Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

October 23, 2009

"He Will Give a Crown of Beauty for Ashes"

From Isaiah 61:3. This past week, God has showed me the meaning of these words -- because trust me, I've needed it!! It's been a tough week. Let me give you an idea. A young man I know died in a very tragic and horrific accident this week. That makes 5 young people I know who have died tragically in the past couple months, one of whom I was quite close to. My fiancé's car was robbed this past weekend. And one of my best friends got into a car wreck. She's fine and Peter was lucky that the thief did not get much. And then Peter and I had to meet with the deacon of our Church to discuss some potentially serious road bumps in our diocesan 'FOCCUS' test for marriage prep. We'll be just fine - but wow, sometimes life can hand you some pretty big doses of well... life.

I found myself asking God - 'Are you serious, God... I mean, really?' 'Didn't you promise that you'd give us angels to watch over us...where were Your angels, God, when my friends got into those accidents? Why didn't You stop them from happening? How could You allow Your children to suffer like that? Didn't You say You love us?' From these questions came extreme anxiety (which I will probably have for sometime) about death. No bike riding without helmets, call as soon you get there, please drive safe! Seriously, I felt like Ivan Karamazov for a second.

But then I was given the tremendous grace to attend my Church's very first women's conference. Over 450 women attended. It featured two amazing women of God: Johnnette Benkovic of EWTN and Anne Trufant, a Catholic lay evangelist, song-writer, and missionary. WOW. These women told me exactly what I needed to hear. Johnnette gave a powerful witness about keeping your faith in the midst of tragedy and loss. She prayed her son out of danger in Iraq, only to have him come home and die tragically in a car accident. One year later, her husband was diagnosed with cancer and she lost him in 2007. But she kept the faith and God got her through it all. Anne elaborated the same theme -- but she was so powerful. She asked us to consider the "you reap what you sow" adage. When we sow in times of joy -- we should sow God's word in our hearts -- so that in times of tragedy and sorrow -- we reap it. That just struck me.

So through another friend, God gave me the word from Isaiah: "He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, the oil of gladness for mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." Sow it, sow it, sow it!

1 comment:

Julian said...

This is so true! Thank you for this reflection. May you reap quite a bit right now from all of the sturdy faith that you have sown in your life.

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