“I wish it was a year from now when all this craziness has passed,” Cecelia said with a sigh as we were sitting together recently at the end of the night. I was thinking, “Amen to that!” Before I could respond Tate said, “Who’s to say things are going to be better a year from now? We can only live our life to the fullest today.” So glad Tate beat me to the response. He was absolutely right.
If you had told me a year ago that in 2020 my baby girl would spend every day of her life after birth in the hospital, die and there would be a worldwide pandemic that would shutdown even our churches, I probably would have gone to my room and fallen into a clinical depression. Mercifully, I was unaware what the year before me held. I had an idea of the future before me, but it was only an illusion.
We are in a time of great unrest and division, it can become overwhelming. What are we to do? How can we make a difference in a world so full of hurt and injustice? Perhaps the answer is very simple.
I am reading the life story of Chiara Corbella Petrillo, a young Italian wife and mother who died very young. As she was struggling with the illness that would eventually claim her life she said, “We do not feel courageous, because in reality the only thing that we have done is said yes, one step at a time.” Perfection. This is what we are to do, this is how we make a difference – we say “yes” to God one step at a time.
Many times over the past year I struggled to give that “yes,” to give my full surrender. I wanted Philomena to get better. Everyday I was waiting for her to turn that corner, a corner that never came.
I can remember the moment when I finally accepted in my heart that she may not make it on this earth. I begged God that if this be His Will, he allow the Blessed Mother to take Philomena into her arms to heaven. This acceptance didn’t bring noticeable relief. In fact, I cried endless tears from the depths of my soul. However, it was a first step in the process of me beginning to say “yes” to losing Philomena.
Over the next couple weeks, I would continue to take small steps towards surrender. These small steps, one “yes” at a time, allowed God to fill me with the graces necessary to say my final goodbye to Philomena on earth.
What I knew a year ago, as I do now, is that God is in control. I could never have imagined what lay before me then and certainly do not now. However, upon reflection I can see clearly that God prepared me and gave me the strength to handle each day of the past year. I trust He will continue to do so each day that lies before me. I simply need to continue to give my “yes.”
I have experienced painful lessons in regards to the tenuousness of life. We are not promised tomorrow. God is asking me to say “yes” to Him today in a thousand small ways as a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend.
Dear God, I pray for the grace to give you my “yes” in all my works, joys, and sufferings today and always.
St. Philomena Pauline Marie, pray for us!