Friday, January 22, 2010

Last Year's Pilgrim Praying for This Year's Pilgrims

Why is it that God says no to us sometimes, even when something appears to be completely good?

I wanted so much to be a pilgrim at the March for Life again this year. But, God said, "No."

I requested the personal day well in advance, created a Facebook event, and had 12 people respond favorably to my carpool / caravan idea.

I even agreed to an interview with the Patriot News. A writer there wanted to speak to a young adult Catholic, and someone from Lancaster Young Adult Cathlics had given her my name.

But then, as the date got closer, people's RSVPs changed to "not attending," and--as of last night--I had nobody to drive down with. :(

This I didn't discover until quite late, since--by the time I was done with teaching, detention, after school tutoring, running errands, visiting a friend briefly, and walking Macy--it was 10:30 PM.

My days are always so long. Sometimes I think I live the lives of THREE people, all squished into one, excessively busy person. :)

So how was I going to make it to the March?

Do I drive the whole journey by myself in the ice, snow, and rain that was predicted by

It took a whole HOUR of emails, text messages, and phone calls to finally discern the way that I would make it to Washington in the early morning: I would take an early morning bus out of Lancaster, assuming that they would hopefully have an available seat when I unexpectedly asked for one.

Now fully able to be excited, I eagerly got ready.

But, by the time I was finished laying out my bundle of winter clothes, gathering my waterproof rain gear, and packing my lunch, I realized that it was 1 AM -- and I would have to set my alarm for only 4 hours later, if I wanted to shower and walk Macy before I had to leave to catch the bus.

This I felt horrible doing to my body, especially because I knew it would be an 18-hour day, most of it being outside in the cold and rain. Plus, I had only given myself 4 hours of sleep at night already twice this week. As a result, I could feel that my resistance was down. My throat was sore, my nose was stuffy, and my little head had an ache that comes only from lack-of-sleep.

Sometimes I feel like I have so much responsibility on my shoulders (with lesson planning, grading, responding to emails, paying bills, running this house, etc.) that I have to steal time away from my sleep in order to stay afloat with everything in my day. It's like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Maybe God knew all this. Maybe that's why He said no. Of course, He knows me most intimately and knows what my aches are, whether they are of the heart, of the mind, or of my entire, tired person, on a day such as this. So I should have just trusted Him and agreed to pray for the pilgrims by being a prayer warrior at home. But instead, I wanted that warm fuzzy feeling of being around other good Catholics doing an activity that is a very worthwhile cause. So I persisted in going.

So, now at 1:30 AM, I decided to attempt the journey on my OWN in the morning and nix the early bus trip, in attempt to have a few more hours of rest.

When I woke, I was exceedingly joyful and excited. I walked Macy with a spring in my step, and soon I was en route to Washington. I was still tired, but my excitement overrode it!

But God still wanted me to be a prayer warrior. He was still saying no!

Because of my nievete, I wasn't listening. Instead, I was answering calls from various friends, trying to coordinate how we would all meet up once I got there.

Even when I was more than halfway to Washington, God--in His wisdom and care--had me drive BACK.

I did everything to resist Him. I even thought about pulling over to take a nap, since my body was now tried again. Then I decided to pull over and eat my lunch, hoping that would give me a boost of energy. Finally, when I was closer to the White House than I was my own house, God gave me intense menstrual cramps (the kind I only get once a year), and this made me realize that He had been saying no this whole time. He had to use my body to finally get my attention.

In sadness, I turned around and drove home. I thought about Macy the whole time, realizing that whenever I experience any profound feeling--whatever it is--I want to be with her.

If I'm very sad, very happy, very tired...whatever it is...I find myself wanting to share it all with my dog. Thank God for canines.

And so, I prayed my Rosary CD in the car, hoping that others would enjoy the day as much as I did last year, while begging God to have mercy on us and help our society protect life at its conception.

When I got home, Macy was waiting for me at the door, as if she had never moved from that spot when I left -- and as if she had known that I was going to come back early.

When I saw her big, brown, gentle eyes, I instantly cried my face into her warm, fuzzy neck. My day did not turn out like I wanted it to, but God was still sovereign and had His Way. Not socializing today meant that I would have more opportunity to pray for the unborn, and so this I did -- with my dog at my side.