Courage, Dear Kathleen

Courage, Dear Kathleen

“But no one except Lucy new that as it circled the mast had whispered to her, ‘Courage, Dear Heart’, and the voice, she felt sure, was Aslan’s…”

Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C.S. Lewis

Lately, I’ve felt a bit like Lucy, needing, hoping, to hear Aslan’s voice telling me to have courage.

Aslan, the only character to make an appearance in all 7 books from C.S. Lewis’, Chronicles of Narnia, can be thought of as a powerful allegory for Jesus Christ.

In this time of transition from ministry to ordinary life, how wonderful it would be to hear Jesus say, “Courage, Dear Kathleen.”

That said, this ‘ordinary life’ will be extraordinary. My life is shifting from putting everyone else’s family and youth first to making my own family THE priority, after God, of course.

Interesting how time flies.

Yesterday, we celebrated my husband’s one-year anniversary of his ordination to the diaconate (not sure if I mentioned yet that he is an ordained deacon in the Catholic church.) The day before, our youngest daughter turned 22. At the end of August our oldest daughter will be 31.

I blinked.

It’s amazing, and melancholy at the same time, how these years can be taken for granted.

Last week, I was putting new bookshelves together to make room for my ministry library, which I’ve amassed over the past 20 years, have moved with me from job to job, and now bringing home. (There are very few things that I keep or collect; books are one of those things.) We have several bookshelves full of children and young adult books from when I was a child and when we were raising our girls. As I rearranged our shelves and started to pull from the children’s collection, I came across a book which was my favorite as a little girl, “The Best-Loved Doll“, by Rebecca Caudill and Elliott Gilbert. A wave of nostalgia washed over me and the following thought went through my mind before I could catch it,

“I can’t wait to give this to my own daughters.”

A deep sadness swept through my heart and my eyes teared. Did I ever read this book to my daughters? Or, had I allowed everyone else’s daughter’s to come first?

Reality check:

  • Yes, I did read this to our girls.
  • No, I did not neglect to be the mom that God called me to be.
  • I’m a good mom and a good wife.

But, during these last few years there have been plenty of times when I put others first. God has always blessed my disordered efforts though – He knows my fallen nature and my desire to spread the Gospel. I thank Him for being so merciful and blessing me with a family who loves Him just as much as I do.

But now, I need courage.

Courage to step back into my primary calling.

Courage to let go of all the amazing and wonderful relationships that I’ve gained through ministry.

Courage to allow someone else to receive the blessings of being a youth minister.

And, courage to be ‘little’ once again.

Pray for me as I pray for you.

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