Thursday, March 9, 2017

When St. Francis de Sales Drops Truth Bombs

Before I begin, I just wanted to say that, yes, I know the last two blog posts weren't posted on the Facebook page. I went to IFTTT to fix it and this post should be posted as soon as I publish it. If you're only following me via the FB page, the last thing posts were about my inability to start Lent "right" and about a trip to the E.R. You know, fun stuff. ;)

Today, I went to a follow-up doctor's appointment because of the E.R. visit two days ago. It was mostly good, though I did get some much-needed ear pulling for not taking the multivitamin like I should've. Mea culpa. I've set up an alarm so I won't forget because I do tend to forget to take these supplements. I mean, I even forget to drink enough water some days because I'm sometimes way too busy. (side note: yes, I downloaded an app to remind me of my water intake as well.) I have another appointment coming up in a month and we hope to see some good blood work results since we're changing my iron and folate supplements so the two that should be easier on my stomach.

While I was waiting to see the doctor, I began reading Roses Among Thorns by St. Francis de Sales. It has been sitting on my bookshelf, collecting dust, for years so I decided to read it for Lent. As you may know from two posts ago, I hadn't gotten a chance to slow down enough to get started on it. I only made it through the first couple of pages at the doctor's office but, man, St. Francis de Sales dropped a bunch of heavy truth bombs on me.

You know how they say that things happen when you need them most; how sometimes a letter doesn't arrive until God thinks you need what's written the most? That's how I feel about this book. I'm sure I hadn't read it until now because I needed to "hear" these things now. It honestly felt like I was getting another ear-pull, a hug, and some courage for the one thing I have to really work on: confronting my fears.

I'm not sure if my adventurous/courageous side left after my father died or if it's a result of me experiencing too much in a short amount of time but, somewhere down the line, I got a little too cautious... to the point where I developed a lot of fears. This is coming from the girl who, despite anxiety, agreed to get on the craziest, scariest rides at Six Flags Magic Mountain with a bunch of people I had just met that day (we had one mutual friend) a week after 9/11 happened. This is from the girl who wanted to drive (but couldn't because of the wrecked car) the day after she got in her car accident, a year and a half ago. This is coming from the girl who nearly left California to study in England as an undergrad, knowing no one in the area.

I highlighted a lot of things in only 19 pages of the short book. The reoccurring theme (which I'm sure is different for other people reading the book) has been that I have to face my fears in a big way. That's not to say that I'm going to do anything crazy but there's a lot that's been holding me back in recent months because of fears. This is something that I need to do on my own (with God, of course) and for myself; no one can do anything but pray that I have the courage to pull it off.

St. Francis de Sales writes that "... before bringing peace to a place, he (Jesus, Prince of Peace) first brings war (cf. Matt. 10:34-36) by dividing the heart and soul from its most dear, familiar, and ordinary affections," how "... it is when we are suffering interiorly that God rips off the last bits of skin of the old man in order to renew us..." Since I've been enduring an intense inner battle regarding fears and of letting go so that I better follow God's will for me, this really hit close to home. I think that we sometimes forget that we must suffer in order to eventually receive whatever grace/gift God wants to give us. The suffering can be for purification reasons or simply to help us better appreciate and take care of the gifts coming our way. In my case, I think it might be all of the above.

At the moment I'm vacillating between feeling like I have a bit of valor a la St. Joan of Arc (whose feast day is on my birthday) and wondering if I actually have the courage to confront my fears. I guess only time will tell but, if I keep getting bombarded by these truth nuggets, I think a lot of good things will come out of this Lenten season. You bet I'm going to review this book as soon as I finish it.

Anyway, this was something I felt like sharing today. Can you tell that I'm on spring break (aka freedom (!!!) from coursework) and that I have an insatiable urge to write, especially when I can't get on social media? lol. I miss you, social media... but this is good for me. It's not you; it's me. ;)

I hope y'all have had a lovely week thus far. :D

As always, thank you for reading and God bless! :D

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