February 29, 2004
God’s Call to Prayer in Motion
Up until the last few
years I lived a pretty ordinary life of faith, attending church on
Sundays and holy days, doing some volunteer work and trying to be a good
person. I prayed most days, lots when life was
difficult and less when it was easy. That all
changed when my husband Don was diagnosed with cancer in 1997 at the age
of 43. From the beginning, his odds were not good.
We chose however, not to listen to the odds, but to listen to God
and live the life we had been given. Curiously I
count the two years of Don’s illness and treatment as the best time of
our life together. From the moment of his diagnosis
it was very clear to me what my priorities were and that God was with me
always. We were truly blessed with family and friends that supported us
in every way possible. Each time I would lose hope
or become fearful, God sent one of His angels to my side.
People we didn’t even know would tell us they were praying for
Don, send cards, notes or call with words of encouragement.
Our extended faith family at St. Francis was very active in their
prayers and support.
Don’s treatments were
grueling but through the grace of God he always bounced back and I
somehow never ran out of strength to support him every step of the way.
It was very apparent to me throughout those two years that God
was present and very actively involved in our lives. The day Don died I
was blessed with many precious hours to say good bye and to help him
into God’s loving arms on his journey home.
My grief at the loss of
my husband was much deeper and more incapacitating than what I would
have ever imagined. While I remember little of what
happened during the first year after Don’s death, I remember well the
emptiness I felt in both losing my husband and being “abandoned” by God.
I continued to try to pray, attend church, and go through the
motions of being a good Catholic, but I no longer trusted God.
How could a loving God allow this to happen?
I sought counsel from priests, family, my faith sharing group and my
spiritual director but no one could answer this question to my
As I began to emerge
from my grief I looked for something to do, to occupy my time and to get
my body moving again. I decided to take ballet
lessons as it was something I had always wanted to do.
My first night in class I felt something come alive in me and was
excited by the joy I felt after so long a time of mourning.
Odd as it sounds, that was the first step in my return to God.
The next step came at
the invitation of my pastor, Fr. Jim McDougall who asked if I might be
interested in becoming a spiritual director. I
eventually enrolled in the spiritual direction program at
Manresa Jesuit Retreat House.
Through my studies I slowly began to rediscover my relationship with God
and to trust Him again. The culmination of this
journey came during a 5 day silent retreat required for the program.
While on retreat I came to know a new way to pray to God, through
movement. Through dancing my prayer I experienced
God’s love in a powerful way.
This became so
life-changing for me that I knew I had to share it with others.
Unemployed at the time I felt led to start my own company, Prayer
in Motion, LLC, to teach others how to pray in this way.
This work continually tests my faith and strengthens my
relationship with God as I see how He works through me.
Amazingly, since embarking on this adventure of following God’s
call for my life, I have been happier than ever before, finding a deep
sense of peace and joy in my life.