Where to begin.
Miracles are not unfamiliar to me. Not big or giant miracles, but coincidences too coincidental to be unacknowledged. Funny things which happen which are unexplainable or explainable in an unbelievable way. One might think this is just a mags way of looking at things, ‘those that have ears to hear, eyes to see’. But last night Oh my God a Miracle I shall never let go of for the rest of my life. I am unsure whether to share it with you at present, so I am recording it date wise and when I have decided only then will I post. It must be said to you all that I am fully aware of my romantic nature, I am also fully aware at the same time of the painful personal truth I live by, but last night has me in a state of soul awakening awe/wonder and frankly skin tingling I want to say dis-belief but it was belief.
Anyone that has been following my journey knows of my impossibly difficult situation. There are only a few followers of my blog. I have never ever publicised it, just used it as a way of expressing my frustrations. I have only ever written from my heart, only ever when I have been inspired to write, and that is the way this blog has unfolded. My viewers each day are few, my stats prove this. My family and friends know not of my blog (all but a couple) and this has allowed me the freedom to write unhindered and not be worried about exposure. This blog has been relatively anonymous.
On Friday I came home from a pilgrimage to Rome where I prayed. I prayed everywhere, at every altar, in every place of worship that we were blessed to be in. Never at so many altars has so much Love been declared in only 5 days, of this I am sure. I prayed the same prayers over and over again and again. By the end of the pilgrimage everything was absolutely given over. On the last day we went to the catacomb of St Callisto where St Cecilia was buried. There was a beautiful little shop which sold everything you could possibly want in the way of crosses, trinkets, ornaments, cards, pictures, and decorations to do with all the kitsch and paraphernalia of the Catholic faith. I brought a few little gifties for my children. I wanted to get myself a little gift to remember my pilgrimage by. I already had brought a beautiful leather case for my prayer-book, which was blessed by Pope Benedict, but I wanted a little something for my sanctuary. I kept going back inside the little shop because I was unsure whether what I wanted to buy was verging on the too tacky. But I kept returning as I was drawn to a picture of our Lord. It is slightly bigger than A4 and is a double picture that changes when you move (a bit like a hologram). On the back it reads ‘You have in your hands two reproductions of the Holy Face of Jesus. The colour reproduction was masterly created in 1935 by the famous artist Aggemian. The second reproduction in black and white shows the Holy Face of Jesus as impressed on the shroud about 2000 years ago.’
The evening after I came home from Rome I unpacked my things and I stood the picture safely up on the top of my desk just as a momentary resting place until I could find a place for it. It was leaning against and old computer screen, a computer which I do not use as it is ancient and deathly slow, but it is the computer which the printer for some reason is attached to and has to be on for the printer to work. I can also ‘send to print’ from my apple laptop, but it will not work unless the old P.C is on. Because the P.C is not used it goes into sleep mode and remains off until you touch the space bar on the keyboard and then it re-fires up. I enjoyed the picture of Christ as it was like a photo, and as you came into the sanctuary He looked back at you from the great mirror where you could see His reflection, sometimes you would see the shroud and sometimes the face. When I first logged on to my apple to write my first blog on returning I discovered an old picture of Christ (the one above) which I had saved, which immediately led my eyes to my new picture, there was something startlingly similar about them as they both stared at me.
I was very disappointed when I came home from Rome because I came back to guests staying the night, a couple and their two small children, whom I had said could stay provisionally before my trip. I was not disappointed for their company which is lovely but my daughter has a best friend who was also staying over (her mummy has bone cancer) and at the weekend she is free to sleep over at ours. This meant there was no sanctuary bed for me and no settee. And any way I am an adult, so I slept on what was my side of my husband’s bed. We hugged in a chaste way for a short while. I am so torn because I know how I feel inside, I have been living as brother and sister against his will, and I am so very torn between being true to my true self (which invariably means being selfish) and feeling incredibly guilty, a part of me wonders if I should ignore my truth (even though it is not what I want to do), by giving a life and a marriage back to my husband (whom I am filled with sadness for) by sacrificing everything that has become so important to me in my world and my faith. I prayed so many times every day on my pilgrimage (God knows who my heart truly belongs to, bestowed by Him) and in the end I could do nothing else but confess all and pray for the right outcome and give it all up to Him to sort out.
When I opened my case on arriving at my hotel in Rome, the first thing I saw was a pink tissue wrapped package, my husband had sent a card which said how much he loved me, it told me to have a good trip and then to come back home and embrace my family and enjoy it together with him. He also put in the 9-year-old pregnancy stick test which announced the surprising news that I was pregnant with my twins. 1500 miles away on pilgrimage. Still pressure.
Back home and my guests left and returned to their own homes, and so for the Last two nights in great guilt I returned to my sanctuary. I had just finished writing my blog ‘Beyond all the World’ and had just watched a documentary on Rome, and then I decided to read aloud what I had written in my blog, I have to confess I was feeling very disappointed as after I read my words to my husband he said ‘its a nice piece of writing, but I completely disagree. I don’t feel any of that.’ I have to admit my heart sinks again and again as I just know that our minds are so far apart that we shouldnt be together. But then I think it’s all my fault, not being ‘with him’ that causes all the problems. So I went quietly to my sanctuary wondering what God wanted me to do, knowing full well where my heart and soul belong.
I fell to sleep in my peace imbued sanctuary, where I am either just left to be without even a ‘goodnight’ else a knock at the door telling me it’s bedtime I should go upstairs, which in my guilt I always ignore. I fell to sleep after reading and praying, but deep into the night whilst sleeping I could smell the smell of church, I could smell incense and wood and it brought me to the surface of my sleep, and that is when the miracle happened. Not brief, not quick, not missable, but at first shocking, amazing, frightening is the wrong word but it did startle me, scared me even initially, and straight away I made the sign of the cross and prayed the Our Father.
The old P.C for some reason must have been on stand by and had randomly woken up, it has done this before for no apparent reason, and although the screen looked black the light or energy from it shone right through the hologram picture of Christ which was standing in front of it, not the black and white shroud picture but the picture of His face. And it was alive and shone brightly like a real face in my room, I laid in bed almost scared to move, and after a while and in my astonishment I spoke to Him in conversation, and His face moved and His expressions changed as the picture moved in my vision. Unbelievably believable. I asked Him what I was to do. My situation has been so hard to discern, I know what I feel inside, but I am not sure what is right or what it is that God wants me to do. I have children, a family.
So I asked Him directly and He gave the answer I did not want.
I asked him should I go upstairs and return to my husband, and to my horror as soon as I finished my question His face lit up brightly :O( I did not leave it there, I waited a while and then asked the same question 2 more times, and much to my horror both times His face lit up again. Because He is the Lord I could not deny His response. I wanted to stay in my sanctuary. I sat there for a while gathering myself together and all the while the screen was darker and His image fainter, but he was still very much present. It sounds now so ridiculous but I wasnt sure if I should leave the room whilst He was still there so I distracted myself for a while longer to see what would happen in the silence.
I opened up my laptop which at night I keep next to my bed and when I checked my stats which I always do, it said ‘the shepherdess’ This I know is just a search engine term, but none the less the first time this has ever appeared on my stats page. That in itself was no miracle, but the fact that here is Jesus telling me to go upstairs to my husband, and the contradiction of the quite different path of a shepherdess, fully opposing each other, magnified every prayer at that one pinnacle moment. Impossible situation.
Because He is my Lord, against all of my will I followed His wishes. He assured me in my mind that He would be with me. His answers appeared only in illumination of His face upon the screen, and in my mind. So I gave up and I went up stairs to my husband’s room and I climbed in bed next to my husband and I told Him what had just happened. I did not tell Him that Jesus had asked me to come upstairs, just that He had appeared to me in the way that He had. Madness. My husband hugged me and kissed my head and said he loved me and he loved the way I saw the world. He got the closest he has been with me in a long long while and of course he got physical and intimate, but it felt wrong. And it was then when making love to me that I began to cry, and having thought Jesus was telling me to go back to my husband He instead stayed with me whilst I cried and whilst I told my husband that I am so sorry, that I love him but not in the way that I Love my beloved and not in the way that he wants me to love him. And I was aware that He and he held me whilst I intimately apologised with all my heart for hurting him and for not loving him as I Love my beloved. I softly said I wished he would go back to his first wife so that they were both not lonely anymore, I gently put it to him that she could offer him the love he so deserves. And so finally with all the strength of His support, quietly and lovingly and in the most saddest, kindest and tenderest way I laid my Truth to rest, without even having expected or planned to do any of it.
Then I was left to sleep, I woke up only after breakfast time, still to so much kindness. And shocked at the clarity at the way in which last eve unfolded. I have absolutely no idea how any thing will change. My husband does change slower than the Catholic Church! I guess in God’s time I will find out.
P.s You have every right to think I am completely mad, bonkers in fact. I would too.