I rolled over, checked my phone, and felt defeated when I saw that the time read 6:22 a.m. I hadn’t even so much as dozed off since I had laid down the night before around ten. My thoughts were battling each other, running themselves in circles, all the while running my hope and Faith into the ground. My heart was pounding and my muscles longed to relax. I felt abysmally helpless. Helpless in the scary kind of way.
Then I decided to turn to Mother Mary, which, admittedly I so rarely do. Whether it be out of stubbornness– my longing to do things on my own, like a little child insistent on pouring their own glass of milk; or whether it be the fact I feel incredibly unworthy of bothering Her with my troubles. In any case, I listened to The Rosary on my iPhone — if any statement could described the times we live in today, that would be definitely be one — and tried with all my soul to follow along and focus on every word. This is, however, what it most likely resembled:
“Hail Mary, full of Grace… I need grace. How do I get it. Grace is the last word to describe me. Why am I this way? Can you learn grace? oh, right! Focus… Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of they womb Jesus… I’m not going to be able to wake up tomorrow. Insomnia is awful. I feel terrible for every person trying to sleep right now that can’t. I wonder if they are sad. I wonder why?… Hail holy Queen, Mother of mercy… oh mercy. Mercy is what I need right now. Mercy. Do I just ask for it? Jesus can you please have mercy on me?… In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen...”
I didn’t feel much different than before, except the words mercy and help were now at the forefront of my mind.
Help, help, help.
I need mercy.
This is what I need, I realized. It’s simple enough in theory, but oh so hard to ask for.
Help me, help me, help me, I repeated until — alas — I drifted off to sleep.
The next day I was devouring the words from some of my favorite bloggers when I happened upon this post from the ever-inspiring and enlightening Chelsea:
Be there before someone needs to ask. Rush to their side. Assume they need tequila. Assume they need you to listen. Assume they need a bowl of spaghetti. Be still and silent. Expand your own heart and test your humanity by being brave enough to truly comprehend what they must be feeling.
Give your pain a name and let the people who love you, snuggle up next to that distinct, bitter anguish and let them endure the thing with you. When you feel stale and vacuous, ask for a sip of their light to start the engines again. Then let them sweep you away from the ache, if even for a moment and make you smile again. Let them distract you. Take you on an adventure. Stimulate your senses, through food and music and newness. Let those around you make you feel alive again,when you’re enduring the deepest opaque moments, when you think it isn’t possible- feel. alive.
So this is me asking for help, for mercy, in this terrifyingly unknown season of my life.
Help, help, help. I need Mercy.