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Prayer & Spirituality

“A friend is one who knows who you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become and still gently allows you to grow.” –William Shakespeare

 

Behind my house is a gorgeous woods where the scenery changes with the seasons.

Spring and summer are lush, while autumn is a blaze of color and finally winter sprinkles fluffy snowflakes on ice-covered branches to create a wonderland of white lace.

It is in this current season of change from winter to spring that the trees are barren. It’s a time of transition, as if marking a rite of passage.

Lately, those woods remind me a lot of the seasons of my heart.  

During my lifetime I have loved and lost

Being visited by great joy and then unquenchable pain can sometimes sow the seeds of doubt in a person’s heart by ingraining a sort of resilience to happiness. That is what happened to me. 

As many of you know from my stories, my life was blessed in late 2010 with the entrance of Mr. Right, a CatholicMatch member. He is always on my heart and in my mind.  

From the time I met Mr. Right, my past began to meld with my future. So much so that it began to scare me when we actually began to talk about a future together. 

Somewhere along the line, my suit of armor popped up and I began to resist happiness. After all, didn’t great joy bring great pain? 

The other day, I was kneeling in prayer before my crucifix asking God to help me understand this place I’m at in my life right now. Suddenly something outside the bedroom window caught my eye. In the otherwise bleak woods, I spied a small cluster of yellow daffodils in full bloom during the second week of March. 

Now, I know that it’s been a warm winter and Wisconsin has been no exception, but daffodils require that bulbs be planted in the fall so that they can bloom in spring.  Who would plant daffodil bulbs in a woods full of tree roots?  

Very quickly I began to see a correlation between praying and the daffodils. If beauty could grow among those barren branches then why couldn’t love take root in my resilient heart? After all, there can be multiple seasons of the heart can’t there? 

That night Mr. Right called to find out what was really on my heart. He took the time to ask the right questions and most of all to listen to my answers. He accepts who I am and is helping me grow in my faithfulness to God.

The thing is, Mr. Right also loved and lost in his life, so he understands how difficult it can be to move from past to present. He has also had to let down his guard to have a second chance at happiness with me. 

The next morning after speaking to Mr. Right, I felt the awesome and powerful presence of God in my life.  

As I continue to delve deeper into the heart of my Catholic faith with Mr. Right, I see that God’s plan for us is great joy. I am content knowing that He has safely tucked my hand into Mr. Right’s for safekeeping.

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4 Comments

  1. Stephen-725391 April 1, 2012

    I was talking with my 17 year old daughter, who is like many of her classmates is a budding authoress, about her fantasy novel and made a comment that she grabbed onto for use therein. It seems to embody your thought here What do you think?

    Here it is – “There can be no happiness without suffering.”

    • Barb-505508 April 1, 2012

      Dear Stephen,

      Every morsel of happiness that I have experienced in my life has come with some sort of pain attached. Giving birth to my three beautiful sons came at the end of long, hard labor in each case. But that pain was very quickly erased at the warmth I experienced in my heart the very first time I held each of them in my arms. Likewise, all dating and ultimately marriage requires some sort of self-sacrifice. As a wise man once said, “For it is in giving that we receive.”

      Many blessings to both you and your daughter during this Blessed Easter season!

      Barb

      • Stephen-725391 April 2, 2012

        Thank you for a third party confirmation. Eternal truths are like that, however, confirmation from another that it is the TRUTH always helps. You have no idea of the Blessings that are on the verge of coming forth. I pray that your life will be filled with many more Blessings also. Stephen

  2. Erin-106817 April 2, 2012

    Thank you for the lovely piece!

    But I must say—I very much doubt that quote was written by Shakespeare.

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