As usual my mind is in overdrive ... perhaps too much caffeine? I was thinking about how God sends subtle messages ... through thoughts, dreams, other people and even our bodies, and how back in my "dark days," I refused to listen (and still occasionally do).
The minute that whirling carousel (I call my brain) grabbed on to that thought, three distinct events jumped off and glared at me. Granted, decisions made back then were usually inspired by alcohol (or Satan ... which, in my case, worked hand in hand), but God was warning me ... through my body ... as an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach.
In Romans 8: 9,11,13 (NABRE), Saint Paul writes to the Romans, "The spirit of God dwells within us." He continues to say (in Father Fernando's words) the Spirit guides us in our choices but sometimes we don't listen and face certain consequences.
Imagine what choice looks like: A head tilting from one side to the other, weighing options. I see the Spirit on the right shoulder and Satan on the left. The head goes back and forth until it comes to a stop. In my case, the head rested on the left more times than not, even though I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach -- which I know, deep down in my heart, was the Spirit saying, "Patti, you're not listening." But did that stop me? You got it....no way! The three events I spoke of earlier are perfect examples of turning a deaf ear. I won't go into detail, but I will tell you I threw away fifteen years of federal service, entered into two failed marriages, and had two abortions. The uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach was there each time, but I refused to listen and suffered a great deal of remorse, pain and shame.
Through God's patience and mercy, things changed. My shoulders still carry the same residents but I have learned to listen; however I'm not perfect (what?) ... At least I no longer need to buy cases of Pepto-Bismol!