This week I felt fear for the first time.
While anxiety and stress seem to be a normal part of life these days, fear has now been added to the mix. I fear the darkness in the world, I fear not being able to protect my daughter, I fear the path ahead.
This fear makes me wish I could flee with my daughter to a safe place. Maybe to a little farm just outside a quaint village, where we go on walks in meadows and gather wildflowers. But, seeing how I can’t transport to a Pride & Prejudice movie, I went to the one place that gives me peace: church.
I walked in and went straight to the front, to be as close to the tabernacle as possible. So many times I have come to ask for something or to say formal prayers, but this time I came just to be with Him. I was yearning for the peace that only He can provide. Nothing needed to be said, I knew He knew, all I wanted was Him.
I spent a good while centered on Him, resting in Him, when I slowly looked over at a statue of Our Lady. She was holding baby Jesus in her arms. Ever since I became a mother, my love for Mary has blossomed. While I, in no way, shape or form claim to be like her in any way, I feel a special connection to her as a mother.
And so, as a mother to mother, I started to speak to her, sharing the fear I was now carrying and all the things I was worried about, not in a complaining way, but rather as a heart to heart with someone you look up to. Once I was done sharing, I looked at her again in silence, and in my mind I suddenly saw the words, “…O Mary most sorrowful, in the anguish of thy most affectionate heart during the flight into Egypt and thy sojourn there. Dear Mother, by thy heart so troubled…” And the words blurred away as I suddenly remembered the second sorrow of our dear Mother.
Sweet Mother Mary, always by the side of Jesus ready to intervene for her children.
I instantly began to cry for her and what she had to endure that night. Fleeing in the middle of the night, a lengthy journey on a simple donkey, fearing for her child’s life. Just imagine all the “what ifs” she must have thought, the anguish, fear, and anxiety she must have felt. She understood me that afternoon because she lived it – but on a much more severe scale.
A sense of peace washed over me, not because the problems of the world were suddenly gone, but because in Mary I found someone who not only understands, but shows me the example to model.
In everything, Mary trusts God. Despite that fearful time, she trusted that God would protect and provide for her family. And so, with this heart to heart conversation, she reminds me to trust in Him too. To trust that God will protect and provide for my own little family. To trust Him in everything.
During these times, may we all keep our eyes focused on God, just like Mary.