When I was a missionary, and even for the few years that led up to that point, every time I came home to Texas I was reminded of the part in the Gospels when Jesus says "A prophet is not without honor, except in his native place." (Matt 13, Mark and Luke 4, John 6) Now, I am certainly far from being a prophet, but I think I know how Jesus felt when He said those words.. and I think He was talking to me.
It was so hard to be here because the people around me were far from encouraging of my new way of life. Everything about me was changed in college. That's what happens when you meet Christ. Being home reminded me of everything I'd been in the past, of the eighteen years I spent not really understanding myself because I didn't know Him. I would go to my home parish to pray my holy hours and see people who've known me for years but who never really knew me, and couldn't know me. They knew the old me and weren't interested in knowing how or why I was different. And plus, with fundraising, now I was the girl to be avoided for the fear that she might ask you for money. I had very few productive (at least from my point of view) holy hours while I was home.
My mom was just like everyone else: she didn't understand why I was different. It's so hard to have that conversation, so I guess we never really did. I wanted so badly for my mom to be interested in my beliefs... in the beliefs of the very Church she raised me in... but to her I came off harsh and pharisaical. For two years, every time I came home, I refused to stay at home, and we couldn't go longer than one lunch together without a screaming match. (So emotionally healthy... right?)
So now I find myself in quite the predicament. I'm back at home living with my mom, and we can't see eye to eye on anything. I've become part of the statistics alongside tons of college grads who move back into their parents homes to start their first job. The job market just isn't paying enough! Don't get me wrong, I am EXTREMELY fortunate and blessed to have the job that I do, but with the amount I'm paying in student loans, there's no way I could afford to live on my own right now. So I live here, for free. And I really am thankful for her letting me live here rent-free, but it's so difficult on both of us. She thinks I'm ungrateful because I don't walk in the door after work asking if I could please mop the floor or do the dishes, and I think she's unrealistic because I work 50 hours a week and I'm tired when I get home. She resents it when I go out with my friends because I spend money that she thinks should be paid to her for letting me live here, and I can't even mention my tithe!
Today I was thinking about how living with 3 other women in college was easier than living with my own mother. I suppose the answer is simple: We allowed each other the benefit of the doubt. When laundry was left in the washer or dryer, whoever needed to do laundry would just finish the persons, fold it, and put it on their bed. When dishes were left out, they got done without a regard to who used it. If someone thought the ceiling fan was dusty, they'd dust it! It was pretty great. Now, when I leave laundry in the dryer, my mom actually thinks that I took the time to think "hm, what would really piss her off today?" and then did it. She takes personal offense if a dish is left in the sink. I don't know how to find a solution because I'm human and I fail. In college, my roommates were all extremely holy women who were pursuing the Lord much better than I was, so I suppose we made up for what was lacking in one another. It really was a beautiful mess. They inspired me to be holy.
Please pray for me to have the grace to know Him and to show Him to her.
St. Gianna, pray for us.