My husband Joel was ordained a permanent deacon for the Diocese of Des Moines on August 16, 2014. You can view a highlight reel of the most blessed day over here at my digital home, ThePracticingCatholic.com. Yet there is one photo I didn’t include. This one.
It was taken during the ordination Mass, and it’s a moment I’ve reflected on a lot lately. That moment captured there may very well be one of the last times I sit with my husband during Mass for the foreseeable future. And for the first time in this journey, I’m weary. I’m scared to be alone. I’m exhausted just thinking about sitting in the pew with our young children by myself. Why didn’t I think this part through four years ago?
A deacon couple from our diocese gifted us with a simple yet most meaningful homemade prayer card that included a quote from Thomas Merton. His words bring me consolation and have now become part of my daily prayer.
My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”
— Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
This deacon’s wife thing is a unique calling, a journey like none other, and honestly I do feel lost and uncertain. The phrase spiritually vulnerable seems to adequately express my emotions. I have no idea where this road is leading our family, but I pray to submit and trust that He will lead us by the right road and never leave us alone.
Speaking of being alone, if you see me sitting in the pew all by myself with a few kids to my right and left, you are most welcome to sit with us. Please. We’ll even keep the seat warm for you!
Copyright 2014 Lisa Schmidt