A Sweet Story of God’s Love

I want to tell you about something really good that happened to me tonight, after a day of feeling particularly attacked, for lack of a better word.

First off, let me ask you this: do you believe in spiritual battles? Because I do, and sometimes when I’m having a really rough go of it I stop and ask God for his protection, and sometimes I’ll ask St. Michael the Archangel to defend me in battle and then sometimes I’ll tell Satan in the name of Jesus to leave me alone. As crazy as that might sound to you, it works.

So this morning I was having one of those days that was just very, very rough. I felt up against it, discouraged and frustrated and just out-of-sorts. And things were coming at me left and right — like conversations with people I love about subjects that are tricky and all of it was robbing me of my peace. I did not feel any peace. Not at all.

Things turned around for me mid-afternoon when I had a very good, real conversation with a trusted friend about something that was really bothering me, a situation in my life where I felt I was failing. A situation that I came up against that I worried I wasn’t handling as well as I could, something that felt almost spiritual, that’s how strong it was. Like my ability to act the way I should felt almost physically impossible.

Talking about that with someone who didn’t just let me dish the dirt but who really listened to me — and then spoke truth — that was a load off. And I was feeling better about things, but still feeling discouraged.

Tonight, at our weekly prayer meeting (which we have here, once a week our community gathers for praise and worship and just to spend time together) after that meeting someone I really love and respect came up and she told me what a good job I did handling a recent tricky situation. And not to go into the situation, but it was such a healing thing for me — to be encouraged that I had been able to be kind and loving in a moment when it was called for and when it wasn’t the easiest thing. I was able to be Jesus to someone who really needed it.

And God did something quite healing for me in that moment, and this is what I want to convey to you — we all have our own unique charisms. We have moments when we can step in and be the hands and feet of Jesus in a way that not everyone can.

This moment of clarity was less about my shining abilities in the good moment — and more about feeling free in the situation where I’ve felt that I’ve failed. Because what I realized is that there are times and situations when it takes a unique person to come in and be the healing balm — and it’s not always going to be me.

It’s okay to step back and say “there is not the grace for me to handle this.” That does not mean you have failed as a Christian.

Now that’s not the same as saying “I’m allowed to be unkind or rude.” But it’s okay to discover that in certain situations, relationships pinch.

I was talking about this with my spiritual director a while back, asking him if he thought it was realistic to get along with everyone all the time, if I needed to be striving to have some level of perfection in all of my friendships and relationships.

“You need to be kind to people,” he said, “but this isn’t heaven. Life on earth is not perfect.”

I hope you remember that today, as you go about your day. There are times when things pinch, when they sting a bit. You are human — it’s okay!

Your duty is to love, but in the way God is calling you to love in that moment.

Sometimes that love means taking a step back and letting someone else step in.

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Comments

  1. allison gaskins says:

    Amen, Sistah! xo

  2. Now this was my word from the Lord for this day! Thank you, Rachel.

  3. Top five posts ever for me. You, sweet lady, are a rockstar of a writer and a super rockstar of a person, even on days when you aren’t!

  4. Anthony Measures OSB says:

    I simply admire the way so many Moms cope. I recommend you to remind Our Blessed Lady about that incident in Jerusalem when Jesus was 12 years old. I hope you have not had that experience or ever will. From henceforth you and all the family are part of my daily Mass intention. Love and prayers and God bless you all from Anthony Measures aka Fr Augustine Measures OSB

  5. Thanks y’all, for the sweet and encouraging comments. It really does help to know when something you write touches someone — helps me think “okay! I *was* listening to the Holy Spirit!”

    • I believe you were, indeed, listening to the Holy Spirit! I, too, believe in spiritual battles and needed to be reminded of how to combat it. I am right in the middle of a terrifying ordeal and couldn’t even think of how to ask God for help – I just kept fighting the earthly fight, you know? My God, this post was timely. Thanks, Rachel, from the bottom of my heart.

  6. Rachel-you are correct in the spiritual battle thing. It is VERY real. I have a family whose son is battling drugs/alcohol for 10 years. He is in a rehab. in FL. he family has never attacked this sickness from a spiritual way until recently. So one night, every time the name JESUS was mentioned, the phone would go dead. It was amazing, but the parents never gave up and the on did not either. They just kept calling. The son know says the demons are still there but he is not as fearful. They are invoking the name of Jesus and Mary and the blood of Jesus. This is a real battle. Please have your readers pray for this family. The son has tried suicide in the past, so it IS a matter of life and death.

  7. I’ve read your blog for a while but never commented but I just wanted to re-iterate that you were completely tuned into the Holy Spirit with this one!
    What a blessing this entry was to me and I reminded myself of it today as I started to wallow in self – pity which is my usual area of spiritual attack. I’ve had a really rough week and this article helped me tune into why the enemy might be wanting to attack me especially this week…
    So, I really upped my prayers to Archangel Michael and any other angels feeling inclined my way this morning, sat in adoration and went to mass and confession and have been like a new woman all day. Thank you! And God bless you and yours,
    Lizzie from London, UK

  8. Reading this today is a blessing. Very long story short, we have had a young man living with us for over nine months (nine VERY L O N G months…) My husband and I both believe it was (is) God’s will for us to take him in, but it has been SOO hard for me. I’m an introvert. I don’t DO well with people in my home for extended periods (like, over a few DAYS…), even people I really like. To top it off, I have dealt with some depression and hormonal imbalances for the past few years, that I only recently recognized enough to treat, so this all came at a very inopportune time! I feel like I have not loved well. But at the same time, I feel like I have loved as well as I have been ‘enabled’ to, if that makes any sense.
    Thank you for speaking grace to me today!
    p.s. I would have liked to see a picture of you all gussied up 😉

  9. loved this one!!! makes me happy to see i’m not alone when i struggle like this!!!Thanks so much for this!!!