Goodbye, ZZ-Red.

I no longer have a car. I am currently 1,136 miles from home.

Haha, how’s that for a bump in the road?

If I had been given this trial prior to June 29, I would not have been able to laugh. And I’ve been laughing. Giggling helplessly, actually.

I was first detached from places. Then, the Lord set to work detaching me from persons. And finally, He saw fit to detach me from things.

He has spent five weeks preparing me for this test of my newfound trust, and while He took away my car, He simultaneously showered me with grace upon grace upon grace: grace to keep my head on straight and pull over, grace to proceed with clarity to call the right people, grace – to be cheerfully vulnerable with the strangers that stopped by to see if they could do anything; to be grateful for the clear skies, the warm sun, the lovely landscape, the steady comfortable breeze, the packed lunch from UMary, and the 3L of pineapple water; to constructively use the 3.25 hours of waiting to gather the right paperwork, pray several flying novenas (which all worked for their specific intentions), finish the Book of Job, and nap quite peacefully; to seek the face of Christ in Jason, the tow truck driver, and to be proactive about entering into an edifying conversation about Things That Really Matter to Jason; to ask questions of the mechanics and learn about my car; to be decisive about the car’s fate, and also my own…

I am not worried. I do not know how this is; I only know that this calm is from Christ, and that He might will it away at any moment. I know that He took away my car and gave me a way home. I know that He vetoed my plans to visit with Alise, Theresa, Michelle, Eric, Betsalia, Bridget, Sr. Aimee-Dominique, Marie, Kali, and Mama and Papa and Ninong and Tita Reena, and instead asked that I visit with His Blessed Mother, sit at her feet both in song and in silence, and that I make a gift of myself to the staff that He chose for Ecclesia by cooking one last dinner for them. This is not a spiritual high. I’ve ridden the spiritual rollercoasters and this isn’t the valley, but by heaven, it’s certainly not the top. No, it’s not a calm and a trust born of a high; it feels like it ought to be my new normal, so pray for me, because indeed it ought to be. All I know is that I had my plans for where I wanted to go and love, and He decided that I needed to stay for two more days and love Brilema, Kimi, Maggie, Jen, Marci, David, Derek, Fr. Francis-Therese, and Fr. Nathan.

Today, I am blessed. All of creation is not worth one consecrated Host. And the loss of a car – even one as cared for and delighted terribly in as ZZ-Red – is a small, small price to pay for the healing of countless wounds, the restoration of confidence, the breaking of obsessions, and the renewal of hope. The price of the car cannot be compared to the pricelessness of the great love that has been cultivated over this past month between forty-seven souls, now so conscious of being bound together in Christ. Between roughly 150 hours of communal prayer, 70ish hours of Theology and Philosophy classes, jumping into the Missouri river and hiking/camping in the Badlands and soccer and service and silence and song; and just Living together, many of us for the first time in our lives, a car is a small, small price to pay for the Life we have shared.

Today, I am blessed.

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