In the summer of 2022, I kept myself busy organizing the upcoming move to college of my twin sons, Carlos and Luis. It was a deadline for which I had been preparing for 18 years, yet I was not ready. Not even close.
With every day that went by I felt sadder, and as we approached the dreaded deadline I felt indescribable heartache. Grief was taking the best of me and I was overcome with sorrow.
I had heard it at all before: “it’s the natural course of life,” “they need to spread their wings,” “it’s for the best,” “you should be proud of their accomplishments” Yet, the prevalent feeling was grief, and, why not admit it, fear. My prayers to God had a recurrent theme: sustain me, don’t let me fall. I was afraid of not being able to handle this.
In an effort to heal and approach this life transition in a healthier, more positive way, I started a 33‑Day Marian Consecration, hoping to find answers and, above anything, consolation. On day four we read an excerpt of “The Imitation of Christ,” by Thomas à Kempis. In Book III, Chapter 7, I read a phrase that described perfectly how I felt: How will it be when the light is withdrawn?
Exactly! How will it be when the light is withdrawn? It all felt too much for me. It felt unendurable. Yet, here I am. You see, even when the light is withdrawn, and especially when the light is withdrawn, that is when you are closer to God. God is always there to help you, to share your burden, and to remind you that you don’t have to carry your cross alone. This was an opportunity to truly abandon myself to God and let him take the reins. I reached deep into my faith and made a conscious effort to leave it all in his hands.
Walking by God’s side gave me the peace and strength that I needed to support my sons in one of the most consequential times of their lives, and though it was not easy, I knew it was going to be ok. I knew our family was going to be ok and I knew that, once again, God’s plan was better than mine. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard; it was incredibly painful, but I was able to navigate the pain, with the strength and peace that only God gives.
“Do not be afraid” is written in the Bible 365 times. Do not be afraid to reach out to God. He will be there.
Maria Eugenia was born in Caracas, Venezuela, the oldest of four siblings. She lives in Bolton, Massachusetts with Alex, her husband of 22 years, and Rocky, their 2-year old French Bulldog. Alex and Maria Eugenia are parents to twin boys Carlos and Luis, 18, both college freshmen. Maria Eugenia was raised in a Catholic family, though her Catholic faith had not always been present in her life. Maria Eugenia was inspired by Christina’s journey and by the beautiful way in which her parents and close friends choose to maintain her legacy. Christina’s faith has reframed her perspective of life and has given her a newfound source of strength and purpose.