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My Modern Fiat: Motherhood Edition

Kia Ora everyone! My name is Aiber Castillo, I’m 26, born and raised in Christchurch New Zealand and I am a very proud Filipino by blood and Kiwi by upbringing! I am married to my high school sweetheart and we have the coolest toddler Mateo who is almost one and a half and the most handsome doggo named Bruno. I’m a cradle Catholic, but didn’t take my faith seriously until my 20s!

I started veiling in February 2018, though the desire had been on my heart for over 2 years. It would constantly be brought up in prayer and conversation and every time saw a woman veiling, my heart would jump and I would be so drawn to do so myself. But it took me 2 years to actually start veiling because I felt unworthy. I wasn’t holy. I wasn’t good enough. The enemy got me good. I was totally convinced that I could never veil, even though I knew it was my deep desire to.

It wasn’t until I went to a massive youth conference and during adoration, there was a young woman with a beautiful white veil on. I was seated ages away from her, but just from her veiling, I could see her heart for the Lord. I knew my heart was in that place. Jesus spoke to me that night and confirmed my desire to veil. He told me that it would deepen my relationship with him. He shut down the enemy’s lies and filled my heart with His truth and peace.

So after 2 years of going back and forth on whether I was going to veil or not, I asked my husband to buy me a veil for Christmas that year. And even then, it took me another 2 months to actually put it on for the first time. I finally had two beautiful veils but that feeling of unworthiness still hovered over my heart. It was during the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in 2018 when I just sucked up the courage, went to midday Mass, sat at the VERY BACK and veiled for the first time. I feel like the Lord chose that feast day for me to start veiling, there I was, in my brokenness, presenting myself to Jesus in a veil, showing an outward action of love and a representation of my heart.

Veiling now for over 2 years has been such a journey. I think most of us think of women who veil and think super trad, Latin Mass, long skirts, long sleeves type of gal. But I’m none of those things (loves a long floral skirt though!). I’m super charismatic, loves full on praise and worship, tattoos all over my arms and really needs to work on her sailor's mouth. Jesus wants you wherever you are. If you have that deep desire to veil, God knows your heart. What you wear or what you do doesn’t matter (to a certain degree of course). It’s about your intention and your relationship with the Lord. I think I cared too much about what others would think of me. I didn’t want people to think I thought I was holy or better than them, because I definitely ain't!

Being a Mama is such a rollercoaster, so my Modern Fiat is a moment-by-moment choice. Getting up every 3 hours to nurse and change a newborn baby “Yes Lord, thank you for this gift of life”. Trying to soothe a screaming toddler in so much pain because he has multiple teeth coming through “Come Holy Spirit”. Dealing with public tantrums “Jesus give me patience”. Waking up early in the morning so you can have quiet prayer time before having to do the Mum-thing “God, I thank you for coffee”. Being a Mama means giving your whole self to your family. You are constantly trying to entertain a little one, while keeping the house clean and putting food on the table. These seem like normal and little things to most people, but when your family is everything to you, you put all your love, effort and energy into the things you do for your family.

I often find myself calling upon the help of Our Lady. Making decisions for your kid is tough. There is so much research on every topic under the sun and many different styles of parenting. You only ever want to do the right thing, but it’s so hard to figure out what the right thing is these days. Calling upon Mary (our Mother) has been such a saving grace for moments when I don’t know what to do. She is our Mother, my child’s Mother; her wisdom and intercession is so powerful and I feel so at peace when making decisions with her help! Sometimes my prayers have literally been, “Okay Mama Mary, what the heck do I do?”

My journey to motherhood hasn’t been the easiest. My husband and I have experienced 5 losses. 5 babies. 5 saints in heaven praying for us everyday! After our second back to back miscarriage, I got FIAT tattooed on my wrist. During that time, I learned what it truly meant to give God my yes; to fully trust in His plan and let go of my own. St. Gianna is my confirmation Saint and looking back on our journey, I think God picked St. Gianna for me knowing what my journey was going to be. Her famous one liner has always stuck with me since then “Whatever God wants”every doctor's appointment, every blood test, every ultrasound, every surgery, I would turn to my husband and say “Whatever God wants” even if it’s not what I wanted.

My Modern Fiat is a day-to-day, moment-by-moment decision. It is changing poop explosions, watching the same movie everyday for a month, cooking dinner when I really just want to get takeout. It is keeping a clean house so your husband can just rest after a 12 hour shift, waking up at 4:30am so you can go to the gym and pray before your toddler wakes up. It is not washing your hair for 2 weeks because you only have time for a 2 minute shower… Your Modern Fiat will look different to mine. Saying YES to God in these modern times sure is a challenge, but with the grace of God, support of an amazing sisterhood, family and friends, it truly is possible. You, too, can give the Lord your Modern Fiat in your day-to-day life.

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