Yesterday I got myself in a legitimately bad situation.
I’m going to be brief here. I went for a walk with my friend Monday morning and she told me she felt like she was under an actual physical attack from something I can call “the enemy” and you would understand what I meant. This was in addition to a deepening distance she felt from God, and I was trying to help her figure out why.
She didn’t know why. This made her mad, and I assumed it had something to do with me – in this case, an issue of family. More specifically, growing up as a baby Catholic in a family where your Father created, well, everything, your Mother’s name is Mary, and your Brother is Jesus. Or rather, as she perceived it, the way I am part of this family, and she believed at the time that she was not, and all the reasons why she would be considered the redheaded step child in the family of God.
I didn’t recognize the resurfacing abandonment issues until it hit me in the face last night, but something happened before then. My Father told me, straight up, to stay out of it.
You read that right. This was not my fight, He said to the child whose patron saint is Michael, and I was to stay out of it and let her fight, that He was allowing this to happen.
In the face of a potentially physically dangerous situation… You can imagine how well that sat with me.
So, feeling completely disarmed by the Father himself, I did the next best thing. I threw a bonafide temper tantrum. I told my family – all of them – that if they wouldn’t pay attention to her, then they couldn’t have me either.
And I crossed my arms and humphed and turned my back to them, even after being told not to.
This does not solve problems. It makes them immeasurably worse. I had completely ignored the danger factor, in hindsight, and instead took this whole issue out on my family, on God himself. It was His fault this was happening, and I wouldn’t turn around until He fixed it.
I might as well have painted a giant red target on myself.
While the battle victorious went on in one theater of battle, something dragged me so far away from hope that I heard Jesus… and He was crying. I don’t remember much of the rest of the night, although I feel it now – I literally ache all over, like I’ve been in a fight. I can try to remember it, but He won’t let me.
And then came the guilt. Complete guilt. I was disobedient. I didn’t listen. My fault. I tried to give up my family, even though that’s not what I really wanted to do. I just wanted my friend not to be jealous of me.
In doing so, I drove a crack through my connection to my Father so deep that it was dangerous.
I’ve spent the day in shame and guilt, unable to face Him. My Brother has refused to leave my side all day. I’ve been submissively quiet. My Father has been in the background, somewhere, and my Mother… has been sobbing. All day.
There are just…. no words.
I finally found the courage through Him to tell Him I was sorry. And I genuinely, to the point of tears, was sorry.
There is a physical feeling to forgiveness that is like no other. I wonder if that’s anything like what some of you feel after confession.
I’m still not back to normal. The gravity of just what I have done is not lost on me. The importance of trust and obedience, even more so. Do I really think I know better than God?
So, be warned – first, not to do what I did and turn your back on your family…. and second, that we are under attack, and they are sneaky.
In the meantime, I’m having to seriously contend with the issue of confession. It’s not like I’m exactly the most normal Catholic living a normal life down here on Earth.
I just can’t believe I made my Mother – and my Brother – cry.