As a military spouse of almost 10 years, I have learned how to adapt. We all have our own techniques on how we handle stress and hard times. The Lord knows that PCSing, TDYs, deployments, and all the countless things that go in-between there provide us with a multitude of ways to learn how to handle stress. I’ve found the best way through the storm is prayer and the Eucharist.
In the brewing of trouble and strife I turn to Christ in prayer. This hasn’t always been an easy endeavor for me, in fact, I have had to learn how to pray. Only recently have I learned how to pray in a way that benefits my soul. I truly feel that we all have a way of praying that is so unique to our self. For me, I need to open my Bible and be nourished by the words of Christ himself. I need to feel the Psalms washing over me. I need to witness that love that Jesus has for us in the scriptures and then it is easy for me to close my eyes and focus in on that prayer that my soul needs to pray.
God always knows that I needed that time too. I open my Bible and there laying before me is a passage that is in some way relevant to what I am going through. It tells me to go on and don’t be afraid or to love my neighbor! The message is always clear and my heart is always open when my Bible is open.
I’ve also been able to consecrate myself to Jesus through Mary. That process of 30 days of consistent prayer, the Rosary, devotions. How can anyone feel stress when you are praying that much?! As soon as I was finished I wanted to do it again just so I could do the prayers! Those 30 days were so stress free, yes I faced temptation, the devil doesn’t want you to consecrate yourself to Jesus especially not through Mary, but I have never been closer to either Jesus or Mary in my life and I was so… loved, cherished, and protected.
The storms in my life come and tempt me. They stress me out and they cause tension and pain. Often by Saturday, I am done, there isn’t anything left to give to others and even myself. The thought of going to Mass (we are Vigil Mass goers) was exhausting. I had to find the strength to go. Once at Mass though, I am always go glad we are there. To celebrate the Mass, the beauty of everything that it is and represents. I cannot imagine a better way of ending my week. Every Saturday I can feel the weight of every stress falling way and the heartaches in my heart leaving as I offer them up. Then the most incredible part, the best part, THE PART. The consecration. The Eucharist. The Body and Blood of Christ.
I’ve been Catholic since 2012 and I will confess I still cry 9 out of 10 Masses when we say, ‘Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” Why? Each time we say it, each time, I feel unworthy but I feel him healing me. I feel Christ inside my heart and soul. Then we partake of HIS divine body and blood and I feel HIM coursing through mine. I am unworthy but he loves me all the same. How loved are we? How incredibly, wonderfully, beautifully loved are we? There is no stress in my life that prayer and the Eucharist cannot melt away. I just need to focus. I need to go to Mass and listen.
How do you spiritually get through stressful moments in your life?
“Through The Storm” contributed by Misha Oakes.