Discovering the Road to Happiness
"Discovering the Road to Happiness" Marianne
"Where's my daddy, where's my daddy?" That cry came from deep inside my little girl's heart as my friends prayed for me. My name is Marianne and although I was an adult during this prayer, I was just shy of six years old when my father died suddenly of electrocution while at work, and there was ever after a gaping hole in my heart. Somehow this left me without a firm foundation of who I was as a person. Throughout my childhood I lived in fear, even terror, of everyone and everything. It was as if I never left my mother's womb and was curled up inside like a ball, peeking out at the world. I related to people, but never really connected with anyone, not even my mother or six brothers and sisters. Here I was blessed with a wonderful family and home life, yet I experienced a profound loneliness, a yearning for love, for intimacy!
Oh, how many tears I cried and how self-centered I became, in my yearning to be set free. And when I saw all my faults and failings, when I lied, or was impatient, prideful, or unkind, stingy or cowardly, afraid to give of myself, I could not escape the feeling that I was worthless and a failure. I had a sinking feeling that God was deeply disappointed in me. Without being consciously aware of it, I based how I lived my life on the lie that God didn't really love me, and therefore I was afraid to trust Him in anything. I had to be in complete control!
Over the years, I kept looking for someone to see how much I was hurting, to take me under their wing, to nurture my wounded spirit and to pour out their love on me. I longed for God to dramatically burst into my life, rescuing me like a knight in shining armor from the prison of my fear. Due to suffering constant emotional pain, my heart became so numb that it seemed incapable of feeling love for anyone.
Yet eventually, I realized that the more I focused on my own pain, on my own needs, on my own desires, the more miserable I was. What a revelation! It finally dawned on me that I was the only one making myself miserable! I realized that I could choose to rejoice in all circumstances, even really bad ones.
Finally, I knew that my Heavenly Father had been leading me, little by little, tenderly and carefully throughout my life, drawing me to Himself, patiently waiting for me to believe in His love for me. All along He was there. I know now that Jesus and Mary were by my side when I lost my father, when I yearned for connection, for love.
Now I know God's promises are unfailing, that the road to happiness is not through the people and circumstances outside of me, but how I respond on the inside to those people and circumstances. I can choose to love, I can bless those around me, even when they seem unlovable. I can see them and love them now as God created them to be, and by holding this vision before me, grace begins to flow so the other can now begin to be transformed by love.
These days, when I've disobeyed God's rule of love with some sin or fault, instead of running away and hanging my head in shame, I run straight into my Father's arms, begging Him, as St. Therese of Lisieux says, to "punish me with a kiss!" I know now that my security is in God! He picks me up when I fall. He holds me close to His heart, especially when I fall. My eyes and heart have been opened to the wonderful truth of His great mercy and love for me, and for all of His children. Jesus is teaching me more and more that His promises are true and will NEVER fail. If you cling in hope to His Word, even in the darkest night, He will carry you.
If my story resonates in your heart and you too want to believe in God's love for you, feel free to contact me through my profile.