It has been over a year and I am still grieving my ministry. The mediation program may help but I don’t think it will replace the joy I got from ministering to people. Part of what I did was lay hands on those who wanted prayer for healing. This was so moving for me. I always prayed before turning my hands over to God for it was not me. If any healing took place it was not my healing but God’s. I miss this connection with God and others so much.
People would come to a small chapel after taking communion and I would anoint them with oil and pray for them. Most of the time I would take them in my arms and pray from my soul. This was a moment to share with someone else and with God. The church I attend now wouldn’t find it appropriate for me to do this since I am not ordained. I do miss it so.
I hate it that I can’t let all of this go. I still dream about it. It seemed so much to be where I belonged. Sometimes I am so upset with God but I know he can handle it. Somehow there will be something for me to do. I know that there will be a place for me. I just have to wait. There is that awful word again. Wait. But I will wait for God to speak.
Today is Shrove Tuesday. The term shrove is the past tense of shrive which in old English has to do with confessing and being forgiven or shriven. This Tuesday is also called Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday (the beginning of lent). Most people would think of this as being the last hurrah of Mardi Gras a big festival day in New Orleans. For those who are not in liturgical churches lent is a season of penance and fasting. Society pays little attention to most of this.
I love the seasons of a liturgical church. I love how the colors on the altar change and the mood of the music is different. I think that it is somewhat like those who depend on the seasons of the year for their livelihood feel when seasons change.
Lent calls for some change to be made in our lives. Many people give up something, sweets, alcohol, smoking or some habit they would like to change. I am more inclined to take on something….working to be more kind, reading something spiritual, visit someone I have neglected….whatever I seem to have forgotten or put off.
Lent is a time to take stock. A time to look inside ourselves and change what needs changing to make ourselves see the beauty of Easter. The more you observe Lent the more meaningful Good Friday and Easter become.
Do you ever have a day where you struggle to know where you belong? I have been at sea for over a year. I know that there is something somewhere that will fulfill this need I have to use the skills that God has given me over the years. I am working toward mediating for court cases but I don’t know if this is where I belong. The problem is that I don’t seem to belong anywhere.
It is a terrible thing to spend a lifetime acquiring skills that can be used to make peoples lives better and be unable to use them. In the last few weeks I have had some situations arise where I know that my ability to navigate the medical system is needed by so many people but I can’t find the place where I can use that. It feels so frustrating. Struggling through the maze of medicine today is so hard on patients. It is changing so fast and getting more and more complex. I wish I could see the direction that I could go to help and see clearly the path ahead. I want to know that this is what God is calling me to do or if I should just move in another direction.
I hate being in limbo! Again I am suffering from waiting. I have no patience. There may be a lesson that I need to learn before God opens the path in front of me. It has happened before and I have been the in wilderness before. I waited and the answer landed in my lap. I just need to listen for God and wait.
Some days are great. The weather is beautiful. It was today. Everything is going fine. It was. And then suddenly, for no reason, you are sad. I can’t explain it. Nothing happened. I am just sad.
Sometimes memories crop up and you remember people who are no longer here and sadness creeps in. That is one of the hardest things about aging. It is possible to lose people at any age but it becomes more frequent as we grow older. Every now and then the losses catch up with you and you can’t help shedding tears and thinking about them.
Two great friends are gone. One several years ago and one just two years this month. She had been my friend since we were in grade school and she wasn’t supposed to be gone before me. She knew me the longest than anyone left in my life and I miss her. I miss the connection. I miss getting to call and just laugh about the past.
This is a normal part of aging but not one that is fun. I am grateful for all those years with both of those friends and I can’t say that I’m not glad to be alive. As long as I am here and others who remember then they are not forgotten. They live on in my heart and in the hearts of others. Love matters. Love didn’t die with them. Love lives on and I don’t regret any of it.
Tomorrow I begin a new journey. When I started this new path my daughter said that since I can do what I want I am in “sampling” mode. That is, I can try different things to see what I want to do. I am not a person who can just sit home and I need to do something that helps. I begin Mediation training tomorrow. I will be volunteering as part of the civil court system to help people come to some agreement rather than go to court. I know that this will be challenging but I have mediated so many things in my life that it sounds interesting to me. If it doesn’t work for me I don’t have to do it.
I have to be at the training at 8:00 am and I am no longer used to getting up early so it will be a new perspective. The training is three and 1/2 days long so I think I can put up with it for that long. I have the advantage to work when I want.The schedule is flexible.
Getting out of the house and learning something new will be good for me. I have not only been vegetating but also less happy. I need challenges and I need growth to keep me from anxiety and depression. I am so much better when I have a focus. I hope that it helps me get out of the rut I have been in and ease my IBS.
I am of the opinion that when we focus on helping others we tend to focus less on ourselves. We have less time to obsess and sink into a depressing pattern. Helping others is so rewarding on many levels. We develop a sense of self worth and feel better about ourselves. Just knowing that you have made a difference in another’s life is a blessing. Maybe if those of us who tend to spend too much time in our own minds could lead a life of giving ourselves we would experience some healing.
Helping is healing!
This past month has been full of challenges and opportunities for me to backslide. During all the things that worried me I have kept on going. The only thing to mar my moving forward has been IBS. I was so good for over a year until last summer and stresses jumped on me and it was difficult to keep worry and anxiety at bay.
The issues concerning me have not been mine to tell but they do impact me. Hopefully some progress has been made looking forward and getting a grasp on solutions. It is easy to know that plans don’t always work out but at lest I think the issues have been identified and are moving forward.
I think the other difficulty for me has been finding a home for my spiritual life. I am disconnected and feel a piece of me missing. I do relate strongly to music and ritual. That is why I gravitate to liturgical churches. The beauty of the liturgy moves me. I have been so blessed by amazing music over the last 20 years that that piece of me is also adrift. I can listen to the things I love at home but it is not the same as hearing it in a place with amazing acoustics and glorious musicians.
To feel immersed during liturgy is what I crave. I know that I have to find some solution but I feel incapable at the moment. I have a good understanding of where those things can be found but there are other issues holding me back. I sometimes end up just staying home. This is not a solution and not a good choice. I continue to grieve over the loss. Will I ever find that place of peace again?
I have not written for several days. The internet was down for a while but then I didn’t feel like writing. I have been struggling with IBS which triggers anxiety. It can be depressing to be hesitant to go out due to IBS. There are a lot of things going on in my life that have stressed me. However, life goes on and my minor glitches will not stop the world.
When things are like this I work to remember the big picture. I am alive. I have a home to live in and food to eat. I am not homeless and destitute. It is time to be grateful for what I have instead of whining for what I don’t have. It is for me to adjust my perspective.
I am summoning my coping skills and will be meditating and praying to calm my soul. I have had a lifetime to learn and even though I struggle at times I know what to do. I am aware that many with anxiety and related issues have not yet learned coping skills and suffer greatly. It is wonderful to read blogs when others share their coping tips. Knowing that others struggle makes us not feel alone and we can try ideas and find what helps us.
Prayer allows us to reach out to the help that never leaves us. It is possible for God to feel distant but that is our perception and is not real. God is always there. …sometimes just waiting for us to reach out. Life is never smooth. God is the rock…the foundation that shores us up. Never forget that.