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       MR BRAY

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The Camino Adventure: Day Fourteen

Sunday October 6th 2019

Ashes to Ashes

Walking through the terminal to my flight to Paris I feel a rush of sadness. This is my final leg of my Camino journey. Though unrelated to The Camino this was an optional extension to my travel package through my sister's company. I've learned so much and lighten my heart. I've made peace with the fragmented relationship and bitterness I have towards my father. Whether or not we can bridge an authentic relationship I feel resolved in letting my hurt go. I've unburden my broken heart over my divorce and loss of my best friend, Katie. I still love her and miss her but I'm at peace with the funeral of our relationship and am learning to even appreciate the good that we had. She was my closest friend and the most precious person in my life. I'm still concerned for her and I'm still raw about her abandoning me. Yet I'm hopeful for my own future and she is often in my prayers. So like my father whether or not if I ever see her again I've made a certain peace with our past, my heart break and bitterness. While I do hope we can someday be friends again that reality is out of my hands. If God wills that to happen so be, if not I'm at peace with it. She'll always be the first love of my life and I pray her all the happiness and to find her own place in the world. 

The reasoning for my sadness as I walk onto the plane is not because my trip is coming to a close. My heart aches for why I'm actually flying to Paris. My sister and I have planned to spread my mother's ashes in Paris. My mother and I were estranged the last several years of her life. These things happen and there's no quick way to illustrate all the reasons why. If you've followed my previous stories you have a better picture but the truth is I haven't really processed her death. This is a grand hope in someways that I'll be fortunate enough to make peace with her passing. Yet when I look at the all the softening of my heart from my time on this trip I believe I'm at the precipice of another miracle within me. So while much of this journey has steadily eroded my hard heart: my heart has been betrayed and guarded for so long I'm learning to trust God with my heart. It's a difficult task and I wish the road was easier. Though it is obvious to my spirit that I'm in desperate need of a greater heart to be ready for the path ahead of me. I can't speak of my future nor do I believe anyone can truly. However in my soul I know I'm being pulled from my old self. Not to gain wealth, affluence, or importance, but to be open to the still small voice of the Maker of Heaven. God is with me and I need to be with God. 

On our last day in Santiago we had a special Mass dedicated to our prayer partners. As we started off as strangers, Father Michael had given each of us private cards with a special bible verses along with a unique persons name on the card to pray for. I thought this was a beautiful idea and it gave you a person to think goodwill for even as they being a stranger to you would eventually become a friend. When it came time at this Mass to share our cards Deacon Tim jr. handed me my card and it was so awesome! It was a verse about being a prophet to the nations. He also included a postcard saying some incredibly moving words along with a special memorial Camino coin. I was overwhelmed, hugged him and cried. My heart has been healing through my tears and my laughter and there's nothing shy of a miracle in the way I've been experiencing this growth. 

As the plane to Paris begins to land I'm reminded I am here in such a wonderful time. I can't fully believe how these opportunities presented themselves to me at such a time as this. That I would be so desperately in need and have been rescued over and over again by the loving hands of friends, family and the providence of God. This beauty in my present has been pulled me from the ashes.