After spending time at the Adoration of the Eucharist, we went to Burger King to let the kids play in the playroom. We ordered some chicken sandwiches, and sat down. This is my act of sacrifice. Their playroom is way too bright for me, and I always end up with a heavy headache after the trip. My sister’s kids play there for an hour or so, and once we get back to the house, I almost always crash into the bed. But every time I am lured into the playroom of Burger King by my own desire to please the children. In the worst case scenario, I can always retreat to my sister’s van and wait for them there while I read in the quiet solitude.

I’ve had panic attacks at several places here in Maryland so far, and Burger King is one of them. Determined not to repeat that horrible shame in such a public place, I at first resisted at the idea of going to Burger King for the kids. But soon, I changed my mind. After all, they did wait for me while I was praying in the chapel. As I often feel after the divine encounter, sure enough, I felt like a fish out of water once I stepped into the chaotic world. I could not have chosen a worse place than the playroom of Burger King. Burger King was the last thing I wanted. I only craved for Christ the King.

I did not even last 10 minutes in there. Soon, I started to feel agitated fast. In a hurry, I stormed out of the room leaving my sister and the kids behind. “You can take your time.”, I assured my sister, and ran to the van, to the momentary cloister, my safe haven.

And of course, I am bound to wonder– ‘how long, how long, Lord? How long do I have to live with this unexplainable pain, with these unwelcoming symptoms?’

It’s most inconvenient. I can’t be a playful aunt consistently, I can’t watch them play at leisure, I can’t work full-time, I can’t even go to the bipolar group meeting to seek some help. How ironic is that?

I was looking back at the last couple of weeks I had. I was hypo all week and I struggled to keep my unbearably heightened mood under control. I would wake up at 1 am after sleeping only a few hours, and still go through the whole day fully charged. I had trouble falling asleep at nights, and was often awakened by the noises my nieces made after all my hard work of putting myself to sleep. I relied on Nyquil, my last resort to fix the problem, for a few days needing to sleep so badly even if just for a few hours so that I can at least function at my job the next day.

Then when that stage was done, I quickly crashed. Now I was making up for the time I lost in sleep. I had to work almost every day against my desire with having no will or energy for anything. Once the work was done, I went straight to bed feeling so fatigued. I would sleep for a few hours and then wake up for an hour or so then go back to sleep without any problem. I would sleep through the night, until my normal waking hour. Then it’s work again, and then home, then a long nap and sleep, with a short inglorious interlude in between.

I would wake up thickly covered in the clouds of drowsiness, and the air of my own disinterest suffocated me. Reading the morning paper was joy no more, as my brain won’t process any input of words I was forcing into my system. I was not absorbing anything. The good book I had been reading was suddenly not good anymore. I was losing myself. Because I was losing my passion. I was disinterested in everything I enjoyed before THIS.

So this morning, in the dark prayer room, while the worship music was playing, I cried. They just poured out, for better or worse, and to be honest, it helped me feel better.

I do not ask you to take this away from me. I see now that I am in need of You because of this weakness of mine. You look upon me and feel the need only You can fulfill. You see how much I need your power, your strength, your presence, your love, and you will NOT abandon me.

How long Lord, how long? 

Unreal monsters are imagined, like a sick man’s dreams(Horace, Ars Poetica). I dream up unreal monsters in my sick mind. I am tortured by my imagined monster, nonetheless so real to me. I find myself still asking, how long, how long- 

But how long what? What am I even asking? How do I find the answer when I don’t even know the question I am asking?

I love You. I am filled with love for You, despite this heaviness in my brain that is now creeping into my heart. I cannot help but love You. I do not ask You to take this illness of mine away from me. I only ask for You to give me strength to endure. I only ask for Your love. 

Yet, still that lingering question…

How long, how long- 

Then I realized, it wasn’t me asking how long. It was the song. They were playing How Long by Terry MacAlmon as a background music. The song was asking, how long, how long. And then, believe it or not, I heard this.


It said.

Maybe I imagined yet another voice. Maybe I dreamed it up. Nonetheless, I liked the answer. It gave me such power. It made me feel stronger. It put me to rest.

So I thought–

Today, then.


How long, how long
Till I awake in Your likeness
How long, how long
Till I become like You

Lord You are calling me to be all Your own
Yet how I struggle to surrender to Your throne
Give me a grace oh God to die that I might live
In You, in You

How long, how long
Till I awake in Your likeness
How long, how long
Till I become like You

Lord You are calling us to be a spotless bride
Raised up in Holy power that cannot be denied
Give us the grace oh God to boldly bear Your name
For You, for You

How long, how long
Till we awake in Your likeness
How long, how long
Till we become like You

How long, how long
Till we awake in Your likeness
How long, how long
Till we become like You
Lord make us one like You
Till we become like You
How long, how long
Till we awake in Your likeness
How long, how long
Till we become like You
Lord make us one like You


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Me says:

    Your gifts are extraordinary and your heart so clearly pure, emptied of self and ready to be filled with His pure and liberating LOVE. May it be today dear sister. Deacon Keith Fournier.

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID


  2. lilyboat says:

    And may it be today for all of us!

    Thank you for your sweet words. Like you have said, God is pure and liberating, and His love sets us free to love even more.

    I always appreciate your homilies and articles at Thank you!

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