I want to start today by sharing with you a little poem that I received when I made my TEC retreat during my freshman year of college. It has always given me much to think about each time I read through it. Today I felt the urge to read it again and reflect once more upon the meaning. It is called “Let Go and Let God.” The author is unknown, as many people claim to have written it.
As Children bring their broken toys
with tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God
because He was my friend.
But then, instead of leaving Him,
in peace, to work alone;
I hung around and tried to help,
with ways that were my own.
At last, I snatched them back and cried,
“How can you be so slow?”
“My child,” He said, “What could I do?
You never did let go.”
Letting go of things has been, and I am sure will be still, one of the hardest things to do. It is not even just the good things that we seem to have a hard time letting go of; it is the bad things as well. Why, in either case, can we not let go of things that hold us from what God really wants in our life. For me, hard times came into my life and although I know not the complete source of them yet, but I was unable to fully give them to God.
It was not until that Riverbend TEC #224 that I hit a point where I could not handle it anymore and lost control of my emotions. Die night when time for confession came and I was sitting staring at Jesus, the tears did come. They flowed harder than they had in a long time needless to say, which led to some good conversations with a leader on my team. In short, she asked me if I would like the team to pray over me the next morning, and I ended up agreeing to it. As well that next morning, another leader of my team approached me (little did I know at the time that he was to be praying for me that weekend) and asked if I wanted to receive the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. After much debate, my heart said just do it. My close friend was working on another team, but had known what was going on as I asked to see her. She ended up coming the the anointing that day; more tears were shed as it happened and I was prayed over again. Powerful as it was, I hit the draining of a lifetime. I was completely exhausted and somehow made it through the work of the weekend in one piece. The following story is my close friends recapturing the weekend. It is quoted exactly from what she wrote.
Once Upon a Time…
There was a friend.
This girl longed to go outside. But she was trapped in a cage.
This girl wanted to run. But she lost energy.
This girl wanted to cry. But the tears had dried up.
This girl wanted many things. But she could not get to them.
Then there was me.
I didn’t want to go outside. But felt compelled to and did anyways.
I didn’t want to run. But I spent a long time on the swing-set anyways.
I didn’t want to cry. But it was uncontrollable and unstoppable.
I didn’t want any of these things. But I could get to them.
There is not a much stronger bond than that of friendship. The closer the friends, the stronger the bond. This story is true. The Spirit took time to move me into different places I would normally shy away from. I don’t quite understand what happened but after lining up time lines/actions/wants there is no other explanation. Like one of my favorite songs says, “God is great, People are crazy”.
I hope that others will learn when the Spirit calls, listen. Even if you don’t know why, or what it is asking. Follow. You never know what a difference it can make in someone else’s life. Or in your own life.
How is it that someone who can not see me feel what I could not feel or was not allowed to feel due to the work that I had to do? The spirit moved in us and it was the only way I made it through without leaving, not to mention the amazing community that I was surrounded by. What does any of these two things have to do with each other? It was this experience that letting go and letting God take what was hurting in me was something I tried even harder to let myself do. Sure, I still struggled and I do even now. Things that affect your life so greatly stick with you, it is what you do with them that makes the difference
As I am preparing myself for entering into formation, I think often back on this time. It was a point in my life where some things were starting to change. Sure, I was about to spend more time than I had in four years at home, which for me can be hard at times with the differing views and thoughts on stuff. Even with that, I felt more ready to battle things; despite how exhausted physically, mentally, and spiritually I was.
Given the place that I am in right now in life, I think about this often, as I had mentioned. How does most recent TEC experience link back to my first TEC experience? The difficulty I went through reminded me again of how I need to continuously let go and let God. Holding on to those pains does not help me achieve God’s plan. Preparing for formation, I often think about if these things of the past will come to affect me again, but then I realize that that thinking only hurts me. You see, I need to constantly be giving everything and every moment of every day to God. This was, He can take it all and return it to me in the form of love in what His plans for me are. These are the thoughts of the day. Remember to always let go and let God, be open to what the Spirit moves you to do, you never know what will happen in life.
Fact: The mission of the Salesian Sisters, Priests, and Brothers is to educate young people, especially the poor.