The Joy of Presence

You never know what the Lord has in store for you and/or your family as you open your eyes, mind, and heart to the light of the day. This was one of those kinds of days where he said, ‘Come, follow me.’

It was Friday, December 8. The day began a little more chaotic than normal. We were nearing the end of school before the winter break. A coming ease was just around the corner for our family. It was the end of ‘Dead Week’ before finals week in the college world. My husband woke up early and thinking it was time to get the kids up; went on autopilot (6:00 am) waking up the eldest and encouraging him to eat breakfast before they both realized they didn’t have to be up for another hour or so. Confusion! They immediately both went back to bed for more snooze. ‘Up early’ is rare in our house
because we sleep until the last possible minute.

We eventually all got up, grabbed some breakfast, and haphazardly scurried off to our individual places and planned activities for the day. After school happenings for our sons loomed on us parents’ minds. A quick call between us parents surfaced yet another ‘obligation’ which was mass that evening. Tiredly, we agreed it was important we all attend. Yet, it felt like it was yet another ‘thing’ to do until we got home to eat as a family, maybe watch a movie or play a game, then collapse into bed to start the whole routine all over again the next day.

Mass at that moment seemed overwhelming, but we managed to meet up at home, get in the car and off we traveled to St. Mary’s. As we trundled into the sanctuary, spirits a bit low, my husband said a prayer to God asking for his help to ‘get us through’ the evening, because by this time fatigue had set in hard.

We snuck into some seats at the back of the church. A lovely family with a young boy toddler was seated in front of us. He looked around with wide eyes and was well-behaved. Before we knew it, all our family was exchanging smiles and peek-a-boos with this charismatic, joyful boy with a sudden renewed energy and excitement. The boy was cheery throughout the service, and truly brought a light to our spirits on what was an otherwise hectic, exhausting day. After mass, as my husband and I sat on our couch in our home sharing commentary about our days, we realized that this young family with
their small child was truly an answer to my husband's prayers. God has ways to raise you up just by being present in his house.

-Story submitted by a St. Mary’s Parish Family