By Kate Anderson
“Yes, yes, yes…!” The memory remains a delirious, ecstatic fog, but I’m pretty sure I triple-accepted when my Beloved posed that life-changing question on bended knee. Nearing the end of engagement now and beginning our marriage in just weeks, I recall this multi-yes with a smile. Not only was I literally overflowing with joy to accept this path to holiness; but my response suggested, even then, that submitting to God’s Will is always more than a one-and-done kind of decision.
Yes-ing: the Work in Progress
A single “Yes” is only as strong as its enduring echo. We never get to cross “Love” off our to-do list. After all, most of us have plenty of work to do in the department of completely allowing the Father to reign as King of our relationships, families, careers, emotions, health, decisions, and lives.
It’s all a work in progress. We must start by planting that baby fiat seed of our first “Yes.” For that seed to bloom and grow, we need to nurture it all the days of our lives until we arrive at our forever Home and the fulfillment of our every Yes.
What a beautiful thought to ponder with Mary today as we remember the Annunciation. Most of us are not blessed with an Angel-Gabriel-Hand-Delivering-God’s-Will kind of Yes moment in our lives. True, job offers, marriage proposals, and other joyful invitations do have a lovely way of calling us to give God our Yes. But the Handmaiden Heart is most deeply revealed when the invitation isn’t so inviting . . .
When the test results aren’t hopeful. When the baby isn’t healthy. When the job is hard or the marriage doesn’t come easily. When the joy is pierced by bittersweet.
What say we then? How did sweet, unwed teenage Mary respond when her every hope and dream was turned upside down?
Cultivating a Becoming Heart
Our Lady understood from such a tender age that her great Yes must be echoed by a million more quiet moments of Yes. She knew that loving Jesus and Joseph and God the Father would not be entirely accomplished in her great Fiat. No, the greatness of her Fiat was all the love that became of her many Yeses.
For love is never something ready made, something merely ‘given’ to man and woman, it is always at the same time a ‘task’ which they are set. Love should be seen as something which in a sense never ‘is’ but is always only ‘becoming’… (Love & Responsibility, by Karol Wojtyla)
Six years ago, I would have never left home if I had known the hard that would follow. Six months ago, I was entirely clueless what this season of engagement would ask of me. How these seasons would stretch me and challenge me in ways I couldn’t have foreseen. And even now on the precipice of marriage, I can’t imagine what the Father will ask of us as we vow our entire lives to each other.
But fear is not welcome in my Fiat.
We look again to the angel: “Be not afraid.” Be not afraid, dear one. Even if this life has its share of hard, the Father can be trusted.
We’re all coming along through a plentitude of hot mess moments. As for what we will become? I can only gaze at Love Himself and rejoice in what He will make of me.
Let today’s Feast not pass us by as we bemoan our smallness to make a world-changing Yes. We needn’t overthink this or try to become more than He wishes for us right now.
Let’s start small. Here’s one more Fiat. For this day, this hour. For Jesus.
And will it be enough to get me through this moment? *Cue the roses and diamonds and happiest of tears: Yes, yes, yes!
About the author:
Kate Anderson is a young lady with an old soul. She spends her days communicating and marketing for a Catholic school. Kate enjoys conversing with kindred spirits over warm beverages, reading spiritual books, and returning to her rural roots.