By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God. (Hebrews 11:7 MSG)
As my husband prepared to begin classes in prayerful hope of becoming a Deacon; with mysterious ailments giving me great anxiety; with Faith preparing for another school year and the boys being teenage boys - I knew I needed to do something BIG to sure up the walls of our home and hearts. Long a big fan of the Novena - that is usually my go-to for the more serious or pressing matters. At first I considered Our Lady Undoer of Knots - but the Holy Spirit kept nudging me to attempt the 54 Rosary Novena. While I love the Rosary and the Novena - trying to put the two together for nearly 2 months seemed a little daunting.
Unable to shake the inspiration - I sat down for day one of the novena. Before I even finish the first prayer, my heart feels a second nudge from the Holy Spirit. Go outside.
Thanks Lord, but I am not a big fan of the outside - there are bugs there, and I don't like to walk the roads in my neighborhood because they are busy and the narrow streets and no sidewalks can be somewhat dangerous. Nope, I will just sit all comfy on this couch and pray - thanks for asking. My mind could not formulate the first prayer, the pull outside was too great. It was July 31st - and warm. Ok, ok ... I will go if you lead me. As I grabbed my flip flops (obviously I was not prepared for walking when I got outside - definitely more sitting, just in a less comfy location. Nope, said the Spirit. I want you to march around - think Joshua and friends, and the Walls of Jericho!
So no one to disobey the Spirit's movement in my heart (learned from experience that doesn't always work out well for me), I started to walk. First in my flip-flops, very leisurely, and by the end with sneakers full laced and with purpose. The Lord used these 54 days to bring me many blessings - while most can not even be put into words, here are a few that can:
Healing - my mysterious illness turned out to be menopause - full blown, ugly, with a vengeance menopause. The exercise, along with an amazing supplement I found at the drug store (as I stood in the aisle in tears begging for God's help that just HAPPEN to have a butterfly AND a flower on the package) have done tremendous good in alleviating the initial symptoms - along with some of other issues a sedentary life can bring about. In addition I lost 15 lbs -- just 20 more to go!! **In case you are wondering - yes, I am beginning a new 54 Day Rosary Novena tomorrow!!
Clarity - in case no one has ever told you God seems to have a fabulous sense of humor. On more than one occasion as I turned the corner of my yard to face the highway we abut there would be passing by a truck with words I was only second before pondering in prayers - such as, LOGIC; FIDELITY; and TRUST.
I even got over my dislike of outside finding it easier to focus on the mysteries of the Rosary without the phone, television or beckoning housework to distract me. God delighted me with butterflies just as I thought of them, dandelions that despite my husband's best efforts kept popping up to greet me, and shared jokes that only he and I would get. God reminded me again and again that I was being a silent witness to my faith as I walked day after day with my rosary beads dangling from my hands. I finally met a neighbor that I have seen walk through my yard on her daily walk for at least a decade and had another neighbor text me prayer requests. I surely gave pause to more than one person as they passed by hopefully inspiring them to send u a prayer as well. For all of it, especially for the answered prayers, the ones not yet realized or revealed, I am in awe of God's faithfulness and love.
And this was possible because 10 years ago, I was introduced to the words of Psalms 100:2 and 119:33, "Obey him gladly ... Just tell me what to do and I will do it, Lord. As long as I live I'll wholeheartedly obey."