With the beginning of the New Year, I wanted to choose a resolution that would change me, really change me.
I’ve made resolutions in the past that focused on changing my body by eating better or working out more. I’ve made resolutions to improve my relationship with my family by being more patient or being truly present in every moment I’m with them. I’ve set goals in my working life to promote or earn a specific incentive. I’ve committed myself to reaching out to friends, the poor, and the lonely. I’ve sworn off chocolate, swearing, social media, etc.
Through all of the years of resolutions, I relied on myself for change. It was up to me to get to the gym or not eat that second piece of cake. I relied on myself to pickup the phone to call a friend I hadn’t spoken to in a long time. I relied on myself to be less stressed and more patient with others. But relying on myself has lead to disappointment time and time again. Sure, I exercise for a period of time and eventually get out of the routine for one reason or another or I contact friends only to get really busy and fail at the follow through for getting together with them. Year after year, I fall flat with my resolutions. And you know what? I’m tired of it.
This year, while trying to decide how I could better myself, God spoke loud and clear. You see, this mama had forgotten how to say “no”. My greatest passion is Jesus Christ and my happy place is the church. Whenever someone would need help with a project, I would absolutely volunteer knowing that I would get to spend more time with Jesus and bringing others to Him. However, I allowed myself to get wrapped up in too many different things and I found myself getting more and more frustrated over silly things at home and at church. The worst part was that although I was “working” for Jesus, I wasn’t spending time with Him. Over the past year, I have spent hundreds of hours creating curriculum, planning youth activities, running bible studies, teaching PSR, and just plain giving myself to everyone but Him.
Most mornings, I wake up with the intention of spending time in prayer, reading the bible and going to adoration, however, by 7:30am my morning has hit a snag here or there and I am unable to devote any time to just being with my friend Jesus. By 9:30, I’m at the church setting up the social hall, having meetings, sorting donations, or just BS’ing with the people I see in the hallways. Before I know it, it’s lunch time. I eat lunch, relax for a few minutes, change the laundry, clean up around the house, and then head out the door to pick up my daughter from preschool. The afternoon and evening fly by with homework, soccer, riding, dinner, family time and the bedtime routine. After everyone is in bed, I’m excited that I finally have the chance to meet Jesus in prayer, in the pages of the bible, or in a book I am reading, but before I even have a chance to read the first page, my eyes droop and I am asleep. My intentions have been good, but the follow through needs work.
This year, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, my spiritual life hit a snag. I have been in the Easter season of my faith for the past four and a half years, and suddenly, that Easter season ended. It was shocking to say the least. All of a sudden, my fire was completely extinguished. As I sit and write this, tears come to my eyes. The sense of euphoria is gone.
For years I have heard people compare marriage to Christ’s relationship with the Church and now I have been completely awakened to this truth. Successful marriages take time, effort, forgiveness, trust and love. When the honeymoon stage is over, the real work begins. That is where I am in my relationship with Christ and his Church.
This year, during the Advent season, God’s words came loud and clear. Stop all that you are doing and focus solely on me. When you focus on Me, you will find love, trust, hope, peace, an end to your loneliness, and a truth for your life that is immeasurable. This is where my resolution was born.
So, here it goes. I resolve to spend time throughout each day focused solely on Christ through prayer, reading sacred scripture, and spending time in front of the blessed Sacrament. I resolve to be fully present with my children and husband to be able to respond to their needs before the needs of others and to allow them to see God’s love reflected in me. By focusing on Christ, everything else will follow. No one knows what this year holds for me or my family, however, I do know with absolute certainty focusing on Christ will allow us to celebrate the highs and the lows.
“Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18