“A leper came to [Jesus] and kneeling down begged him and said, ‘If you wish, you can make me clean.’ Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, ‘I do will it. Be made clean.'”

As I read through Mark’s Gospel tonight, I found that passage so touching. Oftentimes I pray, demanding God to help me, or begging his help. Wanting the control back. Wanting to maintain power. This man knelt before Jesus, and left the power where it belongs: Jesus. And he was rewarded…he was cured.

I’ve struggled since Richard left. After our good-bye, I refused to admit that it hurt as badly as it did; I refused to admit I was vulnerable and alone. So, I pretended…and crashed. This last week has been super tough for me, and I was literally brought to my knees in my sadness over Richard leaving again. I frantically searched for answers as to why I was so sad, in my desperation to maintain control. I begged God to take away my sadness.

And then, I hit bottom. I sat in the corner of my room, sobbing. I looked up and out my bedroom window into the evening sky and finally admitted it. “I miss him, God. Will you please help me?” And He did. He has given me such graces the last few days, and made clear His message. “It’s okay to hurt–it’s going to hurt,” the old Irish priest said. And relief entered me. “It’s what you do with that hurt–give it to Jesus.” And I have. Repeatedly. It’s not gone, but I feel better. Each day, I feel more peace.

No one told me this chapter was going to be easy, no one told me it would be short. No one told me I’d have a beautiful year without my husband. They were honest. It’s going to be really hard, they said. It’s going to seem like a lifetime. It’s going to hurt. And it does. But, it’s what I do with that hurt, with the occasional grief, that matters. And I know, now. Humbly present it to Jesus, and He will give me peace.

If you wish, Lord, you can make me clean….

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