This past weekend was another hard one, toward the end. DH and the Boy went on a campout so the Girl and I were home alone. We had a pretty good time just hanging out. I ate too much junk and will see the result this afternoon at Weight Watchers.
I became worrying about money again. It’s the end of the month and things, again, were stretched a little thin. With DH camping, it was extra hard for me because I couldn’t talk to him about it and hear him tell me it was going to be okay.
Sunday came and my boys came home. By the time DH came home I had decided to not talk to him about the money because I didn’t want him to get upset over my worry and he has enough on his mind and tends to mull over stuff longer than he needs to. However, the money issue did come out and he did tell me everything would be okay, but I wasn’t okay with that.
I worry about not contributing to the family financially, and even if I did knuckle down and get these books finished, it would be awhile until we saw any money (if we actually did). This line of thinking led to all kinds of unhealthy, spiritually, thoughts.
A couple of years ago, I heard a priest at a retreat talk about sin and what are the greatest sins we can commit. He said it wasn’t murder or adultery or even abortion.
Despair is the greatest sin because it means a complete rejection of God’s love for us. We begin to believe that we’re worthless to God and that He doesn’t care for us. When this priest spoke about this, I nearly left the room, it hurt so much and felt so close to home. I was deeply in tears.
Yesterday, I went to mass early as I usually do when the Girl and her father sing in the choir. Mass starts at 6 pm, but the choir is usually there at 4:45 pm to practice. DH wasn’t feeling good so he wasn’t going to sing, so he decided to come along later. He was coughing violently unpredictably so he didn’t want to be there any longer than he needed to be.
I had my journal with me, and my Catholic Women’s Bible. After getting the Boy settled with a pen and some paper, I started journaling about things. I wrote about how discouraged I was and how I felt like I didn’t have a purpose. I felt like I was in a hole that just keeps getting deeper and deeper. All of this came from my discouragement from our financial situation.
Then I picked up my Bible and read the mass readings. One of them was on Christ’s wilderness journey and there was a devotion written exactly for that reading. It was eerie how it practically had my name written on it.
The devotion was about how we sometimes have to go through a wilderness just like Jesus had to.
“At times, the Spirit will also leas us into the wilderness to endure a time of trial. It may be a wilderness of loneliness, illness, misunderstanding, poverty, failure, or doubt.”
“If you find yourself in the wilderness, perhaps you should be encouraged. God may be preparing you for a time of greater fruitfulness and joy.”
“Your enemy wants to convince you that God has abandoned you and that you are good for nothing.”
“There will be an end to your wilderness.”
Of course there was more in the devotion, but it was like someone knew what I wrote in my journal and was responding.
Wait! Someone did know and He was responding.
You ever have a 2×4 moment? That’s what I call it when God has been trying to get your attention for so long and eventually He just has to take a 2×4 to your head!!
If that devotion didn’t wake me up, the priest’s homily did. Our associate pastor is Indian and sometimes his accent is hard to understand. Also, he has the habit of telling jokes at the beginning of his homily, always jokes that seriously don’t make sense. I don’t know if they don’t translate into English or if I can’t understand his train of thought or accent or what it is, but even my husband and daughter have said, “Yeah, I didn’t get it either.”
Anyway, yesterday, his story wasn’t a joke, and I GOT IT! He talked about how we have to empty ourselves of ourselves in order to let the Holy Spirit in. He said that Jesus went through the wilderness experience because he emptied himself so that he could do what the Father intended. Even through all that, he said NO to Satan.
We can’t get what God wants us to get when we’re full of everything else. Like the world.
I heard a guy on the Christian radio station talk about what it means to be “in the world, but not of the world.” (Do you think God’s been hitting me on the head for a while?????) He said that boats are made for water. A boat sits in the water and that’s what it’s supposed to do. However, if water get INTO the boat, that’s not a good thing and can cause immense damage. Sometimes that damage can’t be undone.
We need to be IN the world, but we can’t let the world get INTO us!
Well, Father Joseph said that when we are worried about stuff in the world, or when we can’t let the Holy Spirit in, that’s MATERIALISM!!
My stomach clenched (2×4 to the head time). I was worried about money and worried about how would we ever get out of this hole. That’s Materialism!!!!!
After communion, I fell on my face (figuratively, of course, we sit in the front row right by the Eucharistic ministers. Falling on my face would seriously disrupt the flow of communicants!) before the Lord and repented of my materialism. I don’t know how NOT to worry about money, short of having DH deal with everything and not tel me anything, but that’s not really practical. So, that’s what I prayed about. How do I not let the money worries get to me?
I’m beginning a course of keeping my Bible and rosary close at hand at all times and remembering that Jesus is my lifeline and there will be an end to his wilderness time, and it will be a time of fruitfulness and JOY!