I've been getting bogged down with things not being as they are supposed to be, or at least what I want or what the picture of the ideal is in my head. It's been a rough month and a half and finally yesterday, a priest helped me get out of it. Sometimes, confession isn't all sparkles and leaving with a new perspective and that is okay. It's still necessary to do so, so that we keep on keeping on in this Christian walk of ours, however, when you do have that woah, God is awesome feeling, it just makes you so glad that you have the act in itself and that feeling Jesus really does care about us.
I can't go into too much detail because that would be airing a bunch of dirty laundry that I should not do, because what goes on the internet goes all over the internet. But basically, I think that I was really struggling with wanting to change people so that my life would be so much better, at least in my head again. I think I thought, if these people just did this instead of this, I would be so much happier. But I was completely missing the point.
First, God loves us imperfect and all. So he loves me and he loves you and he loves the guy down the street who just stole someone's purse. I think for a while, I could never understand the mentality of folks that just came and went and didn't want to devote their whole lives to Jesus. The people that may be registered at the rectory but never really come to mass except when convenient. Those people bug me, but really that means all people bug me, because we are all a mess. But it doesn't have to be that way. My awesome husband, challenged me to think about the parable of the 10 lepers that were healed by Jesus. Only one came back, but he still healed all 10. And this is where I need to change my thinking because I want to follow Jesus, and if he still loved the people who didn't really want to say thank-you, I love you. I need to as well.
In something that I had heard many times, the priest told me the verse, "For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few."Matthew 7:14. But he explained it the reason that the gate is narrow is that so few chose to accept their cross. And yes, this was me, I am failing to accept my cross. I want to have what I see others having. I was being prideful and selfish. I wasn't accepting that maybe I was given this to be able to grow. And I need to be at peace with that. Because the peace will never come, I will keep feeling like the victim and I will keep feeling like all is against me, which is exactly in my mind what I was trying so hard to avoid.
So my prayer this advent and probably this whole liturgical year is to really try to accept my cross, because then and only then will I find peace and courage and faith and strength. Then and only then will I learn to love.