Peace, Love, and a Precious Gift
“That all things are possible to him who believes, that they are less difficult to him who hopes, they are more easy to him who loves, and still more easy to him who perseveres in the practice of these three virtues.” Brother Lawrence 1614-1691- The Practice of the Presence of God
It’s winter here in the NorthEast and in January, the temperatures can be quite cold. Today was a very nice forty five degrees, so I decided to take a short walk to Cumberland Farms for ground coffee and a snack. On my way home while absorbing the wonderful weather, I suddenly started thinking of God.
A few more steps and I made the weird connection. I don’t have sudden thoughts of God when I’m enjoying the weather so…. yeah this made me alert. A smile forms on my lips as a wonderful feeling of peace, love, hope, and acceptance wraps around me. It was from God and he gave it to me wrapped up in a nice winter day.
My past which brought me to rock bottom
Me as a baby: a quiet infant who only cried when tired, hungry, or needed a diaper change.
Me as a toddler: mother looking for me because it’s nap time. I’m nowhere to be found. Mother checks my bedroom to find I’ve put myself to sleep.
Me as a young child: My older sibling trying to teach me a life lesson. He said, “You need to start thinking more of yourself. If you had a plate of cookies to share, you’d give all the cookies away and not keep one for yourself.” Me thinking: that’s not very nice.
My life starting in sixth grade up until my forties: filled with challenges of the heart which tested my trust. I’m not emotionally damaged per-se, but in a small way I am. Best friends stealing my boyfriends. Almost all but a two boyfriends who cheated on me. Friends who treated me poorly. A broken family life, with a mother who is critical rather than supportive. Not once has she said she was proud of me. No matter what I did or bad experience I had, she criticized it or asked me what I did wrong. There were people who called me weird, those who verbally bullied me, and such things.
I cut out the one friend I had from my life. Friends grow apart and our friendship was no longer on equal footing. It became toxic for me.
One can only take so much before the heart says enough is enough. Self esteem? I had enough to fill the palm of my hand.
Thinking the Unthinkable
Once I thought of suicide. Once I thought I’d rather be dead. Once I couldn’t wait for death to come. Three times I thought the unthinkable. I have given up on life.
I became a loner. A hermit if you will. I needed to retreat to a safe place and recover. I needed to rethink my life.
Where was God? I spoke to him a lot during my life. I knew he was there, but what did I do wrong? I was baptized, went to Sunday School and Bible Study. I had all the Catholic ceremonies a christian could have. There was one thing I missed. That one important thing I wasn’t taught: how to have a personal relationship with Christ.
My New Game Plan
I honestly do not remember when I realized the hole in my heart and the emptiness of my spirit was due to the fact that I didn’t have a personal relationship with God.
On my path to being a loner, I was growing spiritually because I started talking to Jesus. I sought him out and asked him to love me, telling him that I needed him in my life. I honestly thought he rejected me, leaving me out in the cold.
Slowly but surely I started to forgive and to heal.
The Journey on the Road to Knowledge and Realization
With each video, article, bible scripture, and conversation with Jesus, I realized each painful experience was a lesson. He was always there but I didn’t feel him because he was waiting for me to ask him a question. He was waiting for me to express my desire to belong to him in heart and spirit.
The waves of “AHA” moments came in with each memory. Instead of feeling like a victim, I saw those moments differently. I was able to see that I learned a lesson with each one and came out stronger both spiritually and emotionally.
My self esteem grew and along with it, a feeling of contentment.
I’ve come a long way baby!
One major breakthrough was a tearful conversation on my couch. Sometimes when I’m in the right state of mind, I can ‘know’ when a presence is near and ‘know’ what their spiritual body movements are. This time, I ‘saw’ the presence walk into the living room, down alongside the couch, and sit on the coffee table directly across from me. I poured my heart out and afterwards, I knew that Jesus reciprocated my love. Finally, I felt loved for all that I am. Finally, I felt a love I can trust.
Still, it’s years later and there is a small smudge on my soul. The smudge that won’t let me completely let go. That is until today. Today I felt God’s gift and it’s amazing.
My Final Thoughts
Each experience, whether good or bad is a lesson. My journey has brought me to a much better place than I was fifteen years ago. As I sit down to type this blog post, I’m still smiling in my heart, and the gratitude for all God has given me nestles me like a warm blanket.
Do you still have some unpleasant memories? Think about how you feel about them now and what you learned from it. Are you stronger? Smarter? Did it change you? I believe things happen to us for a reason. It’s up to us to figure out why.
Did you at any point in your past ask Jesus to accept your love? Have you ever said to him that you give your heart and soul to him? Have you ever told him, that you need him in your life? If you haven’t and you believe in him, what’s stopping you? What is preventing you to live your life the way God wants us to? To follow the teachings of Christ in how we behave and interact with others?