My Unstilled World

This Spring Break has been one of the best ever.  It began with a trip to the hospital to visit a brand new baby and it ended in a wedding!!  I’d be hard pressed to imagine anything better. That said, it was tough in unexpected ways.  Almost all of my closest friends are now married and pregnant/on their way to getting married and pregnant.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was hard not to be a little jealous.

Let’s make this clear from the get go:  I don’t want to be married or pregnant.  One day!  But not now.  I realized this week that this jealousy wasn’t so much for the marriage or the children, but the stability that comes with those things.

In the process of writing my Faith Autobiography (wherein you describe how God has been acting in your entire life) for my application to Honduras, it became clear that I’ve never stayed in one place very long.  I went to three elementary schools, two middle schools, two high schools, and two colleges.  Dramatic changes in my family’s life prompted a lot of those moves.

My first thought was that this Honduras trip was coming from some irrational fear on my part to invest in people or a place.   Two years in VA!  Check!  Now time for two years elsewhere!  But that didn’t make sense; my motivation for going to Honduras is specifically to invest in people (ha, remember I need to learn the Spanish so I talk to the people I’m investing in).

Contrary to my original thought, I’ve since seen that I want more than anything to stay in one place and have the relationships that come with that permanence.  For now, God keeps telling me not yet, so I’m going to keep trusting Him.  Beyond that, there have been a few other things this week that have made me pause.

1.  Reality.  I’m crazy idealizing marriage as I watch my friends buy houses and have babies.  Yes, these things create a permanence to people and places, but, as noted, my own family has shown me how  that can all change in an instant.

2. St. Joseph.  I’m not sure what the second reading was for Mass tonight because I was so distracted by the stained glass window of St. Joseph.  I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him.  The poor guy’s happily going along with his life as a regular carpenter, preparing to marry, and then *BAM* his betrothed is pregnant, angels are appearing, kings are worshipping, kings are persecuting, and he’s leaving everything to take his young family to a foreign land.  This is part of what makes St. Joseph so awesome– he never hesitates to go wherever he’s called.   Moral of the story:  I’ve got his intercession to help me through my craziness, which is definitely less crazy than his.

3.  Jesus.  I offer lines from “Ash Wednesday” by TS Eliot:

“Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the centre of the silent Word.”

This world is unstilled.  I’m unstilled.  But the silent Word is always its center.  My center.  Can we talk about how Jesus is literally in North Carolina and Virginia and Honduras all at the same time?  Wherever I go, He’s there.  No matter what happens, He’s there.   He’s the stability that I’m longing for.

This also gives me all the more urge to go to Honduras.  It’s heartbreaking how many of the Catholic churches lack the Real Presence and/or only have Mass once a year.  This is not okay.  The stories I’ve heard…the instabilities they face…not knowing if food will be on the table or if husbands and dads will ever return from the States.  People need a hope and a love that don’t fade, no matter how much the surrounding circumstances may change.  People need Jesus.

And on that note, I need to go to bed.  Something about school on Monday…


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