Every major crossroads in my adult life has been met with a period of discernment in front of the Blessed Sacrament. (Remember, I am doggedly Catholic.) When I graduated high school, I had the rest of my life planned. Go to ESU. Graduate. Become a teacher. Get married. Start a family. Live close enough to my mother that she could watch the grand babies. I threw the plan out the window my sophomore year of college. Well, not the whole plan. Just the getting married part. To my mother’s dismay, I dedicated several weeks to intense prayer and discernment about my vocation: religious life or marriage. I felt more alone in those weeks than I had ever felt before. I had broken up with my boyfriend. My mother was distraught – even angry with me at times. We went from talking on the phone multiple times a day to talking only once or twice a week. In the isolation, I clung to my faith. I prayed without ceasing. Then one day during Mass, God shouted some joyful news into the depths of my heart. He was calling me to marriage. I remember the moment perfectly. The bells had just rung to mark the consecration of the Precious Blood. I lifted my head as the priest lifted the chalice. “You are supposed to get married!” God shouted. I have never felt so joy full – literally full of joy – or peace full as I felt in that moment. And then He whispered, “And you are going to marry Glen.” (At this point in time, Glen and I were close friends but not dating.) Eventually, I dismissed God’s whisper. I got back together with my boyfriend (not Glen). Life continued on. And now I’m a wife to a husband who is running for office – Glen, not the other guy.
From that point forward, all major decisions were prefaced with a trip to the adoration chapel.
After my first year of teaching, I had to decide if I was going to sign my contract to return to St. Joe. On the day my contract was due, I made one last trip to the adoration chapel. Through tears, I raised my head to meet Christ face-to-face. I was flooded with peace. I didn’t sign the contract.
Four years later, I sat in adoration begging God to let me stay at another Catholic school that clung to such a big piece of my heart. Same routine: lift head, Blessed Sacrament, flood of peace. Time to find a new home. So I left Magdalen.
When Glen expressed interest in running for election, I returned to the adoration chapel. Every time before when faced with a huge life decision, my heart was heavy and my stomach was tangled in knots. Adoration is where God worked on my heart so that my will matched His. This time was different. When my family life erupted in chaos after Glen announced to my parents that he was going to make a run at the House District 100 seat, I never wavered that his choice was the right one. My mom was enraged. Her method of coping with the news was to speak to me as little as possible and to Glen, not at all. (Eventually, she came around.) Our life was turned upside down. With the exception of two of my teaching partners at school (shout out to Traci and Susie), Glen and I felt completely abandoned. I should have been a mess. I kept returning to the adoration chapel – not because I was uncertain but because here Christ quieted the chaos of the outside world and reaffirmed that Glen was also listening to His voice. The Blessed Sacrament gave me strength. Again. And Again. And Again. When you know God is with you, guiding you, why would you turn and go another way?