Praise God, my soul inhabits a human body, one capable of consuming delicious food, delighting in beautiful violin concertos, basking in the loving touch of a friend, and receiving Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. But even so, I’ve had my vicious moments. My times of somehow blaming Jesus for my terrible rage. Sometimes, I feel like I’m not that different from the demons in today’s Gospel. (Matthew 8:28-34)
I remember one particularly vicious August. It was hot. I was newly pregnant with our second child. Our first was almost a year and a half. I had recently decided to pause my career as an attorney. My days were spent feeling sorry for myself, living in my husband’s tees, hovering over my recently-launched mommy blog, sucking on popsicles, and generally grousing over the fabulous lives of my lawyer friends. They drank lattes, settled cases, and had beach curls in their hair. I felt like a messy failure.
Was this really what God had in store for me after years of achieving in school and work? To say I was generally unpleasant to live with is an understatement. I felt angry. I felt not at peace.
And where does Jesus’ mercy enter into all this?
At the end of August, when my sister’s baby was born early and had medical complications necessitating a NICU stay, I could rush out to New York and support them. I had no job to take leave from, no legal deadlines keeping me home. I could help and reach beyond my struggly petty feelings to be fully present for their family. I napped in the NICU waiting room, fetched raspberry smoothies, drew baths for my sister. We wept and cheered when my niece was finally “out of the woods” and we could hold her after two weeks.
After I returned home, I realized that my discontentedness had melted. I had experienced the transformation of God’s mercy. I don’t know if you’re angry, Sister. If you’re mad at God. If you’re wounded. But I do know He has an abundance of mercy for you. Just for you, special for you.
Ask and be open to His mercies. They are new every morning. He wants to transform your heart.
Nell O’Leary is a recovering lawyer turned blogger, speaker, and sewer of baby goods while tending to her husband and four kiddos in the great city of Saint Paul, Minnesota. She serves as Managing Editor for Blessed is She and can down a iced chai tea latte in no time flat. Find out more about her here.