‘What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men …… That is what love looks like.’ - St. Augustine

Monday, June 13, 2011

Keeping The Faith, No Matter What

Anya communicating with us via ipad translator.
Sometimes it feels like you can't catch a break. We all have days like that. Sometimes I feel like I've had six years of that, when it comes to Anya. Last week, while I was in transit to coming home, someone emailed me and asked how I keep hoping for a miracle when all the signs point to no. I don't really have a practical answer to that, but it is true..I do still hope.

This week I came home to a weakening body, a suffering business, a non-existent bank account, and a pile of bills higher than the uncut grass in my overgrown yard. Normally I'd be a ball of anxiety over just one of these, but I'm choosing to have faith and keep walking forward. We all know it does no good to worry, but we fill our days with it anyhow. Of course I wish I weren't sick, and for certain I wish my business were doing better, but stressing over it will probably only make both things worse. I need to rest, pray, and do all I can do make things better. I can't change what's on my plate right now, but I do have control over my attitude about it.

God has shown me time and time again that He cares about the little things. He knows the state of my health, and my business. He sees my bank account. He knows the exact height of the weeds in my backyard jungle. If I put my trust in Him and do all that is in my actual power to help the situation, He promises that He will work everything out for my greater good. Sometimes suffering is part of the plan. Sometimes living in the unknowingness is what will teach us best.

Last night I awoke at 3am gasping for breath. I had been dreaming about D. He was being taken away from me forever, and I was reaching for him, screaming, as a ship pulled away with him on it. I woke up drenched in sweat and shaking all over. That is when my anxiety shows up -- at 3am when my conscious mind is asleep and my deep-seated worries find their way into my dreams. So I prayed. I sleep with my rosary beads ( they are my Grandmother's), so I take them out from under my pillow, and I begin the comforting litany of 'Hail Mary's and 'Glory Be's and soon my heart is at peace again.
I feel very sad of late, but not without hope. I always feel sad for the first few weeks home from Russia. The faces of the children haunt my waking as well as my sleeping life. I have trouble eating, thinking, and just plain functioning. Being sick is, in some ways, a welcome distraction: at least my body manifests how my heart feels.

I don't always share my intimate spiritual experiences, because I have a diverse reader base and I love that. Sometimes talking shop, spiritually speaking, can alienate people I have grown to love. But in this case, I'll make an exception. you can call me crazy if you like, I really don't mind. So... the other day, when I was praying my daily rosary for Anya, I received a very comforting and irrefutable word from above that Anya will be home someday. I was told to keep praying and keep trusting. Only minutes after finishing that prayer, I received a very hopeful email concerning Anya's situation. I'm not at liberty to share, but know that many people in a position to help are still working on this. For me, this email was simply a confirmation that what God had revealed to me was true...she will be home some day.

Who knows what good God is bringing about in the waiting. Look at Kirill's story, if you doubt that.

Today I am sick and sad and fairly pensive, but I am also hopeful. I know that my God is Love Incarnate and He is bringing His daughter Anya home to us in his infinitely perfect timing.


  1. This is truly one of the most inspiring things I've read in a long time. There's hardly anything more powerful than optimism and faith (in yourself or in God or in the World. In anything, really), and I'm so glad that there are people who really understand that.
    Thank you Keri.

  2. Thank you for sharing these very personal thoughts, which I find inspiring. I too pray for Anya.

  3. Shesatlikepatience, thank you! And I see from your blogger name that you are a Shakespeare lover like me! In fact, that passage from Twelfth Night is one of my very favorites!
    "... She never told her love,
    But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud,
    Feed on her damask cheek: she pined in thought,
    And with a green and yellow melancholy
    She sat like patience on a monument,
    Smiling at grief. Was not this love indeed?"
    Ah, so beautiful!!!

  4. Keri, that passage is one of my favourites as well. It always has been. There's certainly something to be said for constancy and faithfully standing by the things you love no matter what. Honestly, is there any situation Shakespeare hasn't been able to express perfectly?


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