Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Things happen for a reason.

Hello readers. It appears there are more of you than I knew about. A so-so blog has turned into a hot topic link among family and friends, and some aquaintences. While it is nice to see that I have more readers, some who just choose not to comment until it affects them personally, it brings me to that point so many of you fellow bloggers have been at one time or another. You will never forget that post you made, when you got some comments or calls you weren't expecting and wish you never got??? Sound familiar? Then when you're already feeling bummed out, you have to decide if your blog is worth keeping. You have to decide whether to respond or delete. I'm there.

Most of you know that I have a family blog, where I post about family tips, and things that are happening with my family. It keeps our friends and family updated on our everyday things, and connects me to other mom's who are like-minded. It's a good thing.

So when I started feeling like journaling more about touchy subjects, like politics and religion, I figured I better keep that blogging separate from my family. This Growing in Grace blog has developed into a place where I can share silly MEMEs, interesting articles or videos worth sharing, and discussions I care about as a faithful Catholic. It's very personal.

A few weeks ago I realized that I enjoyed sharing more hot topics, because it brought readers and comments I was looking for. While reading other blogs, I saw there was a demand for blogs about living the faith in the public eye. So last week I decided to share a personal experience and how I was currently dealing with it.

I do admit, even though at the time I thought I was being vague, I was told yesterday that I gave enough detail to stir up ill emotions and cause some unexpected discussions to arise from those mentioned in the post. I have gone through the post the best I can to create anonymity for those people, without deleting it completely. It contains good points and things I want to share. My dad explained that politics and religious truths are already in the public eye and open for discussion complete with names, but I need to be careful not to publicize opinion nor fact about those in my private connections (or something like that), which may hurt them. So excuse me for stepping on toes that were put in my path. You'll either have to avoid my path, or rest assured that I'll keep your name/identity more private in the future.

So what's all this fuss about?

Well, I have put myself on the line to help others and find help from others. I have opened the pages of my life, the knowledge in my brain, and the understanding the Holy Spirit has bestowed upon me. Because of this, I have been hurt badly. I knew it was coming, and I promised God I would take with a grain of salt.

Sadly, my depresssion has elevated, possibly due to pregnancy hormones, but worse than before no matter how. I will never reach complete hopelessness, because I have God in my life. He alone has pulled me through each and every bottomed out moment. Yes, there have been many. Sometime God pulls me through it with His voice, or that of my husband's or dear friends and family. Yes, you must believe that God works on his own, AND through others. I often feel the presence of God urging me to do his work for others. It's funny how people love it until it challenges them to make a change in THEIR life.

In the midst of my dispair, I have found the TRUTH and the LIGHT and HOPE. It is God as the Blessed Trinity, which has shown me the real way to live with purpose. Of course, I am not perfect in my personal efforts towards sanctifying grace, I slip and fall, but unlike some others in my "private connections," I get back up and keep following. I DO find ways to strengthen myself, such as through the Catholic Eucharist, confession, bible study, and frienships which nuture this path. I DO NOT find ways to compromise my faith to feel better about my wrong decisions. I DO NOT stray from my faith and find another one that makes me feel better about the life I want. Because GOD'S WILL is so much better than my own. And that's a proven fact.

> This issue began with a post about disturbing truths about our President and his administration, and concern for those who support him regardless. We hoped to inform. We hoped for a respectful discussion. Instead we got rejected, bombarded with hatred for OUR beliefs and facts shared, ignored than ridiculed, and expected to reply in a nice, submissive and compromising way. Who the heck do you think we are? A bunch of gullable idiots who were raised by imbisuls? Quite the contrary. I am not sorry, I have not changed my opinon on the matter, and will not waiver on my faith for anyone.

I WILL NOT agree to disagree, or simply try to "understand" those who are following the wrong path. That is the most wimped out excuse to pretend and divert from the TRUTH. The friend I wrote about in my last post, who hurt me deeply and wants me to just turn this into a

"...success story where you could have then shared a beautiful outcome of
forgiveness and understanding

She wrote "that the issues of the present and the past have been posted for the world to see before [I have] even taken the opportunity to discuss feelings with" her. Which is absurd, since a few weeks ago I tried to discuss this and got the silent treatment and the discussion was deleted and never readdressed privately."

She doesn't understand that even though her compromises in life which have separated us, and the bitterness of her family towards mine, a "beautiful outcome" has already been reached - she just can't see it. She needs to know I have already forgiven her over and over again, and do again today for the ways she has hurt me, how she turned her back on me and her faith. That I understand that she has been manipulated by others and her worldly thoughts away from the faith that she could have embraced, and hopefully someday will. I still see potential in her, and will continue to pray for her. But due to my own human frailty, I cannot resolve this all now. The beautiful outcome is that I continue to hold no grudges, even though I am serverly bruised by her and her family's actions.

With regards to others that were mentioned, some took it well and others not. The addition of those paragraphs about others were meant to emphasize the condition I am in. To let readers understand that it is not just this one incident that brings me down in despair. It is interesting that some have insisted in being a part of my life, yet want little to do with the part of me that cares for them back. It leaves me feeling used. I think I've made amends with those two particular people and there is some understanding of where we're both coming from.

Why do I tend to burden myself with such things?

I care too much? (especially about how people feel about me) Someone once wrote in my yearbook: "Melissa, you're too nice." What the heck does that mean? I didn't realize my concern for others was such a burden. I didn't realize that my love and hope for the prosperity of human kind was overreaching.

It is built into my nature to care more than most. To contemplate more than most. To feel personally attacked, when others can brush it off. A small portion of it is neurological, and will be numbed (treated) with medication after the baby is born. The kind of meds that make me not care as much, yet never get rid of the situations. Most of these feelings are a constant yearning and desire to help others, as embedded in my heart by God from the moment I was concieved. To deny this, is to deny God's will for me. To let go of it would be selfish. And to follow through with it to the full extent that God asks of all of us, is really a dying to myself. How did I come to this conclusion, you ask? Through gifts of the Holy Spirit, and enlightened by my current study of the book "Courageous Love" as I've written about before. The book really calls you to action.


I will be consoling myself in God's love. I will be detaining my compelling desire to share my concerns and advice with others close to me. I am asking God to lift this cross, as it is too much to bear at this time. OR that He will show me how this fits into my path. I will gladly accept the other crosses I bear on a daily basis, per His instructions to me last Thursday night in adoration. To care for my children and household first. And I will gladly pick up that heavy cross with love and charity again when my soul is mended.

Last night I curled into bed around 5pm again, like last week. I was so overraught with concern and sadness, as well as physical pain from my shoulders and hips. My husband set up this week an at home massage with my usual people, and told me it was all taken care of. He ran over to Applebees to calm my craving for an Oriental Chicken Salad. Then cleaned up and put the kids to bed. He is so sweet and understanding. He is Christ-like to me every day, even when it seems like too much for him to bear. I guess I'm his Cross.

Of course I turned on the boob tube, and watched AFV and That 70s Show for a good laugh, then Medium for a thrill. Anything to take my mind of how I felt. But then it came time for my usual reruns of Scrubs, which I watch almost every night. Well, this one (watch it here) actually spoke to me. The focus was on this head nurse who always talks about her faith in Jesus, who states that even bad things happen for a reason. And amidst this "wow" moment of mine, the nurse even quoted:
Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those
who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."


What I need is respect and love from those who are in my circle. I ask that you continue with your positive encouragement and suggestions. They have indeed been very helpful. Here are some of my favorites...

"you have to let people love you, like, or hate you the way they want - it stinks sometimes, but at least it's authentic... ...do what is right and so what if you don't ever see or taste any fruits of your labors. You have to trust that He is tilling the fields for you"

"Our beliefs should be strongly and loyally held, otherwise why have them?!"

"I know that when my own personal pray life is in order, as well as my family’s prayer life…I am more successful in situations like these. ...when all this confrontation was happening to me, I figured this was a nudge from the Lord to deepen MY own relationship with him."

St. Theresa's Prayer (I recieved in an email today):
'May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.'

Something I once wrote which connects with last weekend's gospel reading:
Jesus touched the lepers, talked to them, healed them. It was contrary to what others had ever done. Contrary to the worldly view that politics and religion should be a private matter and unspeakable amongst friends... God is calling many of us followers to share his message on the issues that should matter to everyone - not just Catholics!

Thank you to all who took the time to read this long post. I hope it will clear the air, and help you see what I envision for this blog. I hope it will inspire you to pray to step up to what God is calling you to do with your life, and BE NOT AFRAID because God is present in every moment. And in a moment of dispair, realize that even then blessings can come forth - because God wills it to be so!


  1. First, before I forget, I want to say, my favorite is that Oriental Chicken Salad too!! Actually, I love the Oriental Chicken Salad Wrap!!

    You are blessed with a wonderful husband. It is your goals as husband and wife to make eachother saints, remember that, he will make you a Saint too!

    I, personally love this blog. I like it way better. I look forward to your personal feelings, you seem to write them down and get them out better than putting into words spoken. The Holy Spirit works amazingly through you and your written word. It's a gift you hold.

    I'm so sorry you feel so much pain so often.

    I'm sensing that I am one of those friends you wrote about, because I tried talking you into (begging) going to that Catholic Women's Conference. I was just being me, the pushy, wanting everyone to get together me. I do it to everyone, not just you. I know you told me it's not the going to something, but the "getting there" that is hard, so I figured me pushing is the way to help you "get there", so I'm confused as what you want from me as a friend who wants to do special things with you, do you want me to talk you into them, to help you "get there" or just not push at all? I want to be the friend you need, the friend you want.

    I am working on letting you help me, I called and asked (begged) for veggie dip? Was that good?

    I love you and want you so much to be happy. You have a wonderful attitude just knowing God is there, carrying you through these hard times.

    You have so many gifts, please keep your blog the way you have it. I can see how your "friend" (ie cousin) was mad about it, well, she can get her own blog. She does not have to read yours. You only spoke the truth. You said nothing mean or hurtful. Sometimes the truth hurts. The truth does not need to be sugar coated.

    God Bless you and your lovely blog!

  2. Jamie - I knew you'd figure it out. I did like that you were trying to help me "get there." And I am sure it was just my usual self, but I felt so much pressure, I felt like I'd be diappointing you if I didn't come. I felt SO guilty for saying no, and I felt like if I went it would be out of guilt and pressure. I didn't want to lose your friendship. But in the end... I honestly just didn't feel called to go - so no hard feelings either way.

    The veggie dip thing was right on! :) Who can ignore cravings at a time like this, really!?

    I do want you to continue to invite me, because that is part of our friendship. But I need to work on myself, knowing that it is okay to say no without feeling guilty. To accpt the pressure if I just need a shove, but to feel comfortable saying no if I really don't. I'll try harder to make myself obvious which one I'm feeling.

    I do think that this post will help my "friend" and others understand better what this blog is all about. That as you said, there is no sugar coating here. But it is all written with good intentions.

  3. I wish I could understand better. You have been a good true friend for a long time and I have always felt that no matter what, we were always there for each other. Even when we had not talked for a while, to me it was like we had talked yesterday.
    Like I said earlier, I'm kind of at one level, for the most part, and I seek to understand and be a good friend to you in your time of need as you have been in so many of mine. Keep being true to God and yourself. Your husband and children should be at the top of your list and Jamie is right, don't change your blog. You are saying things that need to be said and it is healthy to get these things out.
    P.S. know that you can always say no to me and I won't take it personally. I understand how things can get at the end of the day and sometimes at the beginning. I will keep you in my prayers and always know that you are loved! God bless!

  4. God always brings something beautiful out of pain...look at the cross.

    Thank God for holding you in the palm of His hand during all of this and ultimately bringing you farther along in your faith journey.

    You have labored.

    You have learned.


  5. Was just thinking about you and hope that you are better spirits today. God bless!


Thanks so much if you have some thoughts to share here! Please keep them kind - think, would you say this to your friend?