Paul and Anna Albert

Healing or Haiti?

Before Paul and I moved to Covecrest, a friend of ours named Jon, who had also been a Life Teen missionary, called Paul on the phone.  I overheard Jon telling Paul that he’s excited for us to be going to Covecrest and that he believed that I would receive healing that I needed while at Covecrest. When I heard that, I immediately got upset and thought “How dare he say I need healing?”

Fast forward two months: We arrived at Covecrest and I was immediately overwhelmed with lots of questions running through my head: “What will we do about health insurance? When will we have children? What about all the debt we have? How will we get enough mission partners? Where will we live when we complete our two years with Life Teen?”  Paul and I have talked about these questions but I started getting really discouraged about it all over again. I decided to pray about all these things by writing them in my journal at our daily holy hour. One by one God started to provide solutions to all my worries but I still had one big question: “Why do we have to be at Covecrest for a year?” It’s a beautiful and amazing place but we feel called to Haiti and just want to go there and love everyone right now!

Within days of being here at Covecrest, God made it very clear to me through prayer why I need to be here: FOR HEALING. I realized that the reason Jon’s comment bothered me so much was because it was true. The truth hurts but it will set you free (John 8:32). At home I went to daily mass, was committed to the sacraments, had a pretty routine prayer life, and was being missionary. I was actively living out my faith but I felt that I was at a standstill and was having difficulty growing in my faith. From the way I was struggling to show love, it was evident that I needed healing. What better place for growth and healing than Covecrest, a community filled with loving, supportive, and holy people.

Toward the end of the first week here, the women in the community went on a retreat where we shared a lot about ourselves.   Through this sharing, we got to know each other and bonded as sisters. I shared obstacles that I have overcome in my life and some of the pain I’ve experienced.  A few days after we got home, the daily Gospel reading was Luke 8:16-18, which says: “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light.”

Through this scripture verse, I feel that God was letting me know that sharing with the women was crucial to the growth and healing I would experience here at Covecrest. By bringing things to light that I thought I got over a long time ago, I could begin to experience healing and growth in a new way. Shortly after the retreat, I did a “trust fall” with my fellow missionaries, something I had never allowed myself to do in the past. That was a major breakthrough for me and it helped me to trust my brothers and sisters more. I also had the opportunity to pray with a few people who helped me to lay down some of the hurt I’ve experienced at God’s feet and to truly allow Him to take the burden from me.

Little by little, God is working on me and allowing me to grow. He is showing me how much he loves me so that I can be healed. The more healing and growth I experience within the next year of formation here at Covecrest, the more I will be able to love and bring healing to those who God sends me to, whether here or in Haiti.

Paul and Anna Albert

About the Author

We have been married 2 years and have a one year old son, Nathaniel. We're from Massachusetts, where we met at a Life Teen parish in 2010. We pretty much have nothing in common except the fact that we are both crazy about Christ and His Church, oh and we both aspired to be rappers at one point in our lives.