Sunday, October 16, 2016

A Welcomed Distraction

Yesterday I went on an outing/field trip with a group of like-minded young Catholics. (side note: when I say "young" I mean 18-36 year-olds.) It was the first time I've ever been able to make it to such an outing since my plans to be involved with youth ministry at my current parish never came to fruition no matter what I did or how hard I tried. I was very excited about this meet-up because I knew that I could geek out on Catholic things and I wouldn't have anyone give me a funny look over it.

Before I go on about why this outing was just what I needed, I want to share what happened the day before. On Friday I had received some unpleasant health news. My red blood count had lowered. My white blood count had completely tanked, most likely due to the stress I've been under as well as the low folate level. Speaking of that, my folate level has gotten worse. My calcium and iron levels are the same, though on the low side. I've gained back 2 of the 6 pounds I'd lost due to the stress from school and health issues. My kidneys are in good shape now and my platelets have gone up as well so not all was bad. Still, I was upset at how low the other levels were. I talked to some friends that night and got my thoughts sorted out before I was able to feel okay about my situation. I know that my mother's prayers also helped; she told me she prayed for me after she saw how sad I'd gotten over my blood work results. I briefly considered backing out on the outing for Saturday but I'm glad I didn't because it helped me forget about my problems for a couple of hours.

I admit that I was nervous as I drove to our meeting place (the San Fernando Mission) because I knew no one in the group. I hadn't known that this group even existed until earlier this month because I'm not an active member of this particular parish. After I heard about it and the events they planned, I was interested and decided to become a member. My heart raced and it actually got up to about 124 (according to my FitBit) at one point -- most likely from the nerves -- while I was with the group. Thankfully everyone was great and after some initial awkwardness, I was able to relax and talk to them as I would with friends. As the time passed by and I got more comfortable with them, my heart rate went down a bit and I was able to enjoy the outing.

We walked around the Mission as a group of 6 -- which later became a group of 9 -- with the group often splitting into smaller groups. The weather was perfect and the group members were so lovely and welcoming, making it a thoroughly enjoyable day. We visited the Bob Hope Garden (where Bob Hope and his wife, Dolores, are buried). A couple of us loved seeing the old (think 1500s-1700s) books. I was actually excited to have other people excited to see these books besides myself. lol. We saw two quinceaƱeras (sweet 15) arrive at the main chapel and I was glad to share my knowledge of them since I was the only Hispanic in the group (until the priest that accompanied the group arrived).

After we walked around, exploring the Mission, the priest who was meeting up with us arrived. We were supposed to have the Latin Mass celebrated at a smaller chapel on the grounds (one I've never been to) but that ended up being quashed (long story) so instead we all prayed the Rosary together. At that point, the group got a little bigger. Those who didn't have Rosary beads with them were able to borrow them from others. All of us gals wore our chapel veils. Everyone knelt, though, admittedly, I didn't last too long before I had to sit because I've been known to feel faint if I kneel for a long period of time when I'm not 100% healthy and I didn't want to ruin anyone's time at the Mission. It was a beautiful and peaceful experience. Before the priest left and the group broke up for the day, we prayed the Angelus which was a first for me; I've never prayed the Angelus before.

I must've looked happy after the outing because my mom had a huge grin and agreed to go to the Latin Mass at the parish where the young adult group is based. Since Mom and I like our Masses solemn, it makes sense for us to go to the Latin Mass. Not only that, I was thinking that maybe this has been in God's plans for us for a while now.

We've had a couple of incidents at our current parish -- with both parishioners and a priest -- that have made us feel either unwelcome, unnerved, or like it's no longer the right fit for us. Over the past year (almost to the day), things have been unraveling and both Mom and I have agreed that it's time for us to move on to a different parish. Our current parish has been our "home" for nearly 4 and a half years. We have wonderful memories but I feel like God may be pointing us elsewhere. We're going to try the new parish and see if it's the right fit for us. We shall see. :)

Anyway, this is my contribution for the week. I've been wanting to write more lately (and I have something to share that has been discussed on the Facebook Page for this blog) but time management has not been my strong suit this past week. I only have time to write this today -- Sunday -- because I take my "day of rest" seriously. Otherwise, I would be studying and/or doing homework right now. So much homework. Hopefully, things will slow down after this week's next round of exams and I can begin to write more often. Fingers crossed.

To those who've continued to pray for me, thank you! I've felt more at peace lately and I know it's been your prayers that have helped. My health may not be at 100% (and has gotten slightly worse since last month) but I know that between your prayers, my own efforts, and God's will, something good will come out of all of this. :D

I hope y'all had a lovely weekend!

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D


Laura Rose said...

So wonderful to read about such a peaceful, wonderful day! you have such a wonderful attitude about your health!

Beautiful Camouflaged Mess said...

Sounds like a great outing!! And, so happy you were able to connect with other "young" adults! Hopefully this will be something you will be able to do more of in the future! And, I pray that you will find the best Church home for you and your mom - feeling adequately welcomed and received in a church atmosphere is so important - I think more important than most people realize...

Emmy Cecilia said...

Thank you, Beautifully Camouflaged. Yes. I know why we go to Mass, and it's not to socialize, but you don't feel welcome it makes it easy for the temptation to not attend Mass to become stronger.

Emmy Cecilia said...

Thank you, Laura Rose. :D

bobbi said...

Oh, I'm so happy that you had a good time and were able to connect to some like minded people. It makes such a huge difference when you find others who "get it" and you don't have to explain yourself. Continued prayers for your health. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to deal with all this. It was nice reading an update and thanks for linking up! :-)

Emmy Cecilia said...

Thank you, Bobbi!