I’m getting so many messages like this one, telling me to slow down the process of publishing my book. Another spoke loud and clear in a horoscope, in a magazine that I never read, except for one night last week when i just happened to pick it up. I’m being guided to look more closely at and revise some of the content in my memoir that I thought was finished, but it’s not, and having to learn patience on a whole new level. Trust the Timing is not just the title of my book. It’s my life lesson. Oh, boy. Another lesson. Thanks, God. I might roll my eyes. I might even stomp my foot. But I’m listening, cause I know who’s running this show.
It’s becoming a tradition for me to walk the labyrinth on New Year’s Eve. On December 31st, 2010, in the center of the labyrinth, forgiveness was the key to making room for love to re-enter my life in 2011. Ever since then, my New Year’s Eve labyrinth walk is something I don’t want to miss.
On Saturday night, I expected something powerful might happen in the center, but the message was a little different. Here’s what I wrote to remember what happened:
Am I doing this right?
Don’t worry about it. Just walk.
Am I going too fast?
Maybe. Just walk.
[Restless in the center, I can’t get comfortable. Tried child’s pose and squirmed like a child. Tried sitting in the chair, tried laying down but there wasn’t room, went back to child’s pose. Refreshed the Forgiveness business]
Then I heard:
It’s time to go walk some more.
On the way back, God clarifies:
I’m with you.
Confident, encouraged, I slow the spring in my step because
I don’t want it to end.
I carry the message out with me.
Kneeling at the prayer candles,
I light her candle,
but don’t want to blow out the torch.
Let it Go
Her flame will grow.
I got this.
I’m with you
All the way.
(After I published this post, I saw that the spacing about what God said was different from what I had typed in the draft. I worked on it for a while, but couldn’t get it where I wanted it. I’m guessing God wants it to be however you see it now.)
“Do you know how much I love you?” said God.
Baby Jesus offers love
With open arms,
Pure and unconditional.
Let go of your fear!
All these gifts I give to you.
Go forward in this love.
I found these words written on a piece of notebook paper in an old pile of papers. It was a dream I had last year, ready to be re-born.
But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary. You have found favor with God.
My 85 year old dad is a stubborn
X retired Marine. He won’t move closer to me because he doesn’t want to leave the house he shared with the love of his life. He lives with pain every day – the pain of missing his soulmate and the pain in his legs from being wounded in Korea. The plastic artery they put in his leg all those years ago now prevents him from getting a knee replacement. His knee can give out on him without warning, so he has to keep his cane handy. (He won’t use a walker.)
Each deliberate step is such a challenge it sometimes pains me to watch him walk. But he’s fiercely independent. His back had been bothering him a lot over the past couple weeks to the point that he could not go to church and stopped going to his cardio rehab. (The “rehab was completed years ago, but he pays to go three times a week for the challenge and the camaraderie.)
“Don’t you think he deserves a break?” I ask God.” I don’t hear a lot back from that. Just some stuff about how Paul had chronic pain and not to worry about it because God’s Grace has it covered. Stuff I don’t want to hear but should
probably listen to.
Last weekend, I was praying extra for my dad and lit a candle for him at church. When I called him Sunday evening, he whispered he couldn’t talk because he was at his church’s Christmas. I was happy to hear that he’d made it.
The next day, I called Dad, and he was so excited! He told me that Sunday morning he woke up with “no pain anywhere!” It was the the first time in years he’d started the day with no pain. It generally takes him a long time to get ready for church with the leg pain and arthritis in his hands. He said it takes him several tries to button his top button so he can put on a tie. Well, last Sunday, he said he talked to God about it:
“God, I’m going to try this one time, and if it doesn’t work, I’m not going to button it,” he said. “I just wont wear a tie.” Dad said he buttoned that button on the first try. He was so excited telling me about that button, like a kid at Christmas. He said everything went great on Sunday. People at church told him they’d missed him, and the Christmas Cantata that night was “absolutely beautiful.” He went on to describe the music and how good it was.
He said that Monday morning he had some twinges of pain, but not as much as usual.
I guess God decided to give my dad a break.No matter what happens, even if the pain comes back, I’m thankful Dad had the gift of a joy filled day without pain. You never know when God is going to give you a miracle day.
(The buttons and needles picture is from Pixabay.)
Tuesday was my last full day at the job I worked for 30 years. In January, I’ll go back for a few hours to wrap up some paperwork and get the rest of my stuff, and there will be a “retirement” party. But these things will be on my terms and at my convenience.
My husband told me he was proud of me for retiring on my terms. But it was because of him that I was able to do it that way, cutting my hours back gradually, building my courage for the leap of faith, trusting that I would be taken care of. My husband, not wanting to contribute to the commercialization of Christmas, doesn’t like to buy presents from a store, but he loves to make things from wood like candle holders and Christmas ornaments like the balloon above. I tend to agree with him. He’s giving me the best gift of all the Christmas – the gift of retirement.
It was hard to say goodbye to my clients. But it was the right decision for me. Now, I get giggly inside, like a kid at Christmas, as I realize I don’t have to go back to the bureaucracy, to the demands to do more in less time – or bringing work home, or to the witnessing of the wreckage of addiction.
I am forever grateful to have witnessed the triumphs over addiction and for the privilege to be able to help a little. I’m thankful for all that I’ve learned. But I believe I’ve paid my dues. Now, it’s my turn to follow my heart back to its creative home. I’ll probably do a stress management group somewhere, maybe a group with a creative twist! But it will be on my terms.
I will remember all those late nights I drove home exhausted, my hands aching from the keyboard, wondering if I would ever get caught up on the paperwork, wondering if I could make it another 10 years until social security and medicare kicked in, wondering if those benefits would even be there for me in 10 years.
I will remember praying to God for deliverance, telling myself, God has a plan.
Little did I know how marvelous that plan would be. God was watching me, loving me, encouraging me, and doing the same for my soulmate 700 miles away. God waited for the perfect time, when my soulmate and I were ready to journey together. (And in case you didn’t know, I’m writing a book about that.)
Ten years ago, I asked God to take away the desire for a partner, or to send someone who is a good fit.
Today, I thank God for the gift of my husband who is a good fit. And I thank my husband for the gift of freedom to be me. On my terms. And on God’s terms.
I’ve been thinking about angels lately. About how the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, a young virgin who was engaged to be married. He started out by telling her she was favored. “The Lord is with you, ” he said.
Mary was startled and confused. Who wouldn’t be?
So, Gabriel tried to comfort her before he delivered the big news:
“Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:30-33 NIV
Can you imagine how Mary felt? How Joseph felt? It’s a good thing an angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” Matt 1:20 NIV
The angels watched over Mary and Joseph and guided them on their difficult journey, giving them strength to persevere.
We don’t usually get angels talking to us, telling us not to be afraid. Or maybe we do. Maybe the urges we get to do something different or try a new path are coming from God’s messengers, but all our technology and distractions make it harder to recognize divine nudges. That doesn’t mean they’re not nudging and trying to protect us, often shaking their heads.
I know angels watched over me in the late 70s when my parents prayed for me constantly Here’s an excerpt from Trust The Timing:
I still officially lived with my parents, but stayed at Edward’s apartment for days at a time. It was an unstable relationship with petty arguments and periodic break ups. During the break ups, I drove my ‘69 Dodge Dart the hour south to Wilmington to visit Terry and Sally or Caroline. They were all living there in port city/college town at one time or another during the late 70s. Those were some of my wildest weekends leaving me with not-so-fond memories of heaving over somebody’s toilet at two in the morning or wondering if I should be a little more selective about who I ended up in bed with. Yet, there was an element of relative safety being with my high school girlfriends who would have my back if things got too far out of control. Not to say that I was always safe, but thankfully, there was no permanent damage. The angels must have been run ragged.
Thanks again, angels!
Fast forward to this century and I get the nudge: “I’m supposed to be painting angels,” a thought that came to me several years ago. When I started to actually paint angels, which was the least I could do, the angels danced.
Maybe when my high school sweetheart decided to pick that particular June day in 2011 to look for me on Facebook, after not hearing from in 39 years, maybe an angel nudged him along, because it was time.
Maybe angels are nudging me to write this blog post.
But enough thinking! Sometimes thinking too much might distract us from feeling spiritual nudges. So here’s a video that makes me giggle. I hope you enjoy it.
The kids read the story and the grownups act it out.
I never would have imagined that at the age of 56, after twenty years of marriage and the unexpected divorce that brought me to my knees, after the rebound from hell followed by the rebound from purgatory, and after five years of celibacy when I almost gave up on romance, that I would end up marrying the love of my life.
God had a plan all along. We just had to be ready. Not perfect, just ready to work on our stuff together.
Never give up.
You never know
what wonderful surprises
are waiting right around the corner!