Some people just draw you in. You can’t even put your finger on why. It’s just this feeling, like you want to be around them and listen, and not talk…. ever …. because anything you say would stop them from talking for a moment.
I met Susie at my MOPS group. I’d been going for two years when she showed up. You know, just another Mom. She was quiet, unassuming, humble. Mom of three, married for thirteen years, just relocated. And then one sunny Spring day out of the blue she said something in the middle of a run-of-the-mill conversation that made everyone’s mouth drop to the floor, “I used to be a nun. Oh, and I married the priest.” Well, let me tell you she stirred our little MOPS group up just a little bit. It wasn’t this shock and awe revelation that stirred us up though. It was the journey, the story behind it that moved us. Susie bared her heart to us that Tuesday morning and compelled each one of us to crave a new level of intimacy with Jesus and inspired us to greater depths of faith.
Susie has just written two books ‘Mama Prayers, Mama Wisdom- Volume 1; Delivered and Awakened’ and Volume 2; Transformed and Saved in which she shares her personal journey and insights into motherhood.
This is Susie’s story:
I believe there is always an event in our lives that disturbs us enough to make a choice….either run toward God or run from Him. That event for me, was the unexpected death of my father twenty five years ago. He was only 42, and his eternal sleep caused the beginning of my awakening to life with God. Until that event, I knew in my head that God loved me, but I didn’t feel it in my heart. Not unlike Sleeping Beauty, when we start to feel the ’kiss’ of God’s love are we awakened from an outer-world induced slumber to the riches of our inner-world, eyes wide open and ready to explore His Kingdom within. My father’s death was that ‘kiss’ and I chose to run toward God, totally surrendered.
I began a consistent, daily prayer life, hoping to get to know God. What I didn’t plan on, was that getting to know God, meant getting to know me. I soon felt called to religious life as a nun. Through the help of a priest, I found the Notre Dame Sisters, where the gradual ‘awakening’ continued. I entered the several year process of becoming a religious sister while finishing my Elementary Education degree.
My first teaching job was at St. Gerald in Ralston, Nebraska. It was there that another event would startle and awaken me to new places to explore in my inner world. I met Deacon Charles Uhlik. He was six months away from being ordained as a Roman Catholic priest, and I had just made the decision to go on to Novitiate with the Notre Dame Sisters. Falling in love was not part of the plan. As you can imagine, there was much struggle, many tears, sleepless nights, and fervent dedication to spiritual direction to see us through this complex and faith-shaking time.
To make a very long story, short, we ended up choosing each other and God. We chose love in all its many forms and, today, our devotion to each other, to God and to our children is stronger than ever.
Sometimes when God calls us, it is for a far deeper reason than the appearances of the outer world. My time as a nun completely prepared me for marriage and children. I had places inside me that needed healing from sexual abuse. I had no idea how to love myself, let alone God’s people, a husband, or children, but being healed in my inner world, I learned to love myself, my life, and everyone in a much deeper way. My deepest prayer during my time as a sister was that I would feel God’s love. That prayer was answered. God brought love to me in the form of my husband, Charles and my three amazing children.
I learned that our God is a happy God, and because we are born of God, we are meant to experience that same happiness. It is our natural state of happiness, our happily- ever- after, that God is constantly fighting for. Our history, and our circumstances do not dictate the condition of our inner-person. Our quietness in His presence is what fills the void, changes us and transforms our outer-world with that same love and happiness.
Just as a mother fights for her children, so God fights for us, every day of our lives.
Guest post written and submitted by Susie Uhlik