Monday, June 26, 2006

A Time For Reflection

-written 6/25/06

Two blank notecards and 30 minutes to reflect on what this weekend has meant to me and what I have gotten out of it. Let's reflect, shall we...

My decision to attend Cursillo was based on what I have since learned is called "The 4th Day". I recognize in myself my need for external motivation. Other people telling me to do 20 more push-ups or to run a mile further (well, people other than Ron, that is!) because I certainly won't do it on my own. Rather than motivation, in my faith I need external accountability. Other people at a regularly scheduled gathering to keep me challenged, conscious of God in my life, and engaged in the Christian community.

After agreeing to come, I began to get nervous. Everyone I know who has been to Cursillo has described it as a big amazing thing in their life. I talked it over with my sponsor and a few others and eventually decided that Cursillo is a different for everyone and not everyone has the BIG MOMENT that I knew I wouldn't have. I also recognized the 20/20 hindsight of the cursillistas and that perhaps the BIG MOMENT wasn't at Cursillo but a cumulative effect because of Cursillo. I settled down into a period of waiting, knowing that for me, the Cursillo weekend itself would just be a nice weekend away from the kids, making me "official" so that I could "group".

(you do hear the BUT here, right?!)

About the same time I decided to go to Cursillo, I woke up one morning absolutely sure I was supposed to have another baby. I mean I really wanted another baby. Keep in mind that I already have 3 other kids (age 6, 4, and 2). I had experienced similar baby moments in previous months but had always managed, with the help of friends, to talk myself down from the cliff, so to speak.

This time the feeling was stronger and harder to get rid of so I told Ron. He said, "Sure, if that's what you want." I debated some more, pondered whether I really did want to be pregnant again. Ron suggested adoption. Oh yeah. What a good idea.
(I just checked and I blogged about this on March 6 and 7)

But can it really be as simple as that? NO! And so began a 3-month rollercoaster of research, doubts, and what-ifs with no clear decisions in sight.

I finally decided that perhaps it was time to "let go and let God". Time to invite Him in to my prayers (yes, I know he should have been invited all along and was actually there all along, but I wasn't listening), asking for Him to help in hearing his call and help in trusting that if indeed he is calling us to adopt, that he will bring the right child for our family, into our family.

A funny thing happened once I invited God in and began to listen. He sent me a few signs (see previous post, "A Sign From God?"). And if I'm interpreting them correctly, all signs point to Yes! Adopt! (about half of the team leaders on my Cursillo weekend had adopted children as well as a few team leaders with large families - almost creepy how these little signs kept leaping out and slapping me on the back of the head, sort of back-up messages to the first big one, since he knew I would still be doubting if I heard him correctly). And so I say- Thank You, God. Now please stick with me on the rest of the journey.

You may be wondering at this point how my reflections of the Cursillo fit into all of this since the first signs I mentioned came just a few days before I left to come to Cursillo. Which means I had nothing left to worry over and reflect deeply about while on Cursillo. It would indeed just be a nice, relaxing weekend away from home.

(can you hear God laughing? I can!)

Let's begin with our first assignment, our first meditation, to Know Thyself.

Now some things I knew already...
* I do NOT like to be in situations where it is assumed I know what I am supposed to be doing, particularly when I have NO IDEA what I am supposed to be doing. I like to know what is expected of me, especially in structured situations with very specific rules and routines (military, religious, etc). What I should say and do and when I should say and do it.
* I cry. A lot. For no apparent reason, sometimes. Other times the tears are caused by stress and frustration. Let's not forget sad or sappy occasions. And did I mention for No Apparent Reason? That's a big one sometimes.

Some things I suspected...

And some things I learned...
I am not a "Waaaaa" (imagine clouds parting, a light shining down, and angels singing) person. I'm just not. I have been searching for the "Waaaa", trying to force a "Waaaaa" where there was never meant to be one. I suspect this may be one of the big reasons I cry so much in church (in particular this weekend) - the fight of trying to get the square peg into the round hole.

Though I have come later to the church and organized religion, God has been there from the beginning. He has been there everytime I love someone or do the right thing. I do not search out recognition. I am quiet and do quietly.

I do not find God in the church building or the organized prayer. I find him in the people and the love around me.

Recognizing this was an important step for me. Next was hearing/learning that it is okay to not be a "Waaaaa" girl. I must be what God made me, the best me that I can. I think this lesson will continue for awhile but for now I feel I have started down the right path - my path, with God.

And when everything was said and done, I must say that the weekend did turn out to be a "Waaaaa" experience after all. :)

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