Vacation in itself is an wonderful adventure. Exploring a new place, the people, shops, restaurants, scenery…and for me the church. Might be a bit quirky, but I love to attend Sunday Mass away from home. Like a child on Christmas morning, I am filled with anticipation. Will the congregation be welcoming, what will the church look like, will the priest be funny, incense over powering the classic wood smell, singing, no singing, crowded, empty, one collection/two, and so on.
We all piled into the trusted minivan and headed to St. Edmonds Catholic Church in Rehoboth Beach for the 10:30 mass. After a few cocktails the night prior and a 1-year-old who didn’t feel his pack and play was a suitable accomodation..10:30 this morning came quite quickly. John dropped us off and three generations of Kings entered the church.
Packed to capacity, we found a nice comfy spot in the back with a stand alone kneeler. The gracious ushers were quick to make sure we were comfortable. Just as Mass was about to begin, a blue clad blazer-wearing usher made eye cotact and headed our way. He asked if myself and the 3 girls (Ruby, Molly and my nice Isabella would bring up the gifts). To say the girls were excited was an understatemnt. To me, this spoke volumes about St. Edmond’s. Obviously we were not parishioners, and likely a weekly renter, yet they chose us to bring to the altar the most important aspect of what makes a Catholic Mass different from so many others. Fast forward….the girls did fabulous. Johnny boy saw us walking down and with a grab of the hand, joined the procession up to the altar.
Mass was sprinkled with jokes and rooted in prayer. It spoke about having faith. As Fr. Cocco so eloquently said in the bulliten…”Only if we put all we have and all we are into Christ’s hands, confiding in him and not ourselves, can we hope to fulfill our life mission and make a real difference for the good of the Kingdom—in our hearts and in society at large”. These are the words I needed to sink into my soul today.
See, when we were gearing up to book this vacay months and months ago, I was pregnant. Actually I was due to deliver about a week and a half after we got home. My mom was less than pleased that I would be vacationing so close to my due date. I imagined my plump belly soaking in the sun of Rehoboth. Yet today I stood at the back of the church wondering why this beautiful vision was not allowed to become part of my story. Instead I stand there longing for what I dd not have. Questioning how I could have had so many miscarriages and not so much the “Why Me” but rather because it was me…what can I do to help others. Do I have the”poor me’s”, I do! It is also so painful that no one even realizes in a mere few days, another baby would have joined our beautiful clan.
I so needed this mass. I needed to hear the words…”God gives you what you need, not what you want” from the altar this sunny Sunday morning. I did not interpret the priests words as a message that God did not want me to be a mother again and deal with such heartache alone, but rather that he is calling me. He has my roadmap of life in his hands and I need to get on board.
Just as mass was wrapping up, from my purse came a loud, “ARRIVED”. Roughly 45 minutes ago, I had GPS’ed the way to St. Edmonds. I had turned off my volume and knew that we were where we needed to be, physically. Yet in that moment, I feel God sent me my sign that I had spiritually arrived and by trusting in him and realizing his plan my soul will be nourished. With this nourishment, I will be able to do for others and use my heartbreak to ease their pain. This is where my true healing will begin! Thank you St. Edmond’s for not only welcoming these out of towners but allowing my soul to finally arrive!