I woke up yesterday and decided "today is going to be different" "today I am going to fight for a sliver of the old me" and so it was, and I did feel a part of the old me shining thru. I went out and got a cup of my favorite coffee (photo of me on left). I then decided I was going to take each moment one step at a time and go to church for 9:30am confession.
As I drove to my church, I kept saying to myself "no thinking behind, no thinking forward, only focus on right now".
I haven't stepped foot in my church in over 8 months. I was nervous and shaky; worried that at any moment I was going to turn the car around and make it into another month I haven't stepped foot in my church - but I didn't.
I got to church and walked through the front doors and immediately I felt at home. All my worries and anxiety's swept away at the sound of the mass going on and the familiar scent of the church.
I stood there in line for confession as I watched the remaining 9am mass come to a close. Father Paul was doing the Mass assisted by Deacon Bill. It was nice seeing familiar faces to ease the anxiety trying to build up inside of me.
Mass was over and the priests made their way to the confessional booths, and I texted by therapist really quick telling him where I was and that I was in line for confession at church. His response back was pure excitement as he knows how much this has been a painful struggle for me making my way back to something I truly love after the hard year I have gone through.
I got up to the confessional and I cried, and cried, and cried as I sat there in front of Father Paul. He smiled because he is the one I talked to about why I was struggling to come back to church, he was just happy to see me 8 months later making my way back to where I belong.
Confession ended with a "welcome home" from Father Paul and sent me off to do my penance of 5 "our father" prayers.
I went into the sanctuary and kneeled on the pew and did my penance and just sat there for a moment taking in what I have missed in 8 months. Nothing had changed in the church except for me. I felt different, like there was a different version of me showing up to the church this time.
I know there is healing to be done, but something about healing while being most connected is different and I lost that part of me this year.
The next step is making it to 11am mass this morning. The 11am mass is the mass I went to every single Sunday since I became Catholic. I sit in the same seat, at the same mass every Sunday. Everyone knows me and where I sit because I never changed my routine in church.
As I sit here this morning I am making my way to get ready for Church. I am nervous that something will pull me away and not allow me to show up like what the past 8 months have been for me - but I am going to just take this moment and apply it to the next and see where it leads me just like yesterday.
Confession was the easy part, going to Mass being in the presence of all those who don't understand where I have been is the challenge.
Finding the worthiness to show up is the part I have had the toughest time with for months and months, and I hope and pray that God will guide me there today and bring me the same goodness and grace that he gave me yesterday.
Yesterday was a day of goodness and grace, and my hope is that today will be a reflection of just that.