A little more than two years ago, while sitting still on my couch in Pittsburgh, I saw something very clearly. Some people would call it a vision. I could see myself swimming in a large body of water, most likely an ocean. It was very late at night, remote from any shores and the waters were far from steady. It was not a comfortable place to be. Such a circumstance would seem to be very dangerous, or at least frightful; however as I watched myself journey those dark waters, for some reason, I knew I'd be okay. Deep down inside, I knew I was protected.
I was moving towards something, that I could barely see in the distance. I would have to work hard to get there. There was no way I could stay where I was and survive, nor did I want to. Getting there would be anything but easy. But it would ultimately be worth it.
What I saw in the distance was a statue of the Blessed Mother.
What makes this interesting is that I'm not Catholic. I didn't grow up around images of the Blessed Mother, so a statue of her isn't something I myself would've projected. I don't know much about her, but I believe the mother of Christ represents a great feeling of love, warmth, safety and peace. At least that's what she represented to me as I treaded tensely, looking to be relieved of the harsh conditions of those seas, and into the loving embrace of something more kind and gentle than cold, dark currents.
Through it all, I knew that after much toil -- after I was all out of breath from the arduous swim, after my entire body felt fatigued from unceasing stroking, after I had evaded whatever distant creatures were peering and plotting attack -- that undoubtedly I would reach her. And that once I had, this particular journey would be over for good. I would finally be at peace. Soon after to embark on a new voyage, hardened from the experience, and no longer alone, but with light by my side.
That day I sat on my couch two years ago was the very next day after I tore my ACL in week 17. The journey I envisioned is the two years of rebuilding that would follow. And as I write this, today is the day that the journey is over and I am fully at peace. Eagerly looking to a new way, which lies ahead.