And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.
— Romans 8:28

I had to leave my engagement ring at the jewelers the other day to get it appraised. In place of not having my actual engagement ring I wore the original ring that Dom proposed with, which is a miraculous medal ring. It's a long story, but the basic gist is the ring he chose for me wasn't going to be ready in time for him to be able to propose with, so he chose a miraculous medal ring as a stand in. And what a sweet stand in it was. He could have given me a piece of string, I wouldn't have cared. But he chose this ring, and I couldn't be more thankful. Not only do I now have 2 rings that mean something very special to me, but I have a ring that is a literal symbol Mary's prayers for us. It's a reminder to me of her yes to God and of my yes to Dom. It's a reminder of the road I'm saying yes to. which is ultimately a yes to God's story for my life through the vocation He has called us to together. 

A couple weeks ago, we celebrated what has always been my favorite of the Marian feast days. The Feast of the Annunciation. It's a celebration of Mary's 'yes' to God. A yes that would change the world forever. It's a celebration of her complete surrender to His will. Her total gift of self. I wonder how Mary must have felt. When the angel announced to her that she had been chosen to carry God's son into the world, she had no idea what that was going to look like. She couldn't have predicted all of the joy and heartache it would entail. And yet, with full confidence, she said "yes". 

I don't know about you, but I'm someone who wants to see the entire picture. I like to fully understand what my commitments mean, but that's often not the way it works. You know what saying yes to eating 5 candy bars is going to lead to. A potential sugar rush, most likely a sugar crash and a tummy ache. But saying yes to a new job, to a move across country, to a college, to a proposal, those things you can't see the big picture for. You don't know how it's going to end, which I'm pretty sure is the way God designed it to be. A friend of mine once put it like this. Your life is like a huge wall mural that God's painting and He only let's you see one little section at a time. Even though it might not make sense right now, in the end it all fits together beautifully. To you, your life might look like a gigantic mess that doesn't make any sense at all. But to Him, it's a work in progress. It's one giant masterpiece.

Think about your life. If you had known exactly how everything was going to turn out, would you have said yes to certain things? Even if something didn't turn out great, did you learn from it? There are plenty of things I'm not sure I would have said yes to had I seen the outcome beforehand. For example, if I had known how hard living in Atlanta was going to be, I probably wouldn't have come here. On the flip side of that, I have already seen some of the fruits that have come from being here (specifically in the friendships I've formed). Just because you can't see the resurrection in a situation doesn't mean it's never coming.

Life is hard work. It takes time and effort. It takes you saying yes day in and day out. It takes showing up.  I read this quote from Bob Goff, author of Love Does, the other day. He said, "Quit waiting for an invitation to go live your life. Your failures won't define you; your engagement will." I want to live into the masterpiece that God is making out of my life. I want to live without fear of the future. I want to seek and find what's waiting for me in every turn. Every moment on this planet that I still have a breath to take and a beating heart is a gift. How easy it is to forget that.

Today, I'm asking our mother to pray that I too can have the same confidence in my life. To say yes in the every day. To trust the Lord and His plan. To walk by faith and not by sight. "Let it be done unto me according to Thy word." And even though I have no idea what our road ahead looks like, I am confident that if we keep the Lord at the center, we'll be able to make it through whatever comes our way.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.