All is well.

Basilica of Guadalupe

A few days ago I visited the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City with my dad. I had been once before, when I was 14 or 15 years old. I remember my deep faith that had yet to be challenged and the sense of awe and wonder I had in the presence of Juan Diego’s cloak (you can read about the miracle and apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe here).

Today I am in awe and wonder of what has happened in my life since that last visit. Upon reflection after being at the Basilica again, I realized how immensely my prayer life has changed and how content I am with my life. Whenever I have a chance to pray in an extra special place - like that of the Basilica or on my other travels - I usually have a very long list of things I need help with. Finding that significant other or a new job, losing weight or making enough money, finding a house or figuring out where to move.

Basilica of Guadalupe

But the other day, I just had a list of things that I am grateful for. For my work, for my living situation, for my privileges, for new opportunities, for my friends, for my community, for my health. Okay - I did slip in a prayer for my love life, but it wasn’t in desperation like it used to be, more of a prayer for him and for my growth to be ready for him when we finally meet.

That got me thinking about how I got here. For the past 16 years, my prayers have be overrun with pleas for a situation that is different than what I had. I was perpetually wanting something else. When I was 15, I was desperately wanting a boyfriend and to lose weight. When I was 17, I was desperately trying to figure out where to go to college. When I was 20, I was desperately unsure of what to do after college. When I was 23, I was desperately trying to figure out what to do after I left Brazil. When I was 24, I was desperately trying to find a new job and apartment and boyfriend, etc. etc.

Basilica of Guadalupe

The past years though, have been about action. Prayer and action. Mornings begin with prayer, setting myself in the presence of God. I can feel His love and I can reflect on the previous day and prepare for the current day. I can even ask for help with things and help for other people. And then I have to act. I wanted to have better relationships - I quit drinking. I wanted to have more money - I made a budget. I wanted to make new friends - I started a women’s group. I wanted to love my job - I made one for myself.

I was also spiritually pushed in growth areas that I couldn’t create myself - break ups and things that I had no control over. To deal with life, I have a therapist and a spiritual director and someone who helps me with my finances. I go to yoga regularly and read books by people who have gone before me and have wisdom to share. And I trust, trust, trust in what God has planned for me.

Basilica of Guadalupe

This is not to say that this life is what I wanted. All I ever really wanted was to be a 3rd grade school teacher and married with five children (remember my powerpoint??). But letting go of my resistance to what I am offered has allowed a lot of freedom, peace and joy.

Not to mention, maybe I'm just at the age where things are more settled and I don't have to constantly be searching for the next step. I did sign a lease for the 3rd time - before this house I'd never signed more than once.

Basilica of Guadalupe

I still stand by the truth that gratitude is the root of joy and today I am so very grateful.