As a young girl, I carried a deep longing inside me that I hid from the outside world. I would pray about it nightly and write secret notes that I folded over and over again, shoving them into the back of my desk’s drawers. “Choose Me,” they read. The world would judge me harshly if I dared to share them.

By the age of seven, I had already internalized from the monseigneur of our school that I was bad. Sitting on the circle rug in Sr. Cecelia’s classroom, he made sure to let us know the grievous ways we were doing life wrong, which sins would condemn us to hell, and which we could beg forgiveness for. He taught us to constantly seek salvation by appearing and behaving perfectly. Only then will God love us, and perhaps we will be loveable to others. This upbringing instilled in me a fear of letting God and others down. It also grew a quiet rage that bubbled just below the surface. I felt pulled between submission of and challenging towards authority to test the limitations bestowed upon me.


Fast-forward to 10 years ago, when my young son was the same age as me when I had learned my fate. He announced that the only perfect person in the history of the world was Mary, the Mother of God, something he had just learned in school. My whole body froze at that moment, and I was back on Sr Cecilia’s rug. My rage calmly spilled over: “No, she’s not. There is no such thing as a perfect person. Your teacher is wrong,” I argued immediately. He was adamant – “Yes, Mom, SHE IS PERFECT! That’s why she was chosen to be the Mother of GOD!” I could not let it go and continued arguing with him while being very curious about my visceral reaction. 


Which brings me to this past December, when I spent a weekend in silence, learning about the gifts that the season of Advent brings from a brilliant Elder Texas Goddess. I spent this sacred time listening to lectures, walking, contemplating, and remembering my little girl self. I began to recognize and acknowledge the shame about being a messy and imperfect human that has lived in my body for most of my life. It was brought up from low down in my belly into my throat and then cascaded down my cheeks. I recalled the notes I stuffed far away from anyone’s eyes, including God’s, whom I had loved and always feared:

“Please choose me, God.

I want to be chosen, like Mary. 

I can be good. 

I’m trying. 

Please, God.


Since childhood, I cowered before God – this man who sat on a throne and held everyone in the court of his judgment. And if God was judging me, so was everyone else, especially men. I believed I was bad therefore I could and would not be CHOSEN. Monseigneur and society placed this belief pattern upon my shoulders, and I’ve carried it—until now. It was on this retreat that I decided to remove it and lay it down for good. 


On my first retreat day, The Texas Prophetess said something in her lecture that caught the whole of my attention: “Maybe we are all chosen like Mary.  How is God inviting you to step into what’s truly and rightfully yours? Have you been listening? What is your annunciation? What are you waiting for? Can you grow attentive to what God is waiting for from you?”

Later that day, as I stood upon the shore of the lake, I found a wonky stone jutting out from the earth and decided to build a stone tower pyramid upon it. I invited a new version of God in as the base layer. This new God for me feels warm, like the sun’s rays upon my skin, rhythmic and wise like the moon, with a love that is not dependent upon my behavior but ever constant, like the beating of my heart. I was the next layer in God’s warm embrace, followed by my family, friends, the earth, and all living beings. I walked away from my structure with a cautious hope and a wariness of its stability. 

The wind and rain had set in on the morning of my second day, so I bundled up for my walk. I wandered for a while, lost in thought and step when I came upon the beach.  I remembered my structure and began to scour the area in search of it. I bent down as I walked towards one, recognizing it as my own. The clouds parted, allowing the sun’s illumination and warmth to rest upon my body.

“You are the light of the world. Let your light shine before men,” I heard loud and clear.


On the final day of my retreat, the Texas Priestess closed our time together with these words: “You are the light of the world; Let your light shine before all.” 

And I did not question, fear, or doubt God’s invitation to me. I trusted and believed in my inherent goodness. 

“Thank you,” I whispered, “for choosing me.”

And if I am chosen, So Are You.

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