So, for those who know me…some call me sensitive, lots say I’m dramatic, but those who truly know me know I am devoted, driven, goal oriented, and love harder than anyone they know.
But, the one who knows me best, and has opened my heart and my eyes to myself is the Lord.
I pray. All the time. Sometimes they are formal prayers, like Novenas, my mom’s legacy, the gorgeous Memorare to Our Lady and now my new bestie, St. Rita’s novena, (she absolutely has me in her registry as a nutcase), my ancient Act of Contrition, which, btw is waaaay off base with the one my kids know.
Mostly though, my chats with the Lord are in the vernacular, the way he made me…chatty but real. Deep thinking, but deep loving.
When I busted my achilles, in the middle of a very difficult, emotional time in my life, I was angry. So angry. I was beginning to heal, piece by piece with ardent self persuasion every day, trying to inject myself with reflexive feelings of self worth, determined to self soothe. I thought I was going to start sucking my thumb again.
I asked God every day for new life, new love, and more importantly, acceptance of a difficult situation, trust in his new plan for me, and the most important, appreciation of the blessings around me, which, admittedly, I was ignoring.
So, here is how this very devout layperson segued into an even stronger relationship with God.
GOD to LINDA on DIVORCE:
Look, I gave you beautiful children. You were made by me to nurture and love, and care. Your choice of men to give you those children was not the best for you, but you took one for the team in order to bring these new, precious, talented, healthy lives into the world.
Now, as you have matured in your thoughts on candy-coated love, I will send you someone eventually, who has already been through the wringer, made tough life choices, but is as deeply rooted in family and faith as you are.
You were too busy raising the family I sent to truly understand marriage love. You deserve a partner…even if it is for the next thirty years. You will continue to raise your children with an even deeper faith, no combativeness regarding Holy Days of Obligation, receiving Communion, and Mass will be a holy, amazing part of your weekend. You have followed me, cared for the fragile lives I have sent you, and continued to pray, even though it was at times to lose weight and gain muscle. And, you did gain muscle. Spiritual muscle. You continued your devotion to my mother Mary, and my word, even when you could have ditched us at the bad times. Your blind faith has led you to an amazing reward, which has not been revealed yet. It is coming. I promise.
Nothing is impossible with me.
But, listen, seriously, cut yourself some slack and be patient with yourself. All that is coming is a TBA without warning. Just keep bugging St. Rita. She’s an Italian woman who gets you…
LINDA to GOD:
Oh, I see...so all this transient pain, death of my parents, my brother, my cancer, failed marriage was leading up to a better life at 53? God, seriously? If I wasn’t so immersed in my Catholic faith, I would have gone evangelical…less rules, better music.
But, I have learned to trust you more and more each day. There is no verbal conversation between us ever. It’s usually me ranting in my head like a madwoman begging for peace. I get it. It would be really weird and unstable if I heard your voice on the phone or through my computer. Your responses come vis a vis mini epiphanies or a sudden revelation of some skewed path I don’t understand until it straightens. You did say your true followers would endure more than the less faithful. These are all crosses, but can I be done, please?
GOD to LINDA on INJURY:
As a follower of mine, you are never “done.” My followers don’t take breaks. But, I did say to hand me that cross, and I will walk with you and take care of you. You need to learn for once, that it’s ok to be cared for, and despite the fact that you feel unloved and completely worthless because you couldn’t “fix” your marriage, I had to detach your achilles to contain all your pent up adrenaline, give you anesthesia and keep you off your feet and dependent for weeks so you could finally understand how Linda’s love, her faithfulness and parenting has inspired others.
You needed to be shown the love you doubted, and feel valuable. Someone once said about me, God, I don’t make junk. You were very easily throwing yourself on the junk heap. Cut the crap…yes, I am God, and I said, crap…because it is. I have watched you grow your entire life. I created you in my image...even the Italian curves you possess, and the cellulite you hate. Even when Aunt Lucy made you crazy spitting out your breakfast an hour before Mass, I had you pegged for my spiritual team. You have not failed me. To doubt is human…and, may I also tell you that not every doubt, or question you have is fueled by a tug of war with the devil.
It is me, showing you a different life and a different path you were not aware of. A life you were made for, even if I instilled a holding pattern into your 50s. Your best life is just beginning.
LINDA to GOD
Boy are you tough…we did not have to go to these lengths to renew my life. But, as you said, you created me and you know me, so I needed to get hit over the head “with a 2 by 4, as Mario used to say…” which is really the only way to get my attention.
But, I will admit to you, I have seen more and more love, genuine love and caring every day I have been disabled. I am loved. Period. Those around me have given me unbridled comfort. Relentless care, renewed friendships and unconditional kindness and emotion. Some say I inspire them, which I find quite dubious…how can I inspire anybody beyond taking a shower, wearing make up and getting lash extensions.
I inspire because you infused me with love that I share? Is that it? Doesn’t everybody love this much?
I thought love was love…isn’t that what that Lib Lin Manuel Miranda said? I think at Confirmation each candidate needs to write a thesis on St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians…1 Corinthians !3. It is clear that “love” isn’t just making out in the backseat at a drive in…it is harsh, yet beautiful. It is sacrifice coupled with the purest emotion we can share. I think pre cana couples need a week to understand this content and believe it. But, in the four short weeks since my injury, and seven months since my separation, I got the Evelyn Woods version from you of what it means and doesn’t mean.. romantic love, mother/child love, friendship love, girlfriend love, neighborly love, and God love. I am surrounded and appreciated by so many, and in turn, I feel more confident and whole every day.
GOD to LINDA on MARRIAGE:
Ok, knock this off. Like now, ok? I created you to be a wife and a mother.
You flew through acadamia as a Summa Cum Laude graduate, published writer, and almost owned a company. But, you were not created for those roles…you were created to show love to others, even when it was not accepted.
You were created to go through the trials of carrying and delivering new life. You embraced it with immense fervor and passion…you called on my mother for help every step of the way, even when you lost your own mother when Devin was born. You never said no to life, even in your late forties. We cut a deal, remember? You said healthy, and I said “how many?” Together we accomplished the task of procreation and new life…that was your purpose.
But marriage…you think you failed? How? Broken vows? Where does it say I will punish you for broken vows when you entered “willingly and without reservation?” You are a human being, and foible. You did not predict a change of events, cause them or ask for them. That’s my job. You went into marriage with your whole heart…and I know that.
Vows are not always broken on the side of sin, sometimes I need you to be somewhere and then, somewhere else. If you entered into your commitment with full intent and purpose, there is no sin. Entering knowing it was not your commitment is the sin. But trying to hold on to your commitment and realizing I have other plans for you is more faithful than playing the game of commitment. with doubt, or in your case, farce.
Remember, surrendering to my will, no matter how it looks on the outside world is the challenge.
You have not failed. Love comes in many forms, and you are worthy of great love, for you have shown me what you are made of.
LINDA to GOD:
Sometimes I don’t get you. But I’m not supposed to get you all the time. I’m supposed to give in to your plan. And, these past few weeks have made me do just that. I have changed my view of myself and my circumstances. I don’t bitch about the little things anymore. You have given me the gift of a resurrection within myself. And, the gift of recovery, not just physically, but emotionally. Some people are in a place where they cannot recover, physically or emotionally.
You have to know I tried. I tried to make my marriage work…I feel guilty for failing at my vows, but you are right…vows are not always broken for wrong, cheap reasons. Sometimes they need to break in order to move on to new life. A more valuable life.
I did not walk away. I tried, even in moments of sadness and darkness I tried. I tried for my children.
I had a revelation while I sat under St. Joseph at May Crowning yesterday… St. Joseph did not speak in the bible. Would you? I mean, wow, first you haven’t even kissed this woman, then you find out she’s pregnant, and not even because she was messing around in some desert dune, but because, um, God made her pregnant with the Savior of the World? What a mind “F”. Like really, this poor guy…he was like 15…
And, what does he do? He becomes the poster boy for stepfathers. Faithful, faithful, faithful. Trusted in God’s odd plan, and went with it. I prayed that he would send me someone, some day that would share my faith, my intense devotion to the Lord, go to Mass with me, pre cana, deliver the Gospel in its many forms to others, and for my children, solidify the faith in my home from a father’s platform.
St. Joe is the strong silent type, so I didn’t hear back, but some day I will.
LINDA to whoever is out there:
I made a new hashtag…it’s called :
I told a friend recently that whoever puts themselves in my path again looking for my never ending love has to be able to “abdicate the throne.” King Edward abdicated for Wallis Simpson. The abdication was just symptomatic of how deep his love went for her. No walls. No boundaries. No bargaining, abandonment, no question.
Because whether love is romantic love, friendship love, child/parent love, it needs to be selfless, all encompassing, passionate, doubtless and unconditional.
After the love I have been shown in these past few weeks, I will no longer “sell” myself as a parent, a wife, a friend. I know I am worth walking through fires…because whoever I chose to love is worth it, too.
All I need is God’s plan, and God’s hand. We have been talking a lot…we’re good now.