I am often awake in the middle of the night. Something or other wakes me and I lay in bed and, well, often worry. I've worried about the boys, money, work, school, etc. Everything is always worse at 2 a.m. when there is little you can do about it. One of my remedies for this late night worrying-insomnia is the Rosary. If I am to be completely honest (which I tend to be) I'll have to admit that I still don't have the Apostles creed memorized. So, at 2 a.m. I either skip it or say what I remember. And then, to be really, totally, completely honest (which, if you know me well, you already know I am sort of compelled to be) I can't always remember all of the mysteries. So, sometimes I make up new ones! If you know your Bible it isn't too hard. My memory has never been my strong suit.
So the other night I was awake and decided to say the Joyful mysteries (which are my favorites). I was thinking about the hardships in my life and how I've been really trying to make amends with them. I got to thinking about Mary and how hard it must have been for her (that was during the 1st Joyful mystery....the Annunciation). To be young and pregnant and unmarried and then, on top of that, to tell you fiance' it was God's child! Yup, that's got to be difficult. But I knew that Mary was a faith filled woman. She trusted in her Lord.
On about that time I moved on to the 2nd Joyful mystery, the Visitation. During that decade I was thinking about Mary and Elizabeth. Usually we think about Mary going to help her cousin and we focus on Elizabeth's exclamation and the baby leaping in her womb. What occurred to me on that late, late night was that
God provided Mary with someone who completely understood His plan for her life and was supportive of her
at a time when she surely must have needed it most. I have always loved the visitation. To think of the older and younger women, glowing with pregnancy and joy and sharing their hopes for the future. What never occurred to me before was that Mary must have needed Elizabeth just as much as Elizabeth needed Mary.
Isn't this what we all need? And surely, if God provided it for Mary, this was His template for all of us. That when we are facing hardships we need to reach out to those people who understand us, who support us, who love us.
I am thankful for the several friends in my life who I can count on in this way. I hope you know who you are. I'm meeting one of you on Saturday. So, thank you, from the bottom of my heart for doing the will of God. For me.