somebodylovesmeblog

Sharing God's love with the world, one heart at a time.


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It’s Not All About Me

There was a long time in my life, where I was searching for my “purpose,” and trying to figure out what it meant to be me. Day by day life was sometimes a struggle for me, and I constantly compared myself to what the world deems as important, or successful.

Since I lived a simple life, and chose to be a wife, mother, and homemaker, versus a successful business woman or rocket scientist, I was lead to believe that somehow I was a failure as a woman.  That I was a let down to the feminists of this culture…who seem to thrive on the “me first” philosophy of life, and the idea that children or family should never hold a woman back from the glory that she is…or should be.

I was being pulled in two opposite directions.  The world was pulling me in the direction of finding what “I” needed to be happy, and my heart was pulling me in the direction of striving to find ways to make my family happy.

Searching…

This constant battle in my heart and mind caused discontent and confusion.  I had no idea what it was that I needed, and certainly did not know who this elusive “me” was.   Down deep, I knew that there was much to learn about myself, and knew that it would not be an easy thing…to find my true purpose, and to feel comfortable in my own skin.

My main struggle was that I honestly believed that I needed to be perfect…look perfect, act perfect, and have a perfect family who lived in a perfectly clean home in order to be even close to the level of anyone  else in the world.  So I tried day after day, week after week, month after month, and then year after year, to look like all was good.

Except that I knew I could never be perfect in any area of my life, and so I could never be “ok.”  It was a conundrum.  And I went round and round, searching for who I really was, and what I was doing on this planet.

Even though I wasn’t yet aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life, he lead me to the first steps of reading self help books, and then to therapy.  Book after book, and each therapy session  taught me one tidbit after another, teaching me to love myself and not to be afraid of asking, and sometimes demanding, what I needed to be happy.

When I found my “power,” I realized that I was ok the way I was, and everyone else needed to know what “I” needed to be happy.  It was a time of selfishness…it was all about me.  In the midst of this process, I learned to accept and love myself unconditionally…both my strengths and weaknesses.

When I learned to accept and love myself, somehow I was transformed.

Without conscious effort, I began to accept both the strengths and weaknesses of my family, my friends, and the people who were placed in my daily life.  I learned to focus on the good, and overlook the bad in others.  Miraculously, my happiness level rose exponentially.

It seems to me that Jesus was there every step of the way, leading me to continue learning  one more thing after another  that would ultimately bring me closer to the power of Love…to Him.

I started out as feeling inferior and empty, and then realized that I am a  child of God, with unique gifts.  The error that I made (and the same one I am seeing over and over in others) was to think that my happiness is the most important thing in this life. That I needed to focus on myself, and in that way, would find happiness.

That was a deception.

True joy and happiness is realized through reaching out and helping other people.  It is opening our hearts to the power of the Holy Spirit, and asking Him to fill us with himself.  It is looking for ways to be a blessing to others, and to be humble in our dealings with those who hurt us or cause us to be uncomfortable.  When filled with the Spirit of God, it becomes easier to see through hurtful words and actions, and see the hurting heart that lies beneath.

In knowing your true worth…that you are loved totally and unconditionally by God…it is easier to stand your ground in a more loving way.  Without anger, jealousy, or bitterness.

I now know that I “found myself” when I learned that my true identity lies in the Lord.  His love surrounds me and fills my heart.  This love begs to be shared!

It’s not all about me.  It is all about Him… that lives within me.  And my purpose is where He leads me.

 

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:6

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.  John 1:12-13

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.  Romans 15:7

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

 

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A Sign

As the years go by, I can look back and see how God was always working in and through my life.  At the time, I usually could not see his answers to my prayers, but I kept on praying in faith, not understanding why “God wasn’t answering my prayers.”

However, one time in particular, I received a concrete, hit you in the face kind of answer.  For me, it was a clear sign that the Lord was directing me.

When I was in my thirties, I knew something was not right in my spirit.  I was blessed with a family whom I loved very much, but I had difficulty feeling joy.  I also needed help with internal struggles…namely impatience, anger, and extremely low self-worth.  I decided to reach out for guidance and help, and started counseling.  By the way, the intense counseling revealed many layers of experiences and hurt that I had welled up inside myself…and the counseling ended up lasting for two and a half years.

One Sunday, I was on my knees before Mass, and I was praying to God for him to send me a sign.   My counseling/therapy sessions were going well, helping me to acknowledge and let go of much pain and hurt that had been festering for many years.  I trusted my therapist immensely…his name was Tom.

I was praying because I was then a part of a Renewal Group at Church… and I felt completely supported in love.  Our Renewal Group had weekly Bible Studies, and I was praying and studying scripture like never before.

My question to God was this…should I stop going to counseling now that I had more peace in my life and had the Renewal Team to support me?

I had the audacity to ask God for a sign. 

My head was bowed, and my eyes were closed.  After my prayer, I straightened up, opened my eyes, and there was Tom, my therapist, looking at me and smiling.  I did not even know he attended my Church.  You could have knocked me over with a feather.

I knew the answer that God had sent me was to continue my counseling with Tom.  As I said before, I continued with him for two and a half years, and that experience/work with Tom  put me on the track of where I am today in my spiritual journey.  I know without any doubt that God was working through Tom to start my healing process.

God is not through with me yet, and I cling to the promise that He will complete the work that was started in me.  There were many twists and turns on my path, and I look forward to where the Lord is leading me on my journey.

As a side note…the counseling/therapy sessions were extremely difficult work.  I was very emotional, and it was very painful facing and reliving some hidden and/or forgotten realities of my life.  Through this stressful time, my husband showed me what was truly in his heart.  He was totally there for me, supporting and loving me through everything.  That was the turning part of our marriage…when I realized my husband would never leave me.  It was the time when I learned that I could trust him with my life.

All things work toward good for those who love him!

Thank you Lord for loving me, and for shining your light of love and mercy into the dark places of my soul. 

Even when I cannot feel your presence…there you are. 

Even when I struggle and fall…there you are.

Even through my suffering…there you are.

Jesus, help me to always be open to your love, mercy and grace.

And help me to be a channel of your love, so I can touch those hearts you have entrusted me with.

Amen.

 

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:6

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28