The Descent of the Holy Spirit
Fruit of the Mystery: Wisdom and Love of God
by Danielle Heckenkamp
Sometimes, when we least expect it, God changes our path. It could a job change, changing parishes or schools, moving to a new house, a miscarriage, a new baby, or the loss of a family member. As a wife and mother of six children, I have learned to grow in these changes and embrace them. I didn’t always understand the beauty and grace in accepting life’s changes, but growth and age most definitely showed the beauty in these changes: God is in control and He desires our holiness and love. It is up to us, however, to accept His love and grace.
There was a point in my motherhood (many years ago) when it became apparent that God’s plan is better than mine. As an A-type personality, I tend to over-plan, over-predict, and sometimes even overthink. Yet, with age and grace comes wisdom, and after eight years of motherhood (and four children at that time), it became clear that God is a better planner. Now, I know what you’re thinking: of course, God is better at planning. Well, sometimes it takes longer for those of us, who are more stubborn, to let go. In such cases as mine, God oftentimes brings everything to a screeching halt.
This is how I ended up homeschooling several of my children. I love education, academics, and learning. However, my degree is in Political Science – so the law and politics are my academic passions. Never in a million years did I believe that homeschooling would be a good fit for our family. In fact, I may have repeated too often that I would never be able to homeschool⸺until God showed me that I could, and He would send the graces. Those are the moments when God gets a good chuckle and waits for us to settle down and accept His love.
This was after a series of events at my children’s previous school that brought me to my knees. Things happen for a reason, and in the case with our family and school there was no exception. After years believing that homeschooling was not a good fit for us, God showed how it was a perfect fit in that time and place. The relief and love that came from accepting God’s will brought so much peace.
In retrospect, there were so many times in my life that I did listen to God’s calling in one way or another and each time that I sought His counsel. The results were fruitful. In the hardest moments, when I feel alone, God is very much present. If we live for God’s glory, then He will reward us for that faithfulness in the difficult times when we seek His counsel.
Motherhood has brought me to my knees many times and I have oftentimes envisioned the apostles and Our Lady in that small room at Pentecost. How those dear souls, who loved Our Lord so well, now felt so alone and frightened. It was through their love of God and the gifts of the Holy Spirit that they were brought out of that room. Those graces given to them set their hearts on fire to share God’s message with the world.
There are many similarities between the events of Pentecost and the vocation of motherhood. It is in the daily struggles that mothers oftentimes feel lost and unsure how to proceed. There is so much at stake: the souls of our family. These sweet innocent souls that rely on our love, even among our failings. It is quite a humbling role to be a mother. God’s gift of those precious souls to us is quite remarkable. Through His love, we must find peace and joy in our vocation, no matter the many difficult days. Could we expect raising children to be easy? For our purpose is to assist those dear souls to one day gain heaven. It is a remarkable vocation that God uses mothers and fathers to assist in raising saints.
It is in the Third Glorious Mystery that we can find great consolation in our vocations. For as the apostles sat in fear, the Holy Spirit provided them with the graces and gifts necessary to begin the conversion of the world. And it is through motherhood that we assist in this great task of converting the world. So even though the tasks seem arduous, there are great virtues and graces to be earned each day for our salvation and for the salvation of the world in the vocation of motherhood. We must only remember to rely on God’s love and accept His graces so that we will have the wisdom to proceed faithfully for the good of our family.
About Danielle: Danielle Heckenkamp is a wife and mother of six children. In her spare time, Danielle works as a freelance writer for a variety of media publications: CatholicMom.com, Crisis Magazine, OnePeterFive, The Catholic Exchange, Her View From Home, and additional freelance writing outlets.