Friday, April 27, 2012

Just Call Me Doubting Thomas

As in my previous post, Tuesday was "court day".  It's always a stressful day, but I left home feeling on the top of the world.  I knew that I had people praying for us all over the country.  I had told everyone EXACTLY what to pray for---exactly what "I" thought needed to happen.  I knew without a doubt that I would get my miracle.

My joy continued as I arrived at the courthouse and heard the Cathedral bells chime 10:00 am.  I claimed that as a sign from God.  I didn't even lose "my inner joy" as I listened to the depressing stories of those in the waiting room and saw the awful sights I saw.  I still knew that God was going to come through for me and my family.  I prayed for the others to be able to find the peace and comfort that I had.  I smiled at everyone, trying to spread that joy and happiness to others in that room filled with such heartache and pain.

Suddenly, I overheard something from across the room that put a lump in my throat and doubt in my mind and ultimately in my heart.  I knew that what I had been praying for, what I had specifically asked people to pray for, was NOT going to happen that day.  I took a timeout from praying for the others and prayed harder for what I want God to do for me.  More over heard conversations from those involved in our case, led to more doubt.  "Dear Lord, help me!  You know best.  I trust you."

And he did!  I was called out into the stairwell and given some information that confirmed that He had taken care of the situation---NOT as "I" had wanted, but as He saw fit for our situation.  As I went back to my seat, I began to feel that joy coming back over me.  I continued to listen to the others around me and continued to pray for all of us including our own case (just to be safe). 

We were released for lunch, and I left the courthouse knowing that all would be fine.  During my drive to grab lunch, Satan decided to break my spirit once again by putting doubts in my head.  But on my drive back to the courthouse, I saw the Cathedral standing high above the other buildings in the neighborhood.  I decided I had time to make one more quick plea to Jesus.  I entered the quiet Cathedral and said a few short prayers and left there with my joy once again.

The waiting room wasn't crowded after lunch.  There was a quiet, peace in there now.  I sat and continued to soak in my joy.  I had a very reassuring conversation with another foster mom that happened to be adopting her own grandchild.  We were able to share with each other how awesome our God is, how He had blessed us in our times of struggle, and how He had helped our cases.  She was called in for her hearing and came out all smiles.  I knew God would take care of our hearing just as He had done for her.

Finally, we were called in.  I held on to my Holy Family medal so tightly that I'm sure Jesus, Mary, and St. Joseph were smothering.  Everything went as planned, not my plan, but God's plan.  I smiled as I realized that even when I think I know what is best, He actually does.  Thank you, Lord, for always taking care of us and knowing what's best.

But just as court was about to be adjourned, a wrench was thrown into the ring from the "other" side.  They couldn't do this.  Could they?  Well, they could and did.  My heart sank to the pit of my stomach.  I couldn't breathe.  I felt as if I was going to throw up right there in front of the judge.  How could this be happening?  God, where are you?  Why are you letting this happen?

Court was adjourned, and I ran out of the courtroom.  I didn't wait for the elevator.  I ran down the three flights of stairs.  I needed air!  I got to my car just as the waterworks opened up.  Through the tears, I saw the Cathedral standing tall.  Jesus!  I needed to talk to Jesus.  How could He do this to us?  I drove to the Cathedral to ask Him personally, but all the doors were locked.  Are you kidding me? Who locks up Jesus?  I peeked through the crack in the door.  Spotting the tabernacle, I remembered that He had taken care of the other situations.  So, I thanked Him through the crack and left with a small bit of my peace and joy.

I got in my car to head back to town which was probably the most unsafe 30 minute drive ever.  I texted.  I made phone calls.  Each time I repeated the events, I grew more upset by that last wrench.  No matter how much I tried to look at the positive outcomes, that "wrench" seemed to be the only thing I could focus on.  And so the tears streamed in what seemed like the longest drive ever.

I finally arrived at my home parish to find that one of our priests was with someone.  Our other one was on a trip with some of our school kids.  So, I decided to go straight to Jesus.  I knew that this church would not be locked.  I got inside and knelt on the first row in the darkness.  Looking at the tabernacle, I poured out my heart to Jesus.  All my doubts, all my fears, everything!  I am sobbing and crying out, "WHY????? Why would you do this to us?" to Jesus as my purse began to vibrate.  I reached in my purse and pulled out my phone.

It was a text message from Jesus!  Well, not literally, but I'm sure it was inspired by the Holy Spirit!  One of my case workers had sent me a text message explaining what had just happened in the courtroom.  She also said that it was nothing to worry about and explained just what would happen.  She told me that she had tried to "catch" me after the hearing to explain it all to me because she knew I would worry, but I disappeared too quickly.  Fight or flight---I fly!

I put down the phone and turned back to the tabernacle laughing.  I spent the next fifteen minutes apologizing to Jesus for not trusting Him even though I had repeated all morning, "Jesus, I trust in You!"  I asked Him to forgive me for doubting.  I asked Him to be patient with me even though I was obviously NOT patient with Him.  Then I thanked Him for always handling my problems even when I can't see that they are being handled, even when I don't see or understand His plan, and especially when I think he's doing it wrong or taking too long!  He forgave me.  He understood.  He helped me get my joy and peace back.

One of my priests did call me later that night to check on me.  I informed him that I didn't need him anymore that I had gone "over his head straight to Jesus."  He laughed and reassured me that we all have those doubts sometimes.  Later that evening, I realized just how much I had grown that day.  Even in all my doubting, my faith grew leaps and bounds.

God showed himself to me in the midst of all my doubting just as He did for St. Thomas.

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