This morning I ran away for a few hours. Jerry and I had signed up for the RiskJesus14 Conference here in our diocese several months ago, before Miss Courtney’s health took a turn for the worse. I was looking forward to the day hearing some fabulous talks on the new evangelization happening within the church. It’s an exciting time to be Catholic. Yes, there is persecution and difficulty but then there always has been. As one priest said “The church may be smaller but it is more dedicated and faithful because they truly believe in the magisterium, the tradition and the Eucharist.”
Amen and amen. It’s not always an easy thing to be a woman of faith, a Catholic. To choose to follow rules and regs that have been set for 2,000 years. I have to admit for most of my young life I tried very hard to find my way around them, to justify the sin. Then I got married and all I wanted was to be the BEST wife for my husband. Once children came, my faith journey deepened still.
Once Courtney was diagnosed with seizures and everything that went with them, my faith was tested for the first time in a very real way. As I write in My Story, it took seven years to decide that God knew what He was doing and the plan He set before us was one he chose just for us. It has taken another 15 years to come to this place where we are able to grasp the idea that our time with her is shorter than we thought and God will eventually choose to bring Courtney home to Him.
As I sat through the talks this morning, there were a few things that struck me. First, we ALL have a story to tell. We ALL have a journey to take. We ALL have a choice to make every single day in how face the challenges that are placed in our path. We are not alone in questioning God and what is happening in our lives. He will reveal the purpose to the plan in His time and His alone.
Second, if we must chose to keep our doors open, our hearts open and our ears ready to listen we can do the work that God has for us to do. Many people have thanked me for “sharing” Miss Courtney and our story. I always smile because in my mind and heart this is what my daughter is here to do. To touch peoples and show them that EVERY LIFE HAS PURPOSE. Every child deserves to be welcomed and celebrated no matter what their ability or disability may be. I am determined that my doors will be open to support my daughter and her mission as long as her health can handle these visits and times of prayer. It is my honor to do this for her.
Last, the support we have received blows me away. It has not taken away all our financial/practical concerns but it has lessened them dramatically. There is still much more for us to do to pay for the funeral and get out of debt but I know it will be possible. All things are possible with God.
I know I have said “thank you” a million times before and I will continue to thank you and our Lord every day of my life that I have breath within me. To be loved and prayed for in such beautiful ways is astounding. It is not an easy thing for this stubborn, self sufficient Irish-German woman to swallow her massive amount of personal pride and say that help is needed. It is not easy for my husband or son to do the same. It is not easy to hear some say not so nice things about us or our family needing the help.
Yes, that does happen and no, I am not angry about it. It hurts but I know that God knows our hearts and what we need to do, so I pray and offer my hurt for them and whatever is behind their need to hurt others. It’s not something I do naturally but it is something I have learned to do over the years. People are people. We are all sinners and need redemption. I am at the front of the line my friends. Front.of.the.line.
I know that one day God will allow an opportunity for us to pay all of this love forward in a pretty spectacular way. I am sure it is no surprise to you that I look forward to that day. For now I pray for each and every person who has reached out and made themselves known to us. I pray each and every day for those who wish to remain anonymous as well. It is my and my family’s honor and a privilege to do so.
Determined. That is my word for the week. Determined to be open and willing to do what God needs me to do for my daughter and for Him.
for any help with Courtney’s extensive medical bills**