Recently, I had the privilege of attending a local meet up of Blessed is She gals who are going through our very first Bible Study together, On the Way to Pentecost written by my sweet friend Colleen C. Mitchell.
Miss Colleen, her hubby and five sons are missionaries serving Mama's and babies in Costa Rica. She is a woman of fierce faith and incredible tenacity who has overcome much in the last decade. She listens to the Holy Spirit and actually follows his lead.
I mean I listen but follow?? Not so much, at least not without a lot of waffling and whining which kind of takes away from the strong fierce image I would like to portray to the world. Miss Colleen, she don't waffle. She and the Holy Spirit are the best of friends and it shows in her written work.
As my friends and I were walking through the study, we read a few passages from John, Chapter 21. Peter goes fishing with a few of his disciples. After being out all night, they come up with nothing. Jesus is on the shore, having made a fire,waiting for them. His disciples do not recognize him at first. He asks Peter if he caught anything and when Peter answers no, he instructs him to throw the net over and try again. They complied and had a hard time pulling up the net because it was so heavy from all the fish.
That's when John realizes it's the Lord on shore and calls out. Peter jumps out of the boat and swims to shore.
As that passage began to sink in, my hearing failed and all I heard was a rushing in my ears, like a waterfall. In that moment I thought Courtney saw and loved like John and I deny and struggle like Peter.
I am Peter, tripping over myself, sputtering and swimming to get to the Lord. Courtney had nothing standing between her and the Lord unlike my sea of sin that ebbs and flows. Because of that extremely close relationship, she was able to suffer with grace. She was able to laugh after seizures and endure great pain and not give up the fight. When God called her home, it was the Feast of St. John the Beloved. Of course. She went home on the feast of the Lord beloved disciple. St John was the only one not to be martyred. Jesus had special plans for him from the beginning.
He had special plans for my Courtney too. I wanted her to stay, and we always left room for a miracle, but God knows best.
I have shared before about the gift my daughter was to Jerry and I. How she spoke to us in Lourdes, France and how she changed us, by showing us how to love without reservation or restraint.
I am always amazed at how the Lord chooses to speak to me. How he allows my daughter death to be a source of inspiration, not pain. How he allowed the dignity of Courtney's personhood to shine through my love for her, even though she is no longer physically with us.
I smiled feeling a peace and a calm about where my life is at this moment. My Courtney is right by my side, every single day. She makes sure I know that she is happy and loved, that she lacks for nothing. My sweet daughter continues to bring sunshine to my day and I am so grateful to the Lord above for the gift of being her mother.
How did I get so damn lucky?
Labels: Blessed Is She, catholic family life, Courtney, faith formation, loss of a child, On the Way to Pentecost, scripture study, special needs children