I’m realizing that having blessings doesn’t always mean you’re living a blessed life or vice versa.
Allow me to explain. Frequently, we see blessings as gifts, good fortune, or perhaps the fruit of hard work. By this definition, I am richly blessed. However, God’s definition of blessed is a little different, I think. A blessed person in His eyes is someone who allows Him to bless her with peace and contentment no matter what gifts she may have been given or have earned. This explains why there are people who have been given everything in life who end up trying to drink away their despair or work harder and longer thinking that greater wealth will lead to greater happiness. They have blessings, but they are not blessed.
Then there are those who have very little or who have lost much and yet, they have peace in their hearts. This isn’t to say they don’t hurt, but they’re able to find consolation in the mercy and love of God. They may sometimes complain about the mountains they must climb, but they recognize that their mountains are God’s mountains, too, and that they are never alone. Those who allow God to bless them are able to look beyond themselves and make the best of the cards they’ve been dealt. They handle sorrow with grace, and they don’t take even the smallest glimpses of joy for granted.
I’m grateful for all of my blessings; yet, lately I’ve been struggling with finding peace. I haven’t been allowing God to bless me with His graces, His goodness, His mercy. God is knocking on my heart, but I’m afraid to let Him in and to surrender myself to Him. It’s not even as if I’m seeking and not finding (something I have struggled with in the past); I’m just plain not seeking.
In the car this morning, I heard an old Indigo Girls’ song I used to love way back when, and these lyrics screamed out at me: “Darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable, but lightness has a call that’s hard to hear.”
Isn’t that the truth?
Sometimes, despite all the goodness in my life, the darkness swallows me up whole. Then I project. I blame the rain. I blame the lousy traffic, the Raisin Bran spilled all over my carpet, a communication mix-up among homeschooling friends, or missing my husband. I blame things that really aren’t at the core of my longing or anxiety. Sure, these sliver-like crosses might add to my internal struggles, but often I refuse to consider the possibility that I’m huddled in the darkness because I’ve been too stubborn to let any light in. Then, when the slightest rays begin to shine through, I turn away thinking I don’t deserve the goodness because of the way I’ve behaved. I want to be loved; yet, I can act so unlovable.
And so I stumble in the darkness. I grope around trying to find something to hold onto to steady me. In the past, it was often my weight. I could always find temporary relief and an escape when my clothes started to feel loose. The thinner I forced myself to become, the more powerful I felt. Even now I frequently seek false confidence and affirmation in all the wrong places.
Yet, when I put God first and when I love and my family and serve them well, I feel affirmed. I feel happy and satisfied. So why do I keep looking outside my heart where God’s love dwells and outside of my home where my family’s love is to feel good and worthy?
Tomorrow I’m going to confession. I haven’t been since Advent, and I’m hungry for God’s mercy and forgiveness. I want my penance to be more than a rote rosary. I want it to be a new start. So tomorrow I will kneel and humble myself. I won’t let the darkness consume me. Instead, I’ll search for the light. I’ll reacquaint myself with God’s blessing. And I will be blessed.
Please pray for Colleen Mitchell and her family. May they flee to God in their heartache and sorrow and find healing and peace.