I love these two guys. They will always represent to me a very special era of my life.
There was a time where these two were my right-hand men. Maybe it was just two or three summers, really, but it was awesome. Despite our varied age differences, we did lots together. And we always spoke about God whenever we were together. I grew in virtue being around them. And they both encouraged me to pray and have hope.
I think all three of us worried that we'd never find our vocations. In fact, I know so. Except perhaps for Andy who is always joyful and calm, we were worried. Would we always be in a constant state of wondering?
But it is not in God's nature to abandon His children. Despite all of our theological discussions, we should have realized this more and truly lived it. God would not hide our vocations from us forever. Rather, He was delighted to surprise us with them precisely when the time was right!
Our prayers were answered. I got the house! Shawn taught a lot! And suddenly, a beautiful woman named Maria walked into Andy's life. It was only a matter of time before she would become his wife, I thought! Thank you, dear St. Joseph, for interceding for us!
As time went on, all three of us were eager to learn our vocations. And God slowly revealed them in His perfect timing. My husband Michael made his grand and amazing entrance into my life in the Summer of 2010! By the Spring of 2011, we were engaged, and by the Summer, we were married.
Meanwhile, Shawn fell in love with the vocation of being a Benedictine brother at a monastery! He began his postulancy shortly after our wedding. And Andy proposed to Maria a few months ago, and in just a few days they will be married! And, in just a few months, Shawn will be entering the novitiate. How incredibly exciting! All three of us could not be more grateful and more in love with the vocations that God has chosen for us!
With Andy's wedding fast approaching and Shawn's postulancy concluded as he prepares for the novitiate, God made it possible for us all to get together -- and so we did! We went out for sandwiches at one of our favorite places, Joe's Famous American Kitchen.
This was the first time that Shawn and Andy had seen me looking pregnant. Technically, I was pregnant the last time I had seen each of them around the Christmas holiday, but God hadn't revealed His plans for us just yet.
Shawn was particularly delighted with my round belly that was growing new life. He was downright amazed. And he reminded me how he'll never forget the journey that we once walked together. He remembers clearly how I worried that I would never marry or have children. He reminded me how we walked from the darkness of fear into the light of God's blessings!
All of our lives are miracles! Each one of the five of us in the above photo are a true testament to God's amazing majesty!