Hello, my name is Rod and my story, is “Our Story.”
Truly, in the eyes of the world; I’m a nobody. I’m not someone that many people would take a second glance at or see as “special”; at least, not in a positive way.
I’m not someone who’s famous or someone that’s going to create the next, latest and greatest “________.” No, you won’t see me hitting the game winning homerun, walking down the red carpet or hear my next song on the radio; but I am different.
I’m different because I’m a Chosen one; Jesus’ chosen one.
And honestly, the thought of everything that He’s led me to within the last two years, and everything that He is currently asking of me: a vocation as a Lay Dominican; going to graduate school to obtain my Master’s degree in Pastoral Studies so that I can teach others about Him; and this Apostolate, an evangelization ministry; well, it all kinda terrifies me. It terrifies me, that God would choose me; for His Work.
I kept telling Him, “You’ve got the wrong guy; I’m a nobody.” But every time I’ve said that, Lord Jesus just kept telling me; “I do my best work with nobodies.”
And I do, I Trust in Him. Why? Because He’s NEVER given up on me.
Regardless of the poor choices I may have made in life, the emotional or physical scars that I’ve acquired over the years or the wounds that I currently have because of what other people have said and done to me; without fail, there’s always been one constant through it all; “He’s never stopped loving me and He’s never given up on me.”
And so, in loving surrender to God’s Will for my life; my Apostolate and evangelization ministry; “Thankful for the Scars” was born. But, if the Truth be told, it’s not new; it’s actually been a lifetime in the making.
Thankful for the Scars is simply my kerygma. It’s “Our Story;” Jesus’ and mine. Our story of His Love and Divine Mercy in my life.
This website is one of the ways that Jesus is calling me to evangelize; to tell His Truth, to share the Gospel and to be a prophet of His Love and Divine Mercy for all of us.
It’s one of the ways that I’m trying to be His light in the darkness of this world. Doing the best that I can, to be; His Hands, His Feet, His Voice, His Eyes, His Ears and His Heart. Doing the best that I can to be His reflection of Love to all of my Brothers and Sisters; but especially the broken, hurt, lost and hopeless ones who say, “you just don’t understand.”
True, the details and specifics of “your story” may be different than mine, but I’ve earned and received many, many scars as I’ve been a pilgrim on this road of life. And the most important “nugget of Wisdom” that I’ve learned during the journey is this, “that no matter what you’ve done, or what’s been done to you; that’s who you WERE, it’s NOT who you ARE; not in HIS Eyes.”
Why? Because He loves us, every one of us; so much more than we can even begin to comprehend or fathom and you CAN’T make HIM stop loving you. Believe me, intentionally and unintentionally I’ve tried; but He’s never stopped loving me and He’s never given up on me.
This Apostolate is also a way for me to share my love and devotion for my Mother Mary and my Father Joseph. Yes, Father Joseph, my foster father too. Father Joseph is teaching me, his “little boy,” the Wisdom of God and the Saints. He’s teaching me how to pray and be virtuous. And Father Joseph is protecting me from satan. In Love, Father Joseph is teaching, guiding and protecting me, his little boy; just like he did for his little boy, Lord Jesus.
No, I’m not a child; but Mother Mary and Father Joseph are teaching me to have childlike Faith and Trust in Jesus’ Love and Mercy for me; and to share that Truth with everyone. And every child, every single child; should have two parents to love, teach, protect and guide them.
This Apostolate is a way for me to share Devotions which are very dear to my heart, but may be unknown or less known to others. Devotions such as, “The Holy Face of Jesus” and the Seven Dolors (Sorrows) Rosary/Chaplet of “Our Lady of Sorrows.”
It’s a way for me to help teach the youth and adults of our Faith about the richness, depth and beauty of our Faith. Because I’m learning that many adults, myself included, haven’t even scratched the surface of it.
I pray, that in the future, this Apostolate will become a way for me to “truly” help my Brothers and Sisters who are the least of these. Becoming involved in prison ministry and/or using it as a way for me to help, teach and provide a low-overhead, entrepreneurial opportunity for those living in poverty. Providing them “The Way;” in the hope of breaking their poverty cycle, growing in their Faith and helping them prepare to evangelize and share “their stories/kerygmas” with others.
So how is a nobody, who’s terrified that Jesus is calling him to be a prophet of His Love and Divine Mercy, going to do any of these things?
There’s only one way; surrender my will completely to Papa’s (God the Father) Perfect Will for me and my life. He’s been placing others into my “path” who have different skills and have been teaching and helping me.
And, by God’s Grace and in God’s timing; I’m hopeful that Thankful for the Scars will grow into a “family of ministries” and I’ll be able to utilize additional ways to continue evangelizing and spreading the Gospel.
The first way that I’ve been asked to begin this ministry of evangelization was given to me and to everyone as a gift from my Mother, Our Mother, Mary; the Rosary.
Each Rosary is handmade by me. The Keepsake Rosaries incorporate flower petals “you provide” from a special moment in your life; a wedding, anniversary, birthday, a child’s birth, etc.; and the Remembrance Rosaries are made using flower petals “you provide” from the funeral of a loved one. The flower petals “you provide” are dried and then mixed into each hand roll bead.
By making and spreading devotion to the Rosary, I hope to share the stories and the gifts that the Rosary gives us and the promises it holds. The stories of God’s Love, Mercy, Hope, Joy, Peace, Forgiveness and Sorrows that are told to us in the different mysteries as well as the story of Jesus’ Life as seen through the eyes of His Mother, our Mother; Mary. The beauty, depth and richness that the mysteries tell and the Graces and promises which are given to us when we PRAY it, instead of saying it.
Again, I’m just starting out on this journey and any prayers would be greatly appreciated, because satan hates me and the choice I’ve made to follow His Will instead of my own will.
Thank you for taking the time to read “Our Story.”
The name, “Thankful for the Scars” was inspired by the song “Scars,” by the band, “I Am They;” and the lyrics can be found on the “Prayers and Devotions” tab located at the top of the page. It’s the beautiful story of my life.
Your little brother in Christ,