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Giving Thanks

This past week was filled with anticipation and preparations for the Thanksgiving weekend. The weekend was filled with safe (social distancing) plans. First, I was going to participate in a fundraising virtual walk. Then my focus would turn to preparations for the family Thanksgiving meal. I was really looking forward to spending time with my family bubble of 8 plus our 3 dogs. Everything seemed to be going according to plan. The weekend finally arrived. I woke up Saturday morning with a mental list of chores in preparation for the day. As I started the day, I noticed a notification popping up on my iPhone. The notification was sent from the Covid-19 Alert app that I had installed back in July and completely forgotten about. It was notifying me that I had been exposed in the last 14 days to someone who reported a positive diagnosis for Covid-19. My head started spinning. Who? When? Where? Why? I sat down and collected my thoughts. I looked at the framed picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus hanging on the wall. I asked Him to clear my head of all unnecessary thoughts and help me focus.

First, I knew that I had to cancel all plans for the weekend. I could not take the chance of exposing anyone if I were infected. Having to call the kids and my dad to tell them that Thanksgiving was postponed was so disappointing. I made an appointment for a Covid-19 test for the following day and started self isolating.

Then the scary thoughts began. What if I test positive? What if I then infect a family member? How can this be happening as I follow all the rules and can count on one hand the number of places that I had been in the last two weeks. A split second of fear overwhelmed me. I forced myself to remember that fear is not of God. As a matter of fact, “Do Not Be Afraid” is listed 365 times in the bible. Once for every day of the year! We do not have control of the first thought that comes in our mind, but we do control all subsequent thoughts. I made a point of dismissing those thoughts and saying the words “Jesus I Trust in You”. I pray the Divine Mercy daily, but now I have to live the trust that I pray. Everything in life is part of God’s plan. Nothing is random. God allows things to happen for a greater good that we could never begin to understand. Sometimes it is simply for our own protection and keeping us on the right path. It is not for us to try to understand but to trust in faith in our loving merciful Father.

Saturday was supposed to be a lively day with food, family, and noise. Instead, I found myself having to be alone in the quiet of my bedroom. I had made my plans, but God had other plans for me. He invited me out of the chaos into the quiet to be able to hear Him. It is only in the silence that we are able to hear Him. In this silence, I was able to get a glimpse of the situation through Jesus’ eyes and see that the invitation to solitude and prayer was a gift. I was stripped of all the plans of the weekend for a reason. I will never really know why but that is okay. When we surrender our lives to God, and He takes the reigns, we accept our path, knowing that His plans for us are always greater and better. I spent the long weekend in meditation, prayer and writing reflections. I stayed focused on God. I did not let my thoughts wander to worries of this world. Covid-19 already caused enough global devastation. Replacing worry with prayer gave me a sense of peace.

It is now Tuesday after Thanksgiving and I am happy to update my reflection by adding that my Covid-19 test came back negative! I give thanks for the negative test result and for the invitation to this unplanned weekend silent retreat which I did not realize that I so needed!

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