Maribeth was surprised to be asked to go up on the stage Saturday morning. Though she has a background of performing on stage, this particular invitation was not to perform something she had rehearsed. This was live, unscripted participation in something big. It was absolutely lovely for me to be present with her as she got to meet a teacher who has meant so much to her over the years.
Saturday's session included prayer, music, worship and teaching. Again, I cried a great deal, with fresh sorrow and longing for Katie pouring out from deep inside of me. I felt broken open, my heart in God's hands. I could see that this kind of opening was taking place in other women, as well - there were many tears around the auditorium. A lot of emotion is generated when you get a group together and speak of the deepest relationships we have.
The awakening of deep emotion itself is not necessarily to be trusted as a sign of lasting conversion, yet it can be a way of opening - to start fresh, to feel or see anew, to allow, to "turn around." So I let go, and just experienced it. And I listened, as Beth Moore challenged me to wonder if my prayer life, and my relationship with God, are producing fruit...fruit that will feed and nourish not just myself, but others - including those who have not yet met God who is Love.
I have tried over the past five years to simply survive the cataclysmic events surrounding Katie's cancer diagnosis, treatment and death. To be frank, I have counted it success to still HAVE a relationship with God, after all that we went through. I have tried to rededicate my life to serving Him, as much as I am able. I try to do this daily, but I don't always accomplish it. I have not asked a great deal of myself in terms of growing in my faith, or in terms of sharing it with others; I have simply followed the road of gratitude and love, wherever it led, day by day. There is no shame or guilt in that; I did what I could do, and did it as faithfully as possible.
Over these five years, I have felt called to serve the hospital, the cancer community and the grieving community. My book and the video are definitely fruits of that labor, and they are good. In Kansas City, I was moved to wonder in what field God might be calling me to work and serve Him now. I am not finished sharing the book; I have a marketing plan to implement. But perhaps the seeds of the next book are being planted; perhaps my work will grow beyond this particular field.
I am reading Beth Moore's book, "Believing God;" it's not about believing IN God, but believing God's promises. I am listening, and doing my best to open my heart and mind to His message for me, NOW.
These words of Father Rohr's resounded within me:
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