Since I’ve now had multiple family members ask if I still have a blog/if I’m alive, I figured it was time to admit that this blog has fallen by the wayside with the start of a crazy year at Wayne State College.
The house is now thankfully bat-free (I know you were wondering) and autumn is finally upon us (it’s 65 degrees right now!), which are both very exciting. My day-to-day life here in Wayne is finally falling into something that resembles a routine. It’s wonderful.
But the simple word “forgotten” has been weighing on my heart in so many ways recently. I seem to have forgotten the importance of updating my blog (sorry mom!) and I came to the realization last week that there have been a few times that I had felt forgotten by God.
It hit me that I’ve been in a state of desolation (a time period where I can’t hear or feel God’s presence, even though His love is certainly still there) and I hadn’t even realized it. (I pay really good attention to my own mental state, clearly.)
So on Thursday evening, I walked into the church, planning to do my daily holy hour at a different time than normal, thinking I might get some alone time with Jesus and that being alone might help me concentrate better.
I was wrong.
On Thursdays in Wayne, there’s a Spanish-speaking prayer group held by the Latino community in the surrounding area. I took a seat quietly in the back, attempting to not disturb their group.
Even though I speak a fair amount of Spanish, I wasn’t listening too intently when one woman came up to request prayers for healing of some sort. After a few minutes of explanation, she knelt in front of the altar, and the rest of the members of the community began to pray for her, most of them praying aloud. One woman led the prayer and spoke into the microphone so everyone could pray along with her.
Immediately, I was struck with gratitude for the universality of the Catholic Church. Here I am in Wayne, Nebraska, getting to practice my Spanish listening skills as well as unite my prayers to theirs, all of us in front of the same Jesus Christ who can be found in all the tabernacles throughout the world.
As the prayer continued, though, it got more and more intense. I could hear and feel the Holy Spirit moving through the words of these people, even though I couldn’t understand all of what they were saying.
It wasn’t until the woman leading the prayer almost yelled repeatedly “MIRA, JESUS!” (“Look, Jesus!”) that I understood what was happening in my own soul. The words were welling up inside of my own heart and being shouted, in sincere and humble honesty, by someone speaking a different language.
“Jesus, pay attention to me! Do not forget me! Remember me! Here I am! Come and be with me! JESUS, LOOK!”
A few nights later, during the eclipse on Sunday, some of the students and my teammate Liz and I went stargazing. We sat on the rugby field in the dark, looking up at the myriad stars, perfectly visible in the absence of the moonlight. I explained to a few of the students this experience I had had in prayer, and as I looked up and out at the great expanse of the universe, feeling tiny, I felt so loved and so remembered by my Heavenly Father.
In our smallness, in our humility, in our crying out, and in our most honest moments of pain and forgotten-ness, God never leaves us.
I just read an article from the Daily Nebraskan (the newspaper written by UNL students) by a girl struggling to reconcile her atheism and how it fits with death. Her honesty is beautiful, and I wish so desperately that I could explain to her why death doesn’t scare me — because I am remembered at every moment, never once forgotten, by the very same God who created me. He made me (and YOU!) to be with Him eternally in Heaven, and He will continue to pursue our hearts until we’re ready to find Him. You can invite Him in — you can choose to believe — with your free will, and He will not forget or leave behind your heart. As much as I hate to admit it sometimes, it is not all about feelings.
“When you call me, and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the Lord…” Jeremiah 29:12-14
A few pictures of what we’ve been up to this year :)