My next posting was to be “Lentils, Love and The Lord” about a dear neighbor who came to my aid when I had the flu after Christmas. Instead, I found myself led in another direction after reading Drewe DeJesus’ posting here on Queen of Peace Media.  As I finished watching and listening to the video that Drewe included, another YouTube video popped up immediately for me to view. It’s a song titled  “You’re Gonna Be Okay,” by Jenn Johnson.

From the moment I listened to it, the song haunted me. I felt as if it was my “theme song” for what I was living through in this moment of time. I have not been able to stop listening to it nor praying with it.  I am hooked!  I play it in my car and in my home the minute I walk in the door.  I know you shall be hooked as well because it applies to every one of us and our hearts no matter where we find ourselves right now.  In whatever situation we are in, “hope,” can be grasped from this song. Yes, we are gonna be okay, when we slip our hands into the Hands of Jesus.

I realized, too, that my next publishing date would be, January 26th, two days before my mother’s birthday of January 28th. For this reason, I have dedicated this particular posting to her.  This is my tribute to Antoinette! I feel like she has always been singing this song to my soul since she left her earthly home when I was ten years old.  Some of the lyrics are as follows:

Hope is Never Lost.” 

“Don’t Let Go”

“You’re a Fighter” 

“This is Not the End”

“You’re Stronger than You Know”

These are definitely “essentials” that my mother packed into my suitcase for my life’s journey. They have continually been unpacked time and time again for every life instance where I have needed them. Maybe they could be considered “basic training” mantras for life. “You’re Gonna Be Okay . . . no matter what!” My mother tells me, “Anita, I left you a firm and lively faith to live by in Jesus Christ and His beautiful mother.” As I write these words in “black and white,” I find them resonating in my soul as I reflect on what she is instilling into my heart. These words have “power” and I hope you feel the same as you read them and take them into your own soul.

Unpacking my bag yet again for you, I find it is something that I have experienced in the last month personally. We always find ourselves in new situations that will be challenging to us and I find my latest experience packed at the very top of my suitcase. It is kind of thrown in last minute but ready to shake out and reveal to you.

It’s about facing our deepest fears, our deepest losses and being strong in keeping it together in the face of that pain.  It’s moving on . . . leaving behind a sadness, wound and fear buried deep within our hearts or sometimes maybe even leaving a person. At certain times, we do feel like we are “too far gone.”  We feel like we don’t have the strength to go on but “hope is never lost” as Jenn sings to us so beautifully.

“Hold on,” the song tells us . . . “don’t let go . . . don’t let go.  Just stay one step closer, one foot in front of the other . . . follow the light in the darkness . . . it won’t last, it’s not the end . . . you’re gonna be okay!

We all come against challenges in life and sometimes they hit us like a train that we didn’t see coming.  We can be very vulnerable at times and succumb to something we never would have entered into. We can become so blinded by our own sorrow and despair that we don’t see clearly where we are going.  Does this make sense to you now as you read?  I hope so!

So, we find ourselves at crossroads with two paths to follow before us. One. . . to follow Jesus and His will for us or to take a detour on the road of our own will. Following our own will usually seems more comfortable to us and we are complacent with just “settling in.” Usually it seems it is always what pleases us or makes us happy at that particular moment. In the back of our minds or even in our hearts, we know that it is certainly not what Jesus wants for us or what will bring true happiness to us. To be perfectly blunt, it is not His will for us at all.  His will brings joy, peace and love. Our will usually brings misery and pain.

Isn’t it fear that we experience when we would rather stay in the situation we find ourselves in rather than go the “right” way? It’s much more comfortable to stay where we are and be a “settler” rather than a “pioneer.”  A dear Jesuit priest once told me that I was like that!  California would never have been discovered had I been the one leading that expedition!  I would still be sitting cozy in the covered wagons, because as he described me, I am a “settler.”

 But, if we trust in Jesus, and His word and His promises, we know that we will grasp His hand and walk with Him on the right path where He wants us to go.  Whenever He offers us His hand, we need just to grasp it and hold on firmly.

I have written these words in honor of my precious mother. Happy Birthday Mom! You’re still mothering me from afar!

She left me with my faith in Jesus and it is Him that truly directs my path and my journey back to Him if I but listen to His word and His will, and not my own.

May we all grasp His hand this New Year of 2018 and let Him lead us always to “places of freedom and blessings.”

 

 

“Your Word is a lamp for my steps and a Light for my path.

I have sworn and have made up my mind to obey your decrees.”

Psalm 119: 105-106

 

 

 

 

©Anita Guariglia

image from pexels.com

Scripture: Magnificat (January 2018)