AWE: a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder. Synonyms of AWE: filled with wonder, wonderstruck, awestruck, amazed, astonished, lost for words, reverential
Another Friday Night. I’m sitting in major traffic trying to get home. I’m listening to the radio and the host is talking about “Awe” and the listeners are calling in with their stories. As I sat in my Jeep surrounded by cars on every side on the roadway, I started thinking about times when I was awestruck, when something completely stopped me in my tracks, when I was stunned into silence, when I was certain that it could only have been God behind it.
Back in the day, I was going out with someone whom I was totally crazy about, I hadn’t been this happy in a long time. I just couldn’t believe that my parents did not like this person. Oh, they had reason to feel the way they did, I accept that. I was the one who was blind in love, I was the one who was going to change their mind, I was the one to change a negative into a positive, things would work out in my favor.
Well, things did not work out in my favor. After too many nights of having to deal his drama with alcohol and viejas, I decided that I needed to get out of this mess and I left him. I had estranged myself from my family where he was concerned, and so I really didn’t know who I could talk to about how sad and devastated I was. I thought that no one would understand me and that they would just be glad that I had come to my senses. I was not in any mood to be judged, I just wanted understanding. I kicked myself for living a double life and for keeping things from my family and friends. So now I had this intense drama going on in my head and I started beating myself up MORE for being with this person than GIVING MYSELF PROPS for being smart enough to walk away from a bad situation. So, as often happens when one is overwhelmed and battling every kind of emotion, I became very depressed. I also thought that, “there’s no way that anyone knows how I’m feeling because I haven’t told anyone anything.” Yeah, right.
My mother had always been pretty religious, very Catholic. She would always say things like ‘Let Go And Let God‘ and told us to “pray about it” and “believe” and things like that. I’d sit there rolling my eyes saying, “ay Mom” and things like that. But Margaret, always persistent, never gave up and, one day, she tells me that there was a Healing Mass coming up and that we should go, Healing Masses are done all of the time in Catholic churches, it’s a time where you can receive a great amount of prayer for whatever illness or sadness you are going through. I’m like “yeah, yeah” rolling my eyes and thinking, “she’ll forget about this”. Well, forget she did not, and the day came for the Healing Mass.
I remember going into the Mass, still with some of my attitude on, thinking about “what will this do for me?“. At one point during the Mass, there came a point where I had to go up to the altar where there were people standing in a circle who would pray for whatever I asked them to pray for. I went up to the circle and told them how sad I was because of a breakup and they all started to pray over me. I went back to my seat, a little confused and thinking about how this was going to help me because I felt the same as I did before.
After everyone else had gone up to be prayed over, we had to stand up for some reason. As the priest was speaking, don’t ask me what he was saying, I put my hands on the pew in front of me. As I stood there, I started to feel my body moving, like something was trying to get out. I closed my eyes and, to my astonishment, I started to feel like my body was actually rising up, that I was starting to levitate, and I remember holding on to that pew for dear life, because I was sure that I was going to start flying. I started crying because I didn’t really understand what was happening and because I didn’t know how to fly.
Once I realized that I was fighting this too much, I figured I would relax and let go – after all, I was in a church, what harm could come to me there? As I relaxed my hold on the pew and just surrendered to the feeling of levitation, I started to feel something making its way out of my body, and making its way in color, I saw a dark gray film rising before my eyes and, as I looked up, it was moving up as well! After seeing this, I sat down and tried to get myself together. I was completely floored, exhausted, and at peace. I remember looking over at Mama and, as we locked eyes, and we both knew that I had come through the other end. I never knew if she ever saw what I had felt and seen just a few minutes earlier but I know that she understood that something profound had happened. Now that I look back, how cool is it that I was able to share this with my mother? Just like God, she never left me ever, I was not all alone.
I hadn’t really thought too much about that experience in many years. In fact, as I listened to the radio on that Friday night, as others spoke about AWE, I almost hesitated as I dialed the phone number to tell MY story of Awe. I was shocked that the phone actually rang and was answered by a call screener. I would be telling my story to the world in a few minutes! As I told my story of Awe on-air, I realized that AWE moments should not be forgotten, that reaching back to this moment in my life might have helped me to see the roadblocks, stop signs, signals that would cross my path in the future. I cannot explain, to this day, why God chose that precise moment to personally bless me with peace and love. I have learned that it’s important to talk (or write about) about these wonder-filled moments to help me/us reflect on as heal and move forward from life’s disappointments, sad or bad times.
What is your moment of AWE? Embrace, heal, and learn from this moment.