Of Terror, Trust and Patience

I had a very nice plan this morning.  I was going to sleep in a little bit, get up, take a shower, go to Chrism Mass down at the cathedral, shop at the new Catholic bookstore, figure out something for dinner, go to the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, and then have a few people over for dinner.  Since the Chrism Mass was at 11 am and the Lord’s Supper wasn’t until 7 pm, I would have TONS of time to get some housework done and fit in some extra prayer.

Hahahahahahahahahaha!  You’re not serious, right?  Okay, my day was NOT like that.  My sleeping in was kind of like: get up at 6 am, go online to verify Chrism Mass time, get directions, etc.  While online, decide that you should add events and things that you would like to attend to your calendar from the bulletins.  Then, you go back to bed.  Skip past the 3-4 times that you subsequently reprogram the alarm clock because you want just 15 more minutes, 10 more minutes, 5 more minutes….

Now, you have to hop-hop-hop out of bed and try to figure out what you are going to wear (it would help if the clean clothes were neatly put away instead of in a “clean clothes” heap at the foot of the bed, but you make a note to do this during your afternoon of housework).

During the course of getting ready to go to Mass (and, amazingly, you are still more or less on schedule), something happens.  ONE OF YOUR GREATEST FEARS IS REALIZED.  Oh, wait, wasn’t that capitalized?  Yes, that medical something that you have been dreading and fearing and praying about for over a year — HAPPENS.  Suddenly, you have no concept of getting ready.  All you can do is stand there, shaking like a leaf, and begin to hyperventilate.  You feel shock and panic creeping in.  Or stampeding in, as the case may be.

Then….  You have this thought come to you, and eventually you come to think that this is Jesus talking to you.

“You’re okay.”

My reaction?  “No, I’m not!”

“You’re okay.”

“Nuh-uh!  This happened.  I can’t be okay.”

“You’re okay.”

This went on for quite some time.  Here He was, trying to comfort me, and I was standing there refusing to be comforted.  Why? Because I was certain that if this situation ever happened, it would be terrible, terrible I tell you, and the pain!  Ugh, the pain!  I was so convinced that this event had to be so ground-shakingly terrifying, that I was, quite simply terrified because it had occurred.  So, here I am persisting in my terror.  The Lord stays with me, even as I begin to get ready for Mass again, still scared, still shaking, still wide-eyed and worried.  Every little thing that I do, I expect it to be this big catastrophe, I wait for the pain to appear and send me off to the nearest ER.  Normally, I wait to go to the ER until I absolutely have to, and I never take pain medication until I cannot possibly bear it any longer, but THIS — no way.  I can’t fathom my being able to handle it, so I assume my way into expecting impending doom. 

So, everything I do, I hear this voice, “That wasn’t so bad, was it?”

“Nnnnnnt.”

“You’re okay.”

I begin to realize how silly I’m being, because as scary as the event was, I *am* okay at the moment, but I cling to my panic, not ready to trust, when the reality is so far different from my expectation.  So, I begin picturing Jesus following me around the house, trying to get me to stop being terrified, to face the experience as it was, to trust Him, and to turn to Him for comfort.

You know what? 

The Lord is *really* patient.

He must have followed me around that house for 30 minutes, as I got ready, and then in the car on the drive down to the cathedral.  At this point, I’m picturing Him with a smile on his face, not laughing at me, but knowing that I know that I’m okay, that He’s right there, but I’m just being stubborn.  Classic Jenn.  Didn’t I say something earlier about tending to run away from things that are good for me?  So, He stayed close — occasionally reassuring me — just smiling and patiently waiting for me to get a clue.  I *knew* I was being silly by the time I got into my car — I just wasn’t ready to give up my silliness.

Ah, then I got swept up into Chrism Mass.  It was great.  I loved it.  I was comforted despite myself.  And Jesus never once said, “Haha, I told you so.”

The rest of the story of how my plans went awry is a little mundane.  Just to note that I didn’t manage to do anything else today that I had originally planned except for going to the Mass of the Lord’s Supper (also a very happy thing, and I got to present one of the gifts), and having Stacy over for dinner (which was a very enjoyable time).

So, now it is late and I’m off to bed.  The question now is:  tomorrow am I going to wake up and expect the pain?  Or am I going to trust that the Lord will take care of me in this?  I hope I am far less silly tomorrow.

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