As our wedding day quickly approaches, I think about how through the process the Lord has taken me on a journey through my past.
At times when I pray I have an image of the 5-year-old Cristina being asked by her mother “who do you love the most?”. The little Cristina responds with her ray of innocence “Well, first I love God then Mami and Papi and then so on and so forth…” “And how much do you love me?” asks my sweet mother. Little Cristina: “from here to heaven!”
The Lord was teaching me from the beginning that I must love Him first before anything else, then to love everyone else with a love too big to grasp.
Even though these images and reminders of my past bring me to some very dark times, I am overcome with joy for He is good!
As I sit here I feel like saying ” please pinch me! This must ALL be a dream!” And then the Lord gently whispers in my ear “This is your dream come true! You chose to listen to my will”
It’s hard to believe that God would bless me so much…..for I am so unworthy. I think of St. Peter….
You’ve got this normal, hard-working guy on some ordinary day. He’s sitting there and fishing but with no luck and probably looking up to heaven saying “Lord, there must be more to life than this!” This man is sitting there, empty-nets (and empty hearted, for he was missing that something or someone) frustrated with life and with God. Doesn’t this sound familiar?!
And then he encounters our Messiah, Jesus Christ Himself, who tells Peter to cast his net out to sea again….
Imagine the scene – some stranger walks up to Peter who’s been fishing all day with no luck, and tells him confidently to throw it back out one more time?! As I meditate on this, the Lord brings to mind the thought that “What if Peter would have never listened to this man, never threw his net that one last time (never obeying God)?
Peter had every excuse. He was tired, frustrated and probably even angry at this point. But what would have happened if he would have never listened to Jesus? What effect would this have made on his life and on the world?!
Peter’s life would of remained very ordinary and he would have gone home without dinner that night. Thank God that it didn’t end like that! Because Peter chose to do God’s will, his life became far from ordinary, it became Extraordinary- from nothing, God made something great! He went from being a fisherman to a fisher of men!
The Lord has placed it on my heart to remind us that he has the exact same call for each of us, to be transformed from ordinary to Extraordinary. Unfortunately, too many of us are too prideful, too lazy and we refuse to listen to his commands.
So in a weird way, we change His divine plans by our disobedience.
Thinking about all of this, I have a vision of my past and of all of the times that I “fished in a sea of emptiness” and about all of the poison that those “bad fish” brought in to my life. I see images of those daily so-called “pleasures” that I thought I had a “right to do” and I see how miserable I was. I was a fisherman (well, fisher-woman!) who was sick of life itself!
But like Peter, I heard a voice that called me and challenged me with a task. Something very different, something out-of-the-ordinary. Something Extra-ordinary.
And like Peter, I encountered a man who wasn’t interested in what he could get from me, but a Man who – for the first time – wanted the best for me…He reached his hand out and said “follow me”
So there I was, scared, nervous and ashamed of my past, but with a decision to make.
I met a real Man, the same Man that Peter met that fateful day….and my life has never been the same!
Our life is full of daily decisions that we must make. We must be prayerful and prudent, listening in the silence in order to truly follow Him and His plan. ( i know its hard! trust me, I know, WE live in NYC!)
It’s a daily battle but isn’t Love worth fighting for…
So as I approach the day that God created me for, the day where I will become one with the “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” – Genesis, I see so much to do to get ready!
The enemy is doing what he does best….being extremely annoying! He is pissed off, because he has no part in this union that the Lord has brought together!
My current challenge is to decide to be joyful when things become overwhelming, to choose to love when all I want to do is scream….
I ask for your prayers as the day quickly approaches, that I may continue to live my life with the motto that “I’m too blessed to be stressed!!”
God is good! We’re getting married in 10 days!
St. Peter, our first Pope and Rock of the Church, please pray for us!