above all Else.

I missed the Eucharist. For nearly a week straight I just couldn't go. That's not saying that I couldn't go to Mass. I went to Mass. But my heart, my spirit, my soul wasn't in a state to receive. Mortal sin? Maybe, but definitely straight up not in a graced enough place to be ready to receive Him. My husband has taught me to err on the side of caution when it comes to the state of my soul and receiving communion. So I went to Mass last weekend. I walked up to receive, baby in tow, and, because of said baby, couldn't even cross my arms on my chest. I had to tell the deacon no and shake my head with tear-filled eyes when he tried to give me communion. The blessing was nice, but oh, how I longed to just sob as I headed back to my pew. And I do mean full on, no holds barred sob. Right there. In the middle of church. I was holding on to something, bitterly holding on, and that something was separating me from God. In a way, in a very real and painful way, I loved that thing, held on to that thing more than I loved and held on to God. That's the real, sad, authentic, painful truth. He was simply asking me to let go, to give Him that thing that was weighing me so heavily down and in return He promised me peace, love, and freedom. Still, my heart said no. If I'm being honest, when I was at Mass this weekend, had the opportunity for confession presented itself, I'm not sure I would have taken it. I was still too bitter, too much in pain to let go of that thing and cling to God instead. Deep down I knew that if I was going to seek God's mercy, He'd expect me to show it to others too - a thing I was not ready for. No thanks for the mercy God, I'll just sit here and stew some more. It is sad. It is pathetic. Its a thing I don't even like about myself, those times I hold something else dearer than I hold God. I wanted to cry after communion. I desired Him so badly. I knew that if I was ever going to move forward I'd need Him, His life, His Body, His Blood flowing through me. And yet the only way to receive Him was to ask beg for His mercy. I'm not one to cry in confession. I can only think of less than a handful of times I've ever really cried in the confessional. This confession - the one where I admitted that I'd held on to something so, so bitterly - I fought back tears. Real, honest, ugly, painful tears. Yes, God, I did it again. I tried - and you let me succeed - to hold on to something more than I clung to You. I fully admit that I consciously clung to bitterness over Your love and Your mercy. I know, in the depths of my soul, that I failed to show others the kind of mercy You show me daily. Can You, will You please forgive me, again? And if You can, will You show me how to forgive others like You forgive me? The bitterness started to fall away. It is a daily choice to keep forgiving, to keep moving forward, to cling to Him instead of anything and everything else. The priest's words of comfort only made it harder to hold back the tears as hope filled my heart again - hope that, despite the bitterness and the struggle that seems higher than I can climb, all shall again be well. Hope that, since His mercy is possible for me, it is also possible for me to share. Hope that He will continue to show me the way, despite my failings, despite my woundedness, despite my efforts, yet again, to love something else more than I love Him.
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