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Here is there

May 29, 2024
Picture of by Marie Miller
by Marie Miller

In August 2019, I attended a beautiful mass in the Arlington diocese for Catholic young adults.

It was a packed church, and afterward there was a wine and cheese reception with a live jazz band in a dimly lit room. After the reception, I had plans to meet up with a guy I was interested in at the time at a local Irish pub (is there anything better than a cozy Irish pub?). I had all the excitement of a first date fluttering inside me. 

I remember kneeling after mass before the reception and noticing the red candle on the altar flickering while the roars of conversation and the jazz quartet boomed from the other room. I said a quick prayer of thanksgiving and followed the sounds to the reception area. 

I had just moved from Nashville, TN to Arlington, VA, where my older brother owned a sweet little townhouse. I could not have dreamed of a better landlord and situation, and my heart was light with hope and anticipation for a busy year. Washington, D.C. fits my extroverted personality perfectly. I attended lectures, happy hours, and house parties with my broad group of friends and looked forward to every weekend that fall. 

Even more exciting, I had just left my record label and was busy working on my first independent project, “Little Dreams.” All was just as it should have been in my perfect life plan. 

Flash forward to March 2020 and the COVID-19 lockdown. All of my scheduled events, including gigs, lectures, and happy hours, were canceled, and that guy I was so excited about wasn’t interested in me anymore. The world was at a standstill and my dreams were on hold. 

What happened to the adventure, the glory, and the romance I had experienced not so long ago? My heart ached for that warm August night. 

One afternoon in the blistering cold of late March, I ventured out to the church where I had attended that packed mass in August. I slowly walked into the big, empty sanctuary and saw that quiet red candle again.   

Everything else had changed, but God was still there.

In a letter to his son, J.R.R Tolkien wrote, “Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament… There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves on earth.” 

All the gigs, parties, and dates in the world could not compare to His presence. Everything I was searching for, all beauty, truth, hope, joy, love, romance, honor, and adventure, was contained in that room. And not only could He satisfy my heart for all these things, but He greatly desired company with me. 

I have come to realize that the Eucharist is my constant companion, present with me in all the seasons of my life. On my worst and best days, I feel His unwavering presence, guiding me through life’s ups and downs. Regardless of where I find myself—whether in a small city in Uganda, a chapel in Calcutta, or a local church—I am filled with a sense of peace knowing that He is there. Even in my broken, busted-up way, I have seen God do incredible things when I give Him the time of day. And I fail Him, and I forget He is waiting for me. But He never fails me or forgets me. 

About the Author

Marie is a multi-faceted artist and speaker who weaves music, humor, and storytelling to convey God’s love for us and our opportunity to share that love with others. At seventeen Marie was signed by Curb Records. During her Curb years, she recorded the #1 Christian song, “You’re Not Alone” and had songs featured in movies and television shows. Marie shared the main stage with Mark Wahlberg, Andrea Bocelli, and Aretha Franklin to perform for Pope Francis and a live audience of 750,000. Marie is currently working on her second independent release, “The Way of Love” which releases May 2024.
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