"You can not steal my joy!"
I said that out loud to someone today. Right in front of the tabernacle (in church). Right in front of everybody.
I was working hard at a task for God. It was hard. It was an uphill battle. After a massive effort, I'd started to see the tiniest crocus blossom of promise from a few of my students.
As I walked out the doors of church, some one rushed towards the group with negativity.
I said "You can not steal my joy!" She was stunned. I was stunned. I kept going "I know what the kids accomplished today. They did a great job. This is going to work out. We've got to start somewhere and this is a great beginning."
Then I kept on walking.
And I stayed silent.
Three times later someone came up to me and said "I didn't mean to steal your joy, you can't say that to me..." but I didn't talk about it!
My whole life I have been battling this thing--that I didn't know what it was called until my husband read about it in Imitation of Christ last week. There are people out their who hate your peace with God. There are people who will try to rush at you and attack you for having it. There are people who will call you "foolish" and stupid and dumb to the bone.
Beginnings are fragile. Beginnings are precious. Foundations are hard. You need to put up a firm fence around your beginning garden of tasks for God, and not let the opinions of others stop your efforts before they've even begun to bear fruit.
I have no idea if the dream I have in my heart for my poor parish to have a children's choir is going to come into fruition. I do know that if the Holy Spirit says teach 24 kids in our Vacation Bible School who have no musical background how to sing a Marian hymn in time for Sunday Mass, I will try to do it--even if I look like a fool. Even if the final result is 4 minutes of silent, off-key mush.
It is okay to fail in front of God, Jesus and everybody.
A bigger failure is to be afraid to try something new to bring more Glory to the Kingdom of God.