Broken and Beautiful: Letting Go and Letting God

Image-1 (1)The devil knows me well. He knows my weaknesses, and he knows how to deflate me so much that it affects every aspect of my life. Lately he’s been actively trying to convince me that life is of no value, which is exactly the opposite of what I am fighting for in my pro-life work. Coincidence? I think not.

Satan is so perverted that he is taking the core issue of my mission in life (defending the dignity and value of every human life at every stage), and he is trying to convince me that life has no meaning, beginning with my own. He tells me how worthless, unworthy, shameful, ugly, messed up and imperfect I am. He wants me to believe that I am beyond the power of Christ’s redemption. He is doing everything in his power to blind me of my worth in Christ.

Satan’s self-destructive thoughts spill over to how I view others. Sometimes I can only see people for their imperfections. Sometimes I question why any of us bother in life since we’re just going to fail again. Sometimes I feel completely unmotivated to help others because “they’re not worthy”. How much pain this must cause Christ! I’ve been fed with Christ’s truth before, and, therefore, I know these are damaging lies.

The devil wants nothing more than for me to lose hope. He wants nothing more than to see me suffer in this life and burn in hell for eternity. He’ll do all he can to make me feel so unworthy of Christ so as to stop approaching Him in prayer, in the Eucharist, and seeing Him in others.

There is hope. There is help. Christ Our Lord has sacrificed the ultimate sacrifice in full. There is no redemption that we can possibly win for ourselves. It must hurt Him terribly when we choose to ignore Him and deny His love. What a slap in the face to tell God that He doesn’t know what He’s doing by loving someone so undeserving. He has a love that truly knows no limits. New life in Christ is His gift of love, and when I choose to accept it, I can truly love others more. I can love them for who they are and meet them where they are at, just as Christ has chosen to do for me.

With my experience in doing pro-life work, I have come to see the damaging effects of Satan’s lies. In some cases, it’s not just a question of proving when human life begins. Rather, it is a question of does this life have value? It’s sad to hear people describe a child as a “product of rape” instead of a child.  It’s sad that many hold the idea that a child with a disability would be better to never have been born. It’s sad to hear people prejudge a life by saying that abortion would be better so the child wouldn’t have to experience the same cycle of poverty that he’s born into.

The truth is, we will never know the potential of a human person, and everyone is born with same dignity in Christ. Jesus died for every individual, no matter how imperfect, just the same as he died for you and me. Yes, every one of us is broken, but thanks to Christ, we are broken and beautiful.

If you are struggling with some of the same things that I struggle with, I invite you to say this prayer on letting go and letting God take control.

Let Go and Let God

Dear God,

I let go of my need to be perfect, and I let You fill me with Your perfect love.

I let go of my ideas of fulfillment, and I let You fill me with what I truly desire.

I let go of what I think of myself, and I let You define my worth.

I let go of what others think of me, and I let You tell me who I am to You.

I let go of my appearance, and I let You shine through me.

I let go of my unreasonable standards, and I let You work through me.

I let go of my will for my life, and I let You reveal Your plan for me.

I let go of all of my past sins, and I let You forgive me.

I let go of my reliance on myself, and I let You be my Redeemer.

I let go of how I view others, and I let You love them through me.

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Modesty: The Mirror Of Love

Modesty allows us to love, and in a world that so desperately wants and needs love, it’s a shame that more people are not striving for modesty. This probably goes against what you think of as modesty because typically when we think of modesty, or humility, we imagine people who are scared of the world or think poorly of themselves. They act timidly, avoid eye contact, and do not state what they believe for fear of offending others. If you act like that, you won’t form healthy, loving relationships. That’s not what humility is. That may be our society’s misconstrued view of it, but timidity is not modesty.

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True modesty is realizing that our entire worth comes from God and then striving to live in that truth. That being said, God gives us a lot of worth. I mean, He is God after all, and God is love, so He is the most loving Father that could ever exist. And we’re His kids, so yeah, we have no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed about who we are. So why should we be humble when we are that awesome? We should be humble so that we can reflect the glory of God, like a mirror reflects light. I first heard of the idea of being like a mirror in a prayer that mentions St. Therese the Little Flower. She is said to have been a “mirror of angelic purity, of love strong as death, and of wholehearted abandonment to God.” (I’m not sure who that was originally accredited to, but you can see a full prayer here). Mirroring God is a beautiful thing that we should all strive for. I don’t know how they make those distorted mirrors that you see at carnivals, the ones that make an image appear skinny, fat, twisted or upside down, but arrogance is what turns the clean, smooth mirror of our souls into that type of mirror. When we become arrogant and focus on ourselves, we become inverted and twisted. That is not how we were made to be because it prevents us from reflecting the pure, perfect love that comes only from God. We are creatures of love. God created us in love and for the purpose of reflecting His love into the world. If we want to show love to anyone, whether it be our boyfriends/girlfriends, spouses, parents, friends, or perfect strangers, we must first practice modesty.

In order to strive for modesty, we need to consider if what we are doing, saying and wearing is modest or not. Because we are used to applying modesty only to how women dress, considering our actions in the context of modesty is difficult. To make it easier, I suggest that instead, we consider if what we are about to say, do, or wear is loving or not.

 Living in modesty, and so living in love, hinders us from being judgemental towards others, as well as from getting jealous of others. It causes us to realize that all of those around us are our equals because they are human beings. We realize this because we recognize our fallen human nature, everyone else’s fallen human nature, and their God-given worth and beauty. When we realize that all humans are, well, human, then we realize that we cannot look down on others or judge them because they are no less than us. They may fall in different ways, but they fall and we fall. Our duty as Christians is to help each other get back up when we fall and to try to help others avoid falling by setting good example through modest dress. When we have a loving demeanor, others are less tempted to have lustful or hateful thoughts towards us. Modesty hinders jealousy, because, again, all are equal to us. They are human and we are human. They fall and we fall. They have God-given talents, just as we do. Ultimately, we are all part of the same fallen human race that is created and redeemed by God.

Truly understanding all of this would allow me to love so much deeper than I do. I wouldn’t be helping someone because I pity them, but because I love them. Instead of getting jealous of others, I would love them. Instead of being unjustly angry with someone, I would love and try to help that person. Instead of wondering if someone is worth my time, I would simply love them without question. Instead of thinking badly about myself or the mind and body that God gave me, I would love myself. If I could become a truly modest person, it would change my life. How would it change yours?