• Michelle

I Want It Too

Hi friends!

We made it through another week of the quarantine. Woo Hoo!! I think we all deserve a round of applause 👏.

This week was interesting for me. Highs and Lows. I think this is the new norm for a while. I have been having a hard time accepting the new norm. I feel a lot of internal resistance and have found myself living in every one of Kubler-Ross’s five stages of grief. Good grief! To say I’m mentally and emotionally exhausted would be an understatement.

“If you want it Jesus, I want it too”

– Blessed Chiara Luce Badano.

This quote ☝️. Whoa. This quote has been heavy on my heart this week. If you don’t know Chiara’s story, please go read it It’s short. She didn’t do much, but she loved. She was a shining light of love, hope, and peace to her family, friends, and the world. She suffered greatly by her diagnosis of a rare bone cancer, yet, she suffered gracefully and did not complain. It was said that others would come to visit and comfort her and they would leave feeling comforted by her. I have always been drawn to her because in all of her pictures she smiles. So many saints are portrayed in their images without a smile. This always bothered me because I believe that saints are some of the most joy filled people, yet most didn’t look happy in their pictures (side note: this is because of how art was depicted at the time, not because they weren’t happy). I love that Chiara smiles. She radiates the glow of love and joy. She is one of those people who are just light, who make you want to be close to them and hope that some of their light transfers to you. I love that she was a normal, everyday girl. I love how attainable she makes sainthood seem. She’s one of my favs.

So, back to her quote, “If you want it Jesus, I want it too.” I have been praying this ALL. WEEK. LONG. I told Ian about it and he told me he thinks this quote needs to be framed and hung up in our home someday. I totally agree. What a quote of surrender. What a prayer of permission and acceptance. Oh, how I wish my heart truly meant every word. I’m not there yet. I have been praying this all week in hopes that the more I pray it, the more I will desire it. If I’m being honest, I don’t really want it. I don’t want any of this. This isn’t my plan or how I hoped this season of my life would look like. I’m plagued by confusion and disappointment and worry. I pray this prayer but then I add my own questioning words to the end, “If you want it Jesus, I want it too. But WHY do you want this? I don’t understand.”

I’ve been running a lot these days. The weather is finally starting to warm up and because my regular gym is closed, I have the option of streaming workout videos in my room or heading outdoors to hit the pavement and soak up some vitamin D. Because I have needed the fresh air, the change of scenery and the feel of some normalcy, I have been running a lot. Running is a release for me, a sort of escape. For the length of my run, however long that takes me, I feel I am running away from the burdens that weigh heavy on my heart. I forget about them for a time and I can just be. Running also gives me a lot of clarity. I always say I go on my runs with the Holy Spirit and that is when He speaks to me.

As I was running this week, I had several conversations with the Lord. I was honest, I didn’t hold back. I told Him when I was angry and when I was sad. I queued Him in on my anxiety, frustration, confusion, and my loneliness. I also was super blunt with Him. At one point, out of annoyance and a little exasperation, I loudly spoke in my head, “Okay! You have my attention. I get it. I’m listening. What are you trying to teach me through this? How am I supposed to grow? Because let me tell you Jesus, this can’t be for nothing.” Do you like how I try to tell Jesus this, even though clearly, He already knows? I imagine He had a half smile on His face shaking his head back and forth in amusement while He was thinking, “Oh little one, what am I going to do with you?” Nevertheless, I tried to find the silver lining. I tried to notice.

During my cooldown, as I was walking back to my house, I noticed the buds on the trees that line the roads of my street. I stopped to take a pic of them because they taught me a really important lesson. Countless years I have told myself that I want to watch and notice the progression of the leaves coming back after a long barren winter. Countless years I have promised myself I wouldn’t miss this and I would pay attention, only to find myself one day driving down the road looking around and realizing all the trees were green already, asking myself, “how did I miss this again?!”

Not this year. This year, I’m not rushing around from one place to the next so caught up in my plans and my to do list. This year, I’m forced to slow down, to open my eyes, to live in the stillness of the day, to notice the world around me, to notice the beauty of creation, to notice God.

As I let this lesson sink in, I began to realize all the other things that I noticed because I was forced to slow down. The list is as follows: The birds chirping and singing their song in the morning as I woke up for work, the sun streaming through the clouds reminding me of the transfiguration and resurrection of Jesus, the chalk art work from kids on the sidewalk of some fierce looking ponies, the Bible verse of hope flashing across the school’s billboard, the kindness of strangers throughout the neighborhood by smiles and waves of acknowledgement as I passed by, the love and encouragement of friends and family reaching out by phone calls, facetime chats, letters, flowers, and texts, and the love of God through all of these gifts.

I dug through an old notebook to find this poem that I read when I was a freshman in high school. I loved my English class that year. My teacher was so fun and everyday she would have a quote of the day on the white board. Little tidbit about me: I LOVE quotes. So, naturally, I instantly loved this class by this simple fact. One day, she had this poem on the board. I was struck by it then and so I wrote it down because I didn’t want to forget it. As I pulled it out to re-read it, I was amazed that at just 14 years of age, I was so captivated by these words. Little did I know, these words would play such a significant role in my life again 12 years later. Here is the poem:


Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round?

Or listen to the rain slapping on the ground?

Ever follow a butterfly’s erratic flight?

Or gaze at the sun into the fading light?

You better slow down.

Don’t dance so fast.

Time is short.

The music won’t last.

Do you run through each day on the fly?

When you ask “How are you?” Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head?

You’d better slow down.

Don’t dance so fast.

Time is short.

The music won’t last.

Ever told your child, “We’ll do it tomorrow?” and in your hast, not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch, let a good friendship die cause you never had the time to call and say “hi?”

You’d better slow down.

Don’t dance so fast.

Time is short.

The music won’t last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere

You miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,

It is like an unopened gift….thrown away.

Life is not a race.

Do take it slower.

Hear the music….before the song is over.

This quarantine has to be for something. I told Jesus I don’t want to miss this opportunity. I don’t want to complain through the whole quarantine and come out unchanged. I want to have my eyes opened (St. Lucy pray for me!). I want to have my heart softened. I want to notice. I want to breathe. I want to be a little closer to sainthood (“Apart from the cross, there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven” St. Rose of Lima). I want to see miracles all around me. I want to love.

Right now, it feels like so much has been taken away from me. I feel like I have been stripped of everything I truly loved and am being forced to ride this thing out from isolation island. But Chiara has another quote that I’ve been contemplating this week. Through her suffering she said, “At this point I have nothing left, but I still have my heart, and with that I can always love.” I realized that although it feels like I have been stripped and have lost so much, I truly haven’t lost anything at all. Even though it looks different right now, I still have my faith, I still have my hope, I still have my heart. I still have every grace and blessing I need. I can stream mass every day. I have a roof over my head and a warm bed to sleep in. I have food in my pantry so I don’t have to be hungry. I have a job I continue to go to week by week. I have the love of my family and friends. I may not be able to see them but I feel the love.

This quarantine has broken down my attachments. It has shown me hard places in my heart. It has forced me to fall to my knees and cry to my Father in heaven. It has shown me how little I can do on my own even though I try so often. It has given me strength I didn’t know I had and a realization of what truly matters in life. This quarantine isn’t for nothing. This quarantine is to make me saint. Join me, won’t you?

Sending you all love and prayers!!

<3 Michelle

Bonus: I made a playlist for ya’ll if you want some good worship music for the week! Check it out!