Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Belated Revelations

After our last young adult meeting last month, my friend Joe, another group member (whom I'll call E), and I were on our way to drop off E at his house. Since it was a bit of a drive, I took the time to share with E how I still don't drive long distances because of the car accident I had on October 13, 2015. With my lightheadedness, I don't want to risk driving long distances by myself especially at night. I showed him pictures of the accident (which I had on my iPod touch) and we talked about how it seemed to trigger events that eventually made us leave our (then) home parish and switch to where we currently attend Mass. He said something that has stayed with me, a month later, and which I think I've finally figured out: "what do you think was the message from God from that accident?" (I'm paraphrasing.)

To be honest, I never meditated on it. I had the car accident, thought my guardian angel had really helped me out (which was also the same thought E had without me saying anything) and was grateful that it hadn't been worse. When E asked me what message I thought God was trying to get across, I drew a blank. 

"I don't know," I admitted. "I never really thought about it."

"Well, maybe you should. I think God was trying to tell you something. I don't think these things happen; things happen for a reason and perhaps He was trying to say something. Otherwise, it was just an accident that you learned nothing from," he stated. Again, I'm paraphrasing but that was the gist of it and probably the closest I can get to his actual wording.

It stuck with me, especially since we talked about the coincidences. I had the car accident right after I'd gotten out of spiritual direction with my (now former) spiritual director. It happened on the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun. That was also the night that I first got into contact with an FSSP priests who came over the follow day (for a blessing) and who we still see (he even came to bless our home this past Epiphany). The following month, my spiritual director kicked me out of his office and that set into motion us leaving that parish and following the FSSP priest to his (temporary) parish. (side note: everyone who knows the full story has come to the same conclusion of why I was kicked out of my former SD's office on their own but since none of us know for sure, I won't discuss it.) That led to me re-evaluating things, me joining the young adult group I'm in, and has had an overall positive change in both of our (Mom's and my) lives. There was something that seemed to be missing from that puzzle but it took E's question for me to try to figure it out... and I think I have. 

It has dawned on me that I have gotten a much-needed second chance to make things right. I had the same thought when I went to the last doctor's appointment: "you're getting a second chance." See, I had reached a plateau in my spiritual direction before my accident. I felt as if I wasn't getting much out of them anymore. Furthermore, while my SD expressed his justified dissatisfaction with me for missing Mass or my prayer time in order to do coursework on a tight deadline (yeah, that was a massive problem I had when I was in grad school; one of which I have since worked on and fixed), it wasn't the massive ear pulling I needed. I feel like the car accident was that; an ear pulling and a sort of wake-up call that I've belatedly realized.

Yes, it's been almost a year and a half since the car accident. Yes, I've wasted so much time trying to figure things out. However, I'm very grateful to E for having me meditate on all of these things. Remember when I wrote about my body being weak but my heart being on fire? I think part of why I felt that way was because of this revelation. Today's health scare (I thought I was having a heart attack at the grocery store; we guessed that it was a combination of acid reflux and a bad panic attack -- my first in a long time -- that hit at the same time) just drove the point home even more: I have gotten a second chance and I need to make the most of it... which, really, is a wonderful message during Lent.

How many times did saints mess up and, still, they were forgiven, they amended their lives, and are now spending eternity with God in Heaven? God's mercy is greater than our sins... no matter how bad they are. I know (as seen through Scripture) that He wants us to repent and return to Him. Luke 15:11-32, anyone? I was able to fix my terrible priorities (now Mass comes before any exam or coursework I may have that weekend). I think I've figured out the path (for both big and little v vocations) God wants me to take and have made a lot of progress in them. Now to reorder and fix a couple more things in my life, especially when it comes to facing my fears. I've started work on that but it's still going to be a massive uphill battle for me since it's going to mean undoing years of bad habits and negative thoughts. What a better way to spend my Lent (and the weeks leading up to the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima) than to work on my relationship with God and making the most of my second chance?

Before I end this blog post, I have one more thing to share: in case you're wondering, no Mass again this past weekend. We wanted to try for Saturday but I got sick and then Sunday was a mess as well. That's officially 8 Sundays without Mass (though I have attended Mass at least twice -- during the week -- in the past 8 weeks). Still, I'm going to try again and I'll fight through the lightheadedness and other obstacles to the best of my abilities. We have a plan for this week and the weekend and any prayers you can offer up so that we can get to confession and Mass would be greatly appreciated.

Alright, that's enough for today. I have more to share but they're different topics so I'll just break them into different posts. I'm taking it easy today since I've had a busy couple of days so I may write more blog posts now and schedule for later in the week. I have a big exam this weekend, a research paper due next week, and another huge exam the week after that so I'm going to try to blog when I can and schedule them so that there aren't big gaps in between blog posts. :)

I hope y'all are having a lovely start of the week! :D

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

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