I heard what must be my theme song for the upcoming year last week on the radio.
You can tell what high hopes I have for the year, right? Really, I do hope it is a good year, but the reality of the end of last year is still a bit too close.
Today, I was given what will probably be my mantra for the upcoming year.
A year or two ago, I realized that the Sacrament of Reconciliation is a good place to go when the going gets tough. I explained it to my husband before I left this afternoon: School is about to start and I need all the grace I can get. Grace doesn't come cheap, but there is a ton of it in this sacrament. I don't know why or how, but it is like a well (of Living Water, no less) that the thirsty can drink from.
I go with my list of "the usuals". If there's any hope for fixing some of those things, it has to start somewhere. And this is as good a place as any. It takes me a little bit of time to get my footing, but the good Father waits patiently, and I eventually make my way down the list.
Then there's the whole school issue.
"The end of last year was difficult," I begin. We've had bits and pieces of that conversation before and there's no need to go into specifics.
"But I made it, and I didn't make it alone. There was a lot of prayer and grace." "But I'm really not too eager to go back this year. I am afraid of what waits for me there." "Because even though I told God how to fix it, He probably didn't follow along with my plans."
"Probably not," he agrees.
"And I know the fear comes from a lack of trust that God knows what He is doing....from a need to control the outcome...."
Though I seldom leave the confessional walking on air with the weight of the world lifted, as some do, there is ALWAYS something good that comes from the encounter. Sometimes the advice, sometimes the penance, sometimes a gesture or an offhand comment that is *just* what I needed. (And always, absolution.) I haven't had this experience except for the last couple of years, but then when you go to confession once every year or two as I did for so long, it is hard to establish any kind of continuity. There is something to be said for a regular confessor and somewhat regular attendance.
There wasn't much in the way of advice this time. I know this is something that is just going to have to be walked through. There's no magic wand.
My penance - spend some time in prayer with "Lord, show me the goodness You want me to become." "It might take a little bit of time; you might not finish right away," he says, "but you'll understand." Kind of sounds like it might be a year-long process to me. Transforming, changing....
Is that not perfect to laminate and put on my wall?
Lord, show me the goodness You want me to become.
Is it not the perfect companion to my other frequent prayer- "Lord, show me what needs to be fixed in my life?"
Living water from the font of mercy! A tall drink for a thirsty one!
Editing to add: God did answer my prayer. I blogged about it here.