New Year, New Habit

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October 4th, 2019 I took vows for my vocation as sister of the Fransican Oblate of Mount Carmel which so happened to be St. Francis of Assisi “ feast day”. It was the most exiciting, emotional, nerve racking day of my life lol. That is, the day I officilay said goodbye to the world and took on my new name and earthly garments… my habit

As a protestant growing up I was unaware of who St. Francis of Assisi was or the saints at large. I didn’t know very much about the “religious life” only what I had seen on TV, with nuns and monks. My dad however, is Catholic and upon me giving my life to Jesus he had mentioned to me that maybe I should join a catholic convent because I was so zealous for the Lord. Immeaditely I retored in my pride that the Lord was not into denominations and I didn’t need to join a covent to walk out my faith.” Oh my, how I reaked with pride and still do but the Lord is truly bringing me lower and lower in humility as he shows me the nothing I truly am. So now 2 years later, I have taken my religious vows and joined the order of one of the greatest saints, who would’ve thought… I know Jesus did lol. He is the only one who could’ve taken a fashion designer pursuing the world, success, honor, fame and put her in the most beautiful garment in all the world…a habit.

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

You see St. Francis took those words quite literally, and all of God’s word. His heart burned to live out the gospel just as Jesus did and by the Lords grace he did just that. He was a son of a wealthy merchant who was also into the high life. He embarked on a military career where he wanted to become a knight. However, through a serious of illness which stopped this pursuit and 2 visions from God. The Divine intervened and he began to pursue the Lord and in a church looking upon a cross he heard Jesus say “Go, Francis and repair my church, which as you see is falling into ruin”. Francis immeaditely thought the Lord was speaking about the church he was in, St. Damaian which was run down. So he went to his Fathers shop and sold all the fine linens to get money to rebuild the church. The Father was irate, renounced him, beat Francis, took him to trial before the Bishop of his time demanding all the money back. The Bishop at the time told him to give his Fathers money back and that the Lord would provide for him to rebuild the church. At that point Francis, had a divine enlightened as the scripture from Matthew came to his mine “ Our Father who are in Heaven”. He renounced his entire family, father, fortune and realized now had a Father in heaven who would provide for him. He needed no connection with the world, he stripped off all his clothes gave them to his Father as the Bishop covered him and as he turned his back literally on the world. He then placed upon himself “ a brown potatoe sackcloth” as his garment of choice. To love our lady Poverty as our Lord Jesus did

St. Francis, heart burned to live the gospel out literally by these scriptures revealed to him by the Lord.

Matthew 10:8 Freely have you received freely give.

Luke 9:3 “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. Don’t take a walking stick, a traverlers bag, good, money or even a change of clothes”

Matthew 19:21 Jesus answered, “if you want to be perfect, go, sell your possesions and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven. Then come, follow me”

Francis took these words literally and lived out these scriptures unto his death which have impacted the church still centuries later. These same scriptures the Lord burned in my heart to take very seriously and literally. After losing my job, I began to give all my things away, giving to the poor and he desires for me not too charge any fee in anything that I do or give becaue I have freely reiceved. So coming to New Mexico I had no idea what the Lord had in store and didn’t know what to expect. However, it was after a month of being here that I learned Father and Mother Clare where Fransiscan and as we watched the movie “ Brother sun, sister Moon” about the life of St. Francis of Assisi my heart burned yet again. This is always wanted I wanted, or better yet what the Lord wanted for me! I just didn’t see any example in front of me to follow.

Now putting on the habit was a different story, when I found out that I would have too, or let me rephrase that. That I would get to wear the habit for the rest of my life as a wedding garment unto the Lord I was repulsed at first. I could live the life of a Franscican with the Lords help but, to really let go of the world in that way, I wasn’t sure I was ready for it. It took about 2 more months after watching that film then one day the Lord impressed it on Father Ezekiels heart that he wanted his bride in a habit NOW. No more waiting, not only that but, he wanted to give me a new name I was perplexed to say the least. After hearing these things which I couldn’t object too my heart was racing. I came face to face with the reality that maybe my heart was still in the world, I was so attached to my looks, my persona, and my name. My, my, my sheesh, does someone need to die to self or what lol. Immeaditly I told them I would adhere to the Lords request but, if they would give me a moment too to talk with him. So I ran to Blessed Mothers prayer tree and just bared my heart too her. I told her about my fears, anxieties, and once again what people would think. However, I told her if Jesus wanted this I wanted it too but please give me the peace and fill my heart to love the Lords will. She did just that as she always does!! Blessed Mother is the best, I found myself within an hour flooded with such peace , joy and even a new name. I heard in my spirit “ your name is Mary Elisha, Mary Elisha” so I sought the Lord on discernment and he confirmed that was him.

So on Oct 4th, which we didn’t plan for but Jesus did, I took my religious vows and made a professed my vocation as a third order Franscain oblate. Nana, died that day for the world and all of heaven too see as my witnessess that I indeed had renounced the world and had taken up my wedding garment from the Lord, my habit. An oblate is simply the noun tense of an Oblation which means: a thing presented or offered to God. So one who has made an offering of their life to God as a living sacrifice, picking up their cross daily and following Jesus. The grey habit is to signify “sackcloth” and the brown portion of my garment is called a scapular. It represents Our Blessed Mother who came to one of the Carmelite saints “Simon Stock” wearing the same habit in an apparition. She was wearing the brown scapular and holding a scapular that goes around your neck. Also holding infant Jesus who was wearing the same thing. The scapular represents our servanthood putting the apron on, washing the feet of all those we meet and a brown cord with 5 knots for our 5 vows. A vow of chasity (which is faithfulness to the Lord), a vow of obedience, a vow of holy poverty, a vow of substantial prayer and a vow of substantial solitude. Carmelites dedicated their lives very much like Prophet Elijah and Elisha in prayer and solitude.

I took off the old life, the old nature, the old creation which belongs to my former manner of life which was corrupt with deceitful desires and now have put on my new self, increated after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. I have been made new! My habit is a sign to my family, friends and the world that I no longer belong to the world nor love the world but have been sent as the Lords’s bride and disciple to serve, love, honor all in humility, simplicy and poverty.

I hope you get a “New Habit” this year too!

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-From Jesus With Love

Finally Tasting The Sweetness of The Hidden Life

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              Psalm 34:8 

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Yesterday, was my 35th birthday and it was by far the best birthday I ever had because I had finally tasted the sweetness of the hidden life! The Lord had given me that rhema so many times this past year and the most painful times in my life. I struggled with that word and began to ask the Lord to please help me then to taste the sweetness because all I kept feeling was pain. You see too hide yourself in the Lord is one thing but, to be hidden by God is another. Many of us want to be in the public eye, want our world to surround around us, to be noticed, recognized, honored and esteemed by others. However, I now know the hidden life is where its at! Especially a hidden life in Christ where your virtues and gifts go unnoticed, people tend to think of you as insignificant and where you live a life in obscurity in the eyes of the world but, tasting the very real, sweet and physical presence and love of our Lord.  I was reading one of the holy books where it mentioned that “Jesus loved his life of obscurity more than he did his public life where he was known for the sign and wonders he performed”.

We live in a generation that despises obscurity and has such a compulsion to share everything. With social media everything becomes news, publicity, instant, such a strong desire to show others what is going on in our lives and we become self centered then God centered even as christians. Especially, if you are called to ministry there is such a tendency to want to expose yourself, promote yourself and your ministry. Rather, than allowing the Lord to keep you tucked away, hidden, in that dark room where he can process you, train you, teach you, grow you, stretch you and build you up. We can despise that hidden place the Lord calls us too because there you have no praise, no respect, no honor from men but, we have it from the Lord. Only if we would realize and desire that would be enough, only then can you tase the sweetness of the hidden life.

I struggled with that for a long while when the Lord called me to lay everything down to follow him. Every year he would continuously tell me to wait..wait…wait… and wait some more. I didn’t understand what it is I was waiting for as I began to take my eyes off of Him and look to others in comparison who seemed to be doing wonderful things for the Lord. It seemed he would continue to sit me on the shelf and push me back further and further. I now realize he was drawing me deeper and deeper to himself! Away from any creature that my affection will solely before him alone. Oh, how I have prayed that and desired that with my whole heart and this year he has cleaned the throne room of my heart where all that sits is him! Every birthday I would make it a big deal, throw big parties, have photoshoots, worship nights, dinners however, this year felt different. After going through one of the most toughest trials in my walk as I answered the call to a religious life as a Franciscan sister. Which cost me almost all my relationships, friendships, comforts and titles. I found myself truly now hidden in Christ and stripped of everything besides the lover of my soul. I found myself so full of peace, joy, contentment, hope and such great love words can’t even explain. The pain of having everything and everyone removed from me was so worth now having Jesus alone in the throne room of my heart and the center of my life. WHAT FREEDOM!!!

I had told him that I wanted to offer my birthday for those souls who were forgotten, rejected, abandoned, and felt so unloved. That all the consolations, gifts and graces he would give me for my birthday would be given to those souls instead . I prayed that he would make those in my community forget my birthday and I wouldn’t tell anyone as well. I deactivated my facebook so no one could reach out or would remember because I wanted to be forgotten and take on the cross of those who are forgotten.  I wanted my celebration to between me and Jesus hidden in his heart. What do you know, the Lord answers my prayer! lol.  I woke up that morning with a praise song on my heart as rushed into the pasture to our Blessed Mothers Praying tree to worship with the Lord and all the saints. I had the most amazing time ever!!! I found myself before the physical presence of Jesus as a priest I had my monstrance before me ( which is an open or transparent receptacle in which the consecrated Host is exposed for veneration)
 on some crates as I danced and worshiped all morning long with Jesus, the saints and the angels. I always have a playlist and ask holy spirit to pick the songs and he even played a birthday song which was so awesome letting me know how present he truly was. There were many times I broke down in tears, sobbing at God’s faithfulness in my life and his immense mercy towards me. That he had answered the cry of my heart all those nights, trials, battles, I would get on my knees asking him that I wanted more of him, that I wanted him to be my sole desire, that I wanted  to know his heart and be one with him, that I wanted to be filled with his spirit…. he has answered. As I was on my knees before His physical presence he had indeed given me himself fully, body, soul and divinity to me. That He had now come become my sole desire and affection after stripping me of everyone and everything all I had was him. In obsucrity, on my birthday, on my knees, with no one else around before Blessed Mothers sacred praying tree in the wilderness. I had finally found and tasted the sweetens of the hidden life!

So my dear friend, don’t despise humble beginning, don’t despise that hidden place the Lord has you in or is calling you into. A life out of the public eye in the wilderness in a retreat to the closest heart that matters. That of your Lord and Savior in complete obscurity to those in the world but, very visible, known and lavishly loved by the lover of your soul Jesus. There in lies true happiness, true joy, true peace, true purpose, true contentment and true sweetness!

 

 

“The hidden life seems gloomy to you because you have never tasted it’s sweetness”

-Jesus
(rhema word)

-From Jesus With Love

Gave Up My Life To Jesus

It is only the Lord who could’ve done this and continues to write this amazing story as I am no longer a bystander but I stand back in awe as His story through me continues to unfold before my eyes. As he led me to leave the world and follow him to NM. He has given me the desire of my heart. HIMSELF!! To officially become his Bride in a deeper walk of faith and commitment as I took my relgious vows and professed my vocation as a Franciscan Sister, Third Order. ( I will do a video about that later on what that entails) I am so humbled to share this journey and wedding ceremony with you all. In worship 2 days ago the Lord played a song from Lecrea ” Tell the World” and the lyrics say ” Ima tell the world ,tell the world I am brand new” So I am! lol A. LOL As Fransician sister my life will be living out the gospel, in intimacy with Jesus and holy life with him. As I have taken life vows of poverty, obedience, chasity (faithfulness to God), substantial prayer, substantial solitude. I pray this will be an invitation for many as I know there will be many more who will come after me. For this narrow road is available to anyone desiring to walk in holiness, truly die to themselves, completely to their past, their flesh and be completely crucified with Christ. To become a new creation in Christ and that is what I have become. The former things have passed away and behold the new has come. No longer Nana but now Mother Mary Elisha given to me by the Lord (mother of souls.) I am so humbled and eternally grateful to the Lord and his tender mercies and graces that got me here. All glory to Him!!. This is Part 1 and will be posting Part 2 tomorrow. Thank you for all your prayers God bless and love you guys!

-From Jesus With Love