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My Unexpected Easter Gift

alec vanderboom

If mortal sin was actual bullets, I grew up inside Detroit. I'm so grateful for every adoption blog I've ever read because it helped me make sense of what was happening to me on a spiritual level. I'm a late in life adopted Child of God. I've got a lot of hang-overs from my old life, the most serious are massive trust issues.

I complained to God during my wait in the communion line this Lent "Why am I so bad to you?"

The answer I heard inside the quiet of my heart was "Spiritually, you were a Foster Care kid!" I had this image of a teenage girl in foster care who has all of her belongings pack up inside black trash bags as she moved from placement to placement.

In a second, I started to understand how important it is that instruction in Faith is rooted inside a steady relationship. It's not something I could easily brush up against during an occasional Sunday School lesson or a chat with my Protestant minister over ice-cream at a Youth Group Lock-In. (To me, as a mystical Carmelite, a brief conversation about the spiritual life with a stranger was like finding a safe landing place for a few heartbeats before I got kicked out onto the harsh, secular streets again).

The same time I got this image I got this reassurance and also this intense call to action "Let yourself off the hook. Lets be grateful you are in a better place now" along with "Dig in! Use what you've got now!"

This Lent and this Easter has been this amazing experience of "digging in", of getting so much deeper into my relationship with God. All my same surface struggles are still there. But my scrupulosity with God is gone. The old fear that I wasn't good enough to be a Catholic and that I'd quickly get tossed out again, is gone. I have such a beauty and grace and calmness inside my daily life. I still feel stressed, but now I can ask for help and receive help. My first response isn't to hide anymore.

This Lent I learned that there is a difference between "Knowing About God" and "Knowing God." There is a difference between Knowledge and Wisdom.  I've spent my life trying to attain Wisdom.

I've grown up with circles upon circles of college professors. I've seen Knowledge up close and personal. Let me tell you, Knowledge, without Wisdom, is useless, stupid, brain numbing stuff. I'm so over being impressed by knowledge.

I'm enrolled in the Oxford of the Heart.

It's thrilling! Every single hour I'm learning new things with God. My home life is golden!

Thirteen years ago, I joined the Roman Catholic church at Easter Vigil. This is the year I felt inside my heart "Oh my gosh, they are really letting me stay! This could be my last home placement all the way to heaven!"

St. Teresa of Avila, daughter of the church, pray for us to share in your peace.