Sometimes as I sit to write the words flow freely from my heart and mind to the keyboard, onto this page. I have an idea of where to go, not so much a clear path to get there. Occasionally the where I think this is going, and where I end up are incredibly different.
While playing Words with Friends I’ve been having a conversation about where God is leading, or where He seems to be leading at this moment. I’m a bit surprised, I’m open, but surprised. The other day the dime dropped when I realized something, usually before a big change there is a period where things are really frustrating, involving the ugly cry, with the ugly cry on more than one occasion. She, rightly, pointed out that in our faith journey this isn’t an ugly cry. A heart reaching out to God, longing to follow where He’s leading is always beautiful.
Memories flooded of my journey (back) to the Church. My sweetie and I were planning our wedding, discussing married life – including raising whatever kids might come along. The more we talked, the more I knew there was something more, and I wasn’t quite there yet. My sweetie always respected my faith, he would question things as part of the discussion, and I would ask questions in return. There were tears, that led to a year of more tears, and great joys. The tears would come during the Rite of Christian Initiation when we would talk about things, and I would because of my background, have a difficult time with it. Mind you we were going through this incredible Rite using a catechism written by John Hardon, a Jesuit scholar. Whew! At some point, in a private conversation with our leader he said, “Teri you’re very intense, you need to relax a lot”. I can assure you that we could have this conversation today.
Even though somewhere around the beginning of my 5th decade I decided I was way too serious. I’m still intense, and for some probably overwhelming. That intensity allows me to quilt the way I do, and it is a gift God has given me.
As we approached Lent, and the Easter season there were a couple of things I, because of my Catholic Baptism, needed to do. I got to go to the Cathedral for the Rite of Election. This was so beautiful. And I needed to go to Confession, now known as the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I was really nervous about this (hello intensity!). My sweetie and I talked and prayed about this. Jesus gives the Apostles, and their successors, the authority to bind and loose. I’d confessed my sins to God so many times before, I’d given my heart to Jesus so many times before. Going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation is different though, in that moment the Priest, with Apostolic authority from Jesus, forgives our sins. We are told to, “Go and sin no more.” The Priest that I went to was so kind, he led me through the whole experience. I left with the confident assurance that not only were my sins forgiven but there is great joy in this! Talk about intensity.
I’m grateful for the moments of crying and frustration that led to these moments of great joy. Because the joy was truly joyful.
As I’ve worked on some of my quilts I can tell you of moments of great frustration. Oh my goodness gracious me! these moments have been intense enough that I’ve wanted to throw the sewing machine out the window! The moments of great joy have been things like finished quilts, understanding tension, thread weight, and more. What going to Confession regularly taught me, what exploring the quilt world continues to teach me, is there is much more room for growth in my life, that there are places I belong now, there are places I once yearned for – that aren’t where I belong, Like going to Confession, realizing this is freeing! I can explore the path that I’m on, and continue to hone my skills and be open to where they lead.
May you experience the peace of Jesus today.