Today is "Ash Wednesday". I am Catholic and proud of my faith. I actually became Catholic just a year ago. I confirmed at Easter, and it was a moment I will never forget. My family never went to any steady church - in fact they bounced from place to place, religion to religion, and 90% of the time we didn't go.
My whole family IS catholic (cradle catholics), but didn't practice their faith.
My Nana, my loving loving dear Nana, she was an old school catholic, and was actually a Catholic Nun for years before she stepped out of the convent to marry a man she fell in love with.
I grew up watching her pray the rosary when I would see her, and always wanted to go to a mass with her.. but I wasn't allowed. I was actually baptized as catholic when I was born, but my parents left the catholic faith, and never went forward with it again.
Confirming as a Catholic was a turning point in my faith that also helped with my healing. It was a dream come true. It's what I wanted since I was a child, and knew that is where I wanted to go and be in my faith to love and honor God.
The day that I confirmed, Easter 2011, all of my support was there at the church that night. It was an honor to look out, and see the ones who support and love me in this healing journey. I was in tears of joy taking the oath of faith. It was a moment that stood still in my life, it stood still thinking that God helped me open my heart fully to all possibilities. I called it a "trinity" of connection.
One of the things I said that night was "I wish my Nana was here to see me", and I was reminded that she was with me, in spirit.
Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the lenten season, and I sit and wonder how can I sacrifice my time and honor the faith that God has given me? Lenten season is 40 days, and for me, it's not just about 40 days of giving something up, it's also about 40 days of "giving". How can I honor a small part of my busy days, busy time, and busy life to honor God in a way to show him that I can sacrifice time for him, as he does for me.
Tonight I sat in church during mass and I prayed for all my blessings for everything I have. I also sat with the sacrifices I will make for the 40 days of lent. How can I honor my time with God? I can pray daily and take that time out for him, I can do things for people, I can volunteer my time and work as I usually do, OR what I can do, I can continue to honor the healing path that God has opened up for me, and I can also help others along the way in my writing.
I have so many blessings in my life, My wonderful husband and 3 Boys.. I am blessed by their life and I am so thankful that God has given me love to have back after such horrible abuse in my life. My boys are so open hearted loving loving boys who I am so fortunate to have.
Then there is my support, I have a therapist who is Christian, and is open and loves to talk about God with me as well. He helped me walk towards God again. I was angry angry for years in thinking that how could God see me so hurt and not save me through that pain. But then he made me realize that God was standing there in tears for me, but gave me strength to get through it. I am so grateful that I turned back towards God in my healing.
I also am blessed he has put dear friends in my life who also I can trust and feel safe with. I have so many loving loving friends that I am so thankful for. I am blessed that he has given me a church that I can go to; to be with people who love and are all there for the glory of god "together" in connection. Connection is something I have come to love and find safety in.
Today it's about sacrifices and being blessed for the things we have.. and today I am blessed and I will continue to work in Gods honor, I wont just honor him for 40 days, I will honor him everyday, for the rest of my life.