All I know for a fact is that this afternoon was NOT pretty. I was in the middle of making a bed and trying to pray about going to Reconciliation tomorrow, but like all my prayers these days, they turned to outbursts of anger and desperation. I found myself begging God to just let me know that Bernadette was happy, among other things. At one tiny point I heard this faint voice ask, “Don’t you trust Me?” and I immediately responded without hesitation, “NO! You took Bernadette from us, how am I suppose to trust You???” Then I burst into tears yet again and just held my eyes hard. When I finally stopped to take a breath I pulled the Kleenex away from my eyes, caught my reflection in the mirror and almost screamed in fright. I looked positively possessed! My eyes were pitch red (like the way they do it on TV to indicate that someone isn’t human or they’re completely taken over by an alien being) and the bottom lids were turned outward probably from the force of pushing on them. It scared me. It also brought me back to reality in a hurry. For the rest of the afternoon I realized that my trust has been shaken. It was always so easy to trust in God when things were going good or even not so good, but now with everything on the line I have to seriously ask myself, “Do I truly believe or not? If the answer is yes then I should know the answer to my desperate prayer. Of course Bernadette is okay! Why would she not be?
Then tonight at Mass our pastor was talking about the bottom line being believing that Jesus is our Lord and Saviour. He said that it’s not that we don’t believe Jesus is our Lord and Saviour, the question is ‘to what degree do we believe’? What! Was he a fly on the wall in my bedroom this afternoon???? I’m not proud of my lack of faith or my struggle to believe in His love for me right now, but I also feel helpless to be any different. It’s like being in the middle of the ocean without so much as a life preserver. It’s so easy to grow weak and go under on a regular basis and the only drive to return to the surface for air is the basic instinct to survive. After Father’s homily I did feel a little bit of relief though knowing that I’m not totally lost, I just lost sight of the goal and truth for a time. I allowed my focus to shift ever so slightly day by day until the truth was out of my direct vision. So much so in fact that for a brief moment, in the mirror it was like I saw the Devil looking back at me. So this is what it looks like when I give the enemy the upper hand, huh. Don’t know as I want to make that mistake again if I can help it! All I can say is I’m thankful for tonight’s life preserver and I hope I don’t let go of it any time soon.
In our house we have certain buzz words that trigger movie quotes and one is the word ‘believe’ and it triggers the quote from the live action Peter Pan movie a few years back, “I do, I do, I do believe in fairies. I do, I do, I do believe in fairies. . . . . . .” repeated over and over by most of the characters until Tinker Bell recovers and is filled with life again. Well I think I need to change the quote to “I do, I do, I do believe in Jesus” and repeat it over and over with every breath and every arm stroke until I’m once again on dry ground. And that may take a really long time, and that’s okay, just as long as I find myself on the shores of “Aslan’s Country” when I do set foot on dry land again. Now how is that for combining movie images!!! I just hope too that the ocean I’m lost in is in fact His “ocean of mercy” because I really really really need it to be.