photo credit: Jean C Owings
This morning I eagerly awoke to launch the Words with Jesus daily devotional app through Google Play. The iOs version has been out for a few days, I humbly ask you check in out on iTunes. Sadly, the Android version is still not available, however, that is not the point of today's blog - merely the catalyst.
Let us then return to the events of this morning. On the promise from Google that when I logged in on Saturday, after waiting several days the glitch holding up the processing of my new App, would be fixed. Therefore, I logged in fully expecting all would be well. It was not. And I cried.
Then I dragged my discouraged exhausted body upstairs to my office, dropped to my knees and prayed! There in the midst of my anxiety and doubt came the most amazing blessing - a revelation, a grace - an answer to my prayer on whether I was truly able to understand the Will of God in my life. My pain stemmed primarily from wondering if I missed God's will completely in pursuing the Words with Jesus (and others) App project. Although I waited nearly a year to roll it out, nothing has come easy - finding a developer, fundraising, and now the launch have all come with delays and glitches. As I had stared at the 'error' message alerting me that I had once again been denied access to my Google merchant account, I wondered if the real 'error' message had come in my discerning God's will in this plan from the start.
This morning's prayer took the form of the Rosary - as I began with the first Joyful Mystery, the Annunciation, I began to ponder Mary's Fiat - her yes to God's call to be the Mother of God. There is no indication in the Scriptures that Mary, once 'on-board' - went back and forth in her head or heart wondering if she had gotten the wrong message. While I am not blessed to have an Angel clearly articulate the Will of God to me, I am graced with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Through that special grace, that gift from God, I can discern through wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, whether the inspirations on my heart are of God or not. In this beautiful exchange, now comes a need to trust in the loving God, that even if I'm 'off by a mile', He will direct my path and bring good of my desire to please and serve Him.
The actual revelation that brought peace and restored hope came while continuing through the Joyful Mysteries. As I reviewed the life of Mary, vividly illuminated was although clearly in God's will, troubles still came -- even for the Mother of God. The very birth of her Son, would not come without circumstances that could cause one to wonder if perhaps they misunderstood the plan. So many of Mary's joys intertwined with a sorrow -- the birth of her Son, followed a harrowing flight into a foreign land - with a vast number of unknowns. The presentation of Jesus to Simeon in the Temple brought validation of her Son's saving work, along with the prophecy of their jointly pierced hearts. The joy of finding of the Child Jesus was accompanied by three days of anxious searching and worry. Mary did not doubt because things were not as she perhaps anticipated, she trusted in God's love for her, for Jesus, and for each of us.
While launching a daily devotional App is in NO way on the same plane as giving birth to the Son of God - the core idea of discerning God's will, and then acting on it - at least in my particular instance, feels no different. Mary's model of trust and hope centered on God's love for her, is what I must cling to when I feel insecurity, doubt and fear seizing me. This step out of the boat into the deep for a unknown, in some ways uneducated, country girl relies purely on grace. It is that grace, that God lavishes upon me - each of us really, which must be mindfully cooperated with, that will enable me (us) to say yes to any mission in life - just as Mary did. Empowered by this knowledge, I must not look back with "am I sure?" but like Mary, trust -- in joyful hope.