Growing My Mustard Seed
For we walk by faith, not by sight – 2 Cor 5:7
I grew up doing what Mom told me to do; go to church, catechism and say your prayers before bed. As I went through the motions I never really understood what all this meant until much later in life when I found myself searching for meaning. Like many, I ventured away from the church and praying as a young adult. That is until I was knocked to my knees, struck with grief, fear, and anger. Asking God how and why? Three weeks before my daughter was born I heard these words “Your child will be born with Anencephaly and will not live.” On August 15, 1998, my daughter was born, and her condition was up and down for two months. I prayed like I never prayed before asking for help and how would I live through all of this. It was at her death that my faith resurfaced as I held her and gave her permission to go home to Jesus and Mary. What I witnessed shortly after saying those words was nothing short of His presence and grace that would never leave me. It has been 18 years since my daughter went home to be with the Lord.
“For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, Move from here to there, and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you” - Matthew 17:20. I woke up one day and heard a faint voice saying this is not where you belong. Jesus knew that the life I was living was not going to fulfill me and I felt Him calling me to come to know Him and to rest in His arms.
I realized that there was more to life and that my life would never be fulfilled without the Holy Spirit, so I began searching. I met my husband, and we talked about God, church, prayer and my daughter’s story. With his help, I picked up some shattered pieces and started my healing. I began attending retreats, spiritual direction, writing, met wonderful priests, nuns and started surrounding myself with people who were filled with the Holy Spirit. I needed and longed for more. Once I opened my heart and asked the Holy Spirit to come into my life that is when my life began to change.
While on a retreat last year, I was asked if I had anyone I needed to forgive. It was evident, there was a person I needed to forgive but when asked that question before my answer would always be “no, I’m good and that I have forgiven everyone.” The Holy Spirit told me differently that night, and He hit me hard, so I knew it and prayed about it for weeks. I woke up one day, pulled out a notebook and started writing a letter of pain, sorrow, and forgiveness for that person. My letter ended with “You no longer have a hold on me, and I am free.”
I was not aware that I was filled with the Holy Spirit as there were no flashing light, no billboard or no loud voice. But when I stopped and looked within myself, I could see that something had happened, and my life changed. My life took on a new meaning, I feel different, and I Love it. Now, life is not perfect, and my journey has not been a smooth road. but I learned if I surround myself with people who share my faith and I continue to work daily on a relationship with our Father that I shall continue to grow. Of course, evil still exists, but I step with confidence that the Holy Spirit is stronger than any negative force and with God on my side, I can never go wrong.
To close, I share with you a prayer I wrote that I often say. “Jesus give me the grace this day to be open to whatever you want to share with me. Clear the clutter in my head that keeps me from you. Open my heart and fill me with the Holy Spirit.”
Laugh Often, Forgive Always, Love Hard, Dance in the Rain.