A couple of weeks ago, I had a bit of a health scare. What started out as a simple doctor’s visit turned into a series of tests, waiting, and more tests. I think that I began to worry when my doctor started the conversation with, “Before I continue, you have to promise me that you won’t freak out.” What?! Looking back on the situation now, my fears seem overblown, but I must say that I was truly terrified for a few days. I had already thought of the worst-case scenario in my mind, and in those moments when I was alone with my thoughts, especially in the middle of the night, panic often took over. I thought of all of those people who deal with fear and uncertainty like this every day of their lives, mothers with cancer and parents of children with health complications, and I was in awe of their strength and courage. How do they make it through each day?, I thought to myself. There is something very physically arresting about stress, and no matter how much I prayed for peace I could not always stop my heart from racing and my stomach from churning.
In the midst of my fear, I clung to Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding…” During my pregnancy with Annie, someone had given me a rock, perfectly shaped to fit in the palm of my hand, with this verse etched into it. Now, I keep the rock on my dresser as a reminder that God is good, and that He has a perfect plan not only for my life, but for my family as well. If I don’t understand God’s plan, that’s okay! All that He is asking me to do is to trust in Him with all my heart. Another friend had given me a prayer card with the verse, “For He will give His angels charge over you, to guard you in all your ways” (Psalm 91:11), and still another friend had given me a small statue of an angel holding a child. When uncertainty and fear threaten to take over, these truths – that God is always with us, that He has sent His angels to guard us even as we suffer – are of the utmost importance.
Pope John Paul II, on the occasion of the first universal celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday in 2001, expressed it best when he concluded: “Mary, Mother of Mercy, help us always to have trust in your Son, our Redeemer. Help us too, St. Faustina, whom we remember today with special affection. Fixing our weak gaze on the divine Savior’s face, we would like to repeat with you: “Jesus, I trust in You!” Now and for ever. Amen.”
May God bless you and your families this week. Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!