Winks from God

| Alyssa Bormes | June 22, 2016 | 0 Comments

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Now and then, God gives us “winks” to let us know that he will be testing us, but that we are to still trust him. This summer will be just such a time.

In a few previous columns, I’ve mentioned that my stepsister Brenda and I will be walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain this summer. It seems that the time has come to go — ready or not. The past few months have been a whirlwind, and I can tell you that I need another day, or perhaps week, or perhaps year, to be ready.

During Easter week, my new hiking shoes, which had a little spring in the heel, left me nearly unable to walk. In the past two months, I have been to the doctor many times, finally receiving an MRI, and am currently wearing a boot aircast! In other words, my training derailed.

Last fall, my colleague, Denise Hirl, returned from the Camino. At one point, her injuries from the walk forced her to take a bus for a few days. What at first felt like a defeat allowed for a series of providential meetings that only served to enhance her pilgrimage. Her journey was different from what she had imagined; she said, “Everyone walks their own Camino.” This has given me strength.

My pilgrimage will be very different; I am beginning broken.

Father Joseph Johnson, my pastor at Holy Family, told me that it is good to go discouraged to the Camino. St. James was discouraged while he was there because of a lack of converts. Mary appeared to him; she stood on a stone pillar and said that his efforts would result in conversions and their faith would be as strong as the pillar. Our Lady of the Pillar, pray for us on the Camino!

The other day I had another passing thought of, “You’re crazy! You shouldn’t be going.” The problem is that I feel compelled to go. Then I had another passing thought: “I can’t be the first ill-prepared person to walk the Camino. There has probably even been someone who has run a marathon with no preparation.” This thought only confirmed the first thought.

However, later I was speaking with Kelly Wahlquist, who founded WINE: Women in the New Evangelization, and, out of the blue, she told me about her friend who was dared to run Grandma’s Marathon. The next day he ran all 26.2 miles!

Brenda and I have been planning this for some time. Our departure date was June 13. In part, we have chosen to walk to honor our parents. My widowed mother married her widower father. And on June 12, I discovered another little wink from God. We will depart as sisters 20 years after our parents made that possible. June 13 would have been their 20th wedding anniversary had my mother not passed away last year.

I have no doubt that God will physically and spiritually test me in the next weeks. Thinking of these “winks” will remind me that I can trust him — one step at a time.

Bormes, a member of Holy Family in St. Louis Park, is the author of the book “The Catechism of Hockey.”

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Category: Everyday Mercies