Mary is a full-time Mom to two beautiful daughters, ages 7 and 4 1/2. She is married to Rick, the friendly guy on the planet. Mary is a coffee drinking fool, and an avid reader, she is a lover of quiet Saturday mornings when the rest of the house is asleep. A former workaholic & fashion follower, she is now addicted to Pinterest. At the age of 47, Mary can still run a ten minute mile and is training for a half marathon. She can be found blogging at A Simple Twist of Faith.
Recently, Carmen wrote about the different paths she had taken in her life, and the roads less
taken. I could definitely relate to this post. Life is a journey, and I have traveled many different
paths in my 47 years.
When I was twelve years old, my Mother lost her 9 ½ year battle with cancer. She was 43 when
she died; she left behind a 48 year old husband, and two daughters. My sister was three weeks
shy of her sixteenth birthday.
To say this event changed my life is an understatement. At times like this one, many people
grow closer to God. Through their despair, they find the comfort and peace in their personal
relationship with Jesus. However, my 12 year old image of God did not understand how God,
the loving Father, could allow my Mother to suffer and die. I experienced a crisis of my trust
and faith in God which lasted many years.
When I was twenty years old, I decided to drop out of college and join the United States Army
with my high school friend. My entire family was opposed to this idea. I grew up in Central
California, near Fort Ord, California. For this most part, the military, especially the enlisted
ranks, were looked down upon in the culture that I lived. My family offered financial aid, in
order to talk me out of enlisting. I did it anyway, and it was one of the best decisions I have
With the military, I was stationed in Germany. In those three years, I never went home on
leave. I knew this was a once in a life time opportunity to travel, and I did. I went to France, to
Spain, to Holland, and spent a month in Italy visiting Florence, the Vatican, and Pompeii. I will
always treasure this opportunity.
When I was twenty-three, I returned to college. I threw myself into my studies, and graduated
quickly with honors. I moved to Hawaii, and started my first of corporate jobs with J.C. Penney.
I worked hard and played hard.
When I was twenty-nine, I found myself on the East Coast. One year later, I met my future
husband, Rick. Looking back, I realize God my Loving Father sent Rick into my life to take care of
me. Although neither of us was attending church at the time, we both came from strong faith
When I was thirty-three, I received a call from my friend, Stephanie. At the time, she was
expecting her second child. It was early on in the pregnancy, and the sex of the baby was
unknown, however she had experienced a dream that she wanted to share with me. In this
dream, she had delivered a baby girl and named her Mary Renee. Mary is my name and Renee
is her sister-in-law, who at 32 was losing the battle against brain cancer. Stephanie also asked
me to be the godmother of this child.
This phone call was a turning point in my life. Later, when I received the news the baby was
indeed a girl I knew I had to act, even if I did not feel the promptings of the Holy Spirit. I called
the local Catholic Church, and made an appointment with the nun who was charge of Adult
Faith Formation. Her name was Sister Regina. She directed me to join the Landings Program,
a lay ministry that welcomes inactive Catholics back to the practice of their faith. My husband
and I had our marriage blessed. In 2004, Rick entered the Church on Easter Vigil confirming his
baptismal vows and making a professional of faith.
At the age of thirty-six, I came to realization I could never win my battle over infertility. At first,
I ignored the truth, burying myself in work and other activities. When I finally repaired my
relationship with God, I began to pray and ask for a child. Finally, I asked God for discernment
on what he wanted me to do.
At the age of forty, I became a Mother. After two years of waiting, my husband and I traveled to
China to adopt a ten month old baby girl who is now our oldest daughter, Ladybug.
On my 44th birthday, we received a call from my father-in-law, asking us to consider the
adoption of our great niece. The baby’s birth mother had left the state of Virginia, leaving her,
then 17 months, in the care of my in-laws who were in their 70s. My MIL’s health was failing.
Her cancer, which had been in remission for five years, had returned.
At the age of forty-five, I became a Mother again. After 15 months, we were able to legally adopt
our niece, and she became our youngest daughter, Bumblebee. That year, I also decided to
take a big leap of faith and quit my corporate job so I could stay home with my girls.
This May will mark the second year anniversary of this decision. The past two years have
been the most joyous years of my life. I have learned so much for my children, and from the
willingness of letting God direct my path. We will see where He leads me next…