that was harmful to my soul... which included a lot of things that I'm (still) very attached to and will take a lot of work to overcome. I knew what it meant giving up and yet I still prayed for it. I had no idea where the idea came from and was surprised when the words first came out of my mouth on the first day but it was something I continued to pray for from St. Andrew's feast day through Christmas Eve.
You want to know the best part of all of these things? None of them were intentions of the Rosary novena. I won't say what the intentions were (half of them weren't even intentions for me, personally) but they were not any of the things I described. Yet, they all make sense in one way or another. I feel like God prepared me for my specific intentions by allowing me to go through everything I went through during the novena. It's all helped me begin journeying down a road that will lead me closer to Him and doing His will, which is, ultimately, all I could ask for.
I don't know if or when my specific intentions will be answered -- especially the life-changing ones -- but I've already learned to be more proactive, more optimistic (I can hear some of you going "oh nooo... not more!" lol), and completely trust God. My outlook on life is different. I'm really excited about all the changes that came from the novena and I hope that they continue to produce more fruit as the time goes by. :)
Anyway, I just wanted to share this because I know some people are hesitant to start one. Yes, things that could go wrong went wrong. Yes, obstacles will come at you from different sides. Yes, you can have terrible "luck" but the outcomes far outweigh whatever crumbs come your way. :)
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a lot of books (some of which were Christmas gifts) to lose myself in while I still have the time to do so. ;)
As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D