It has taken me some time to gather the courage to write about a conversation that I had with a priest just recently. I have many instances in my life that I would consider 'miracles' in my ordinary day, all of which I believe God was speaking directly to me regarding my life and my life situations. I am very open to God and His messages, however this day, I was just not expecting this particular message.
There is no way that I could possibly relay the entire message given to me over the course of the hour that I had this conversation with this priest, but I would like to share or impart part of his message, with the idea that God always does and always will speak to us if we open ourselves to listen to the message. It is in this conversation that I had with this priest that gave me a new message of Hope and in writing my experience, I offer you a sense of hope, that God is listening and that God loves us dearly.
I would like to share some background information regarding my conversation with this particular priest. The background information is essential in understanding the divine nature of my conversation with him.
The background information is listed below:
1. I have never had a conversation with this priest, other than several days prior, we bumped into one another and I asked him to pray for my children. I then introduced myself to him.
2. I have never told him anything about my parents, brother or sister or of my own children
3. I have never expressed to him anything about my 'lost daughter'.
4. I have never shared with him that I go to Adoration weekly.
5. I have never shared that I do not like sitting in the chairs at Adoration.
6. I have never shared how I physically, mentally and emotionally prepare for Adoration each week.
7. I have never shared about any emotional discomfort and or disagreements that I have encountered over the course of my life regarding my siblings or parents.
8. I have never share how I pray during Adoration.
9. I have not shared about my particular prayers regarding my 'lost daughter'.
10. I have not shared my fears, hopes and dreams with this priest.
11. I have never gone to confession with this particular priest.
12. This was the first time I have ever encountered a conversation with this priest.
13. I have not shared with him the emotional and spiritual struggles that I have encountered in the last four years of my life.
14. Do you understand? There is no premise that this priest would have any knowledge about my life, thoughts, prayer life or anything in general.
15. What did occur in the hour of conversation was a moment with God, expressing to me my most intimate concerns and love for him and my family.
Please read on if you will...
Prior to Easter, our office was booming with visitors, phone calls and numerous staff coming to my desk for various questions. There had not been a dull moment in my office space and most certainly not at the noon hour. Noon hour was the craziest because people always came in on their lunch hour needing assistance for one thing or another. This particular priest came to my desk and asked to speak with me. I told him that I was the only one at the desk, there may be interruptions, but most certainly he had my most undivided attention when there were not interruptions.
He sat down, facing me, and grabbed my hand and held them in his palm. He closed his eyes and said "I have been praying for you (he said my name)". I felt an awkward, uncomfortable feeling, if you will, that I in the middle of my office building, for all to see and hear, I was having a conversation with my priest and I was not sure what the conversation was going to entail. I was distracted, waiting on the next phone call, visitor or staff to appear. However, it was unusually quiet, no calls, no visitors, no staff and he reminded me that we will not be interrupted. I found this to be rather funny because I knew this was not going to be true. I just wanted him to hurry up and say what it was that he had to say. I looked around and at that moment I noticed that all that staff had left their offices, no calls were lit up on the switchboard and the reception area was vacant. I thought to myself that this is really weird, spooky if you will. He brought my thoughts back to him when he reminded me that he wanted to speak with me and that he can not speak to me when my thoughts are wondering and when I am not focused. He told me to forget about the interruptions, as there would be no interruptions. He was right, because for a solid hour, there were absolutely no interruptions during my time with this priest.
In the hour that he held my hand, I did not feel the weight of his hand, sweaty palms or anything uncomfortable. I only felt a sense of peace by his touch. Once I was focused, the hour conversation felt like 5 minutes. He often times would close his eyes, taking deep breaths, and there were periods of silence as he was gathering the words to share with me. The uncomfortable feeling at the beginning went away immediately and I had the most heavenly experience ever imaginable.
He began, "I have been praying for you and mostly your daughter "_ _ _ _ _ _". " (I am not sure how he knew her name, but I listened. ) He stated "you always pray for protection for her and this is good, (I do not know how he knew that I pray for protection for her) but I want you to also pray for God's providence for her. It is in God providing for her that she will be well protected. Your word in your prayers will now be 'providence or provide'. It is also in God's providence that she will come to know God again and will return." As he finished this sentence, tears started streaming down my face, I just could not hold in my tears. He paused and said "my prayer as a mother is strong and my relationship with God is right and God listens to our prayers. We never know when our prayers will be answered or how they will be answered, but it is in praying that God listens. God hears your prayers and most certainly hears them about _ _ _ _ _ " (my daughter).
He continues and indicates that I have emotional distress with my family (indicating my parents and siblings). He indicates also that I have a large amount of love for them, love that they will never understand. He said my love is like the love of a mother for her children except they are not my children. He indicates that God loves that I love. He said that I have been distressed for sometime, back when my daughter was very young and I have carried this emotional stress and the lack of receptive love from my family and have placed this stress upon my children and spouse (he is right, as I have carried the feeling of abandonment from my family for many years)". He told me "that I can not 'do' what they have 'undone', but the only thing that I can continue to do is to love." He told me "you need to let go of the ones that have hurt me and embrace those that want to love me".
He moved on.... pausing... praying... and holding my hand.
He proceeded in telling me that the Lord loves for me to go to Adoration. (By the way, I have never told him I go to Adoration, nor have I ever seen this priest in Adoration...) He shared with me how he wants me to prepare my body when I go to Adoration. (But first, I will share my private ritual prior to going to visit the Blessed Sacrament; My Adoration time is at 7:00PM weekly, and it takes 20 minutes to get there so I leave usually at 6:30PM. Often times when I come home from work, usually I get home at 5:00-5:15, I make myself a meal, then I love on my dogs, and then take the hottest shower I possibly can to relax my muscles and to put me in a comfortable state, dress comfortably, usually in sweat pants and T-shirt or a long skirt and T-shirt and flip flops. If it is winter, I take a blanket with me, as well. I grab my bag with my prayer books, bible, journal and pen. Then I mosey on to church. No one, not even my family has any idea what my ritual entails. I am sure they know the general idea, but most certainly not the details.) So, the priest began by saying, "when you go to Adoration, do not eat first and take a hot shower, take a cold shower then eat a 'lite' snack lastly. It is in taking a cold shower and eating a lite snack that the body will automatically warm itself back up and certainly leave room for the Lord to feel me with warmth once I arrive at Adoration. If you take a hot shower, the body will cool off leaving you cold to God's message". When I heard the priest tell me this I ask him how he knew that I did this, and he immediately stated "_ _ _ _ _, (my name) I told you that I have been praying for you. Please listen". Again, tears welled up in my eyes, my unbelief became belief.
The conversation continued on the subject of my visit to Adoration. Most recently, my time in Adoration and my prayer in Adoration has been contaminated with outside thoughts, interruptions and most certainly with lack of focus. I have been distracted with the uncomfortable seats in the chapel, wishing that I could sit on the floor, but worrying about what others would think. I also was distracted because my son had called me the evening prior to Adoration asking me to help him write a paper. And on this note, I thought I would write the paper once in Adoration. I would pray, then sit in quite and begin to write part of his paper. And, I did just that, ruffling papers and probably distracting the others that were actually there to pray. The priest mentioned this in our conversation. He said " why do you ruffle papers in the presence of our Lord? Why don't you just sit on the floor instead of in the chair. The Lord does not care where you sit and you should not worry what other people think. After all, it is just between you and our Lord". He stated " you must make yourself comfortable when you go before the Lord and in your prayer you will also hear". He continued to tell me how he wanted me to sit on the floor, how to hold my hands and how to be open to the Spirit.
As my mind started to drift back to the moment of me being in the chapel and my thoughts that he confirmed, he reminded me again to remain focused and to listen to him. He said to listen to the Lord we have to not be distracted. We have to give all of our attention to the Lord.
Many other private prayers were shared and discussion took place about my hopes, dreams and most certainly, many fears and thoughts were confirmed during his prophetic words. I listened, cried, and hung on to every word he said. After all, God was speaking, I had to listen.
He told me to write the word 'providence' down on a piece of paper and pray this word over and over. I wrote it down and stuck it on my computer. I don't think I will ever forget this word or his words to me this day.
The hour passed in what seemed to be 5 minutes. There were no interruptions, not even one. There was no one in the office, no calls, no staff, just him and me.
He got up, took a deep breath and thanked me for letting him pray with me.
I was a mess.
My mascara was down my face.
Tears kept streaming down my cheeks.
My nose was all stuffed up.
I was not sad.
I was just in a state of bliss.
He walked off.
I was numb.
The phone rang.
The interruptions began again.
The day proceeded.
The prophetic words were replayed in my head all day long. I cried on my way home. I cried telling my family. I cried because in that particular moment of that day, I had just asked God to please give me a sense of peace about everything. I had just prayed and was feeling like my prayer was just another prayer, and a prayer unheard, or so I thought. I needed to know that on this particular day, after a most unsettling prior evening in Adoration (mainly because I was unfocused), that God was at my side, loving me and accepting me with all my flaws. I needed to know that my prayers were not selfish. I needed Him to know that I just wanted to do everything that he designed me to do and that I did need His help in doing just this and I just wanted to please Him. I just wanted Him to love me and for Him to make me feel loved particularly in my bouts of loneliness. In my years of feeling abandoned, I wanted confirmation that He has not abandoned me.
This day, He fulfilled everything that I needed peace about and this is why there were so many tears.
How could I have ever doubted?
And, this is why I share my story with you today, so that you too will LISTEN to His words.
Please take time to pray, but more importantly, in your prayer, Listen.