Receive The Peace of Metanoia in Stillness with Jesus
By Gina Sternfels
My baby is off to college. Yes, he is an 18-year-old, 6-foot 2-inch son who is always my baby! He towers over me, but that sweet face with big eyes and a radiant smile is still the little one in my arms.
He prayed about where to go and finally narrowed down the nationwide colleges to Ave Maria in Florida. In planning to get him there, I thought we would all move him in. It is not about location, but about getting your child settled in and caring for everything, so it is just right.
The realization that my husband and I could not take the time to travel and move him in was like the rug being pulled out from under me. To keep things simple, it was apparent I should stay home to care for our other son with autism to re-acquaint him with the routine as school was getting started. The little voice in my head wanted to cry and scream out loud that I was going!
But I did not do that. I just kept busy and ignored both my thoughts and emotions. Not dealing with that is where I usually start to struggle in my days. I tend to pick on food even though I am not hungry; I make extreme decisions to get extra busy; or I may get reactive towards my husband because resentment starts to build up inside me.
Are you aware of the actions you take when you struggle?
The most obvious plan was for my husband to take him to Florida instead of me. For us to all go would shift the trip’s focus and make it more stressful for everyone.
In moments like this, we get to make a decision – stay in those negative emotions or deal with them.
What do you do when you have to make a hard decision? Do you push it away or face it head-on?
We can invite God into the chaos of our homes or heads. I knew I needed help working through this, so I reached out to my Catholic coach. I wanted to feel peace in my decision and not be stuck in the sadness I kept hidden in the thoughts of my head.
My coach helped me to be still. I can hear God’s voice in that stillness. I can allow myself to cry and be OK with it, instead of thinking it is wrong.
At that moment, I was aware of my thoughts and feelings. The gift in this stillness was a moment of metanoia, the change of heart that brings truth and peace where God can soften and heal my heart. I get to share that love and peace with my son when I face a problem inviting God into it.
Letting my son go to college with a mom in peace was so much more powerful and beautiful than having him leave with me resentful.
My gift of peacefulness was a gift for us all. Thank you, Jesus, for the peace you always offer each of us. Please help me to keep practicing stillness with you so I can receive it.