So ladies, I want to get real today. I've been having a very difficult Lent and went into it half-hearted this year. For the past ten years, I have struggled with depression due mostly to a very abusive situation. Before you feel sorry for me, I left that situation two years ago and God has brought me a long way since then. I am truly amazed at what God has done, and continues to do, in and through my life. However, I've really struggled this year and honestly last year too.
Coming into Lent I really did not know what Jesus wanted me to do or give up, and I felt that if I had to "do" one more thing I would explode! I have been struggling financially, emotionally, personally, spiritually, etc. with so many things that I felt as if I was one of those circus acts trying to balance in their hands a bunch of plates on sticks, and if I stopped for just a second it would all come crashing down! Ever feel like that? If not, you're blessed, and smarter than I am.
I realized, though, that God has been trying to tell me I have been "doing" too much, especially worrying, and need to slow down. I forgot the "best part” which is just being His and spending time with Him. Do you know how long it has been since I have regularly spent a long period of time with the Lord just being His? Oh, I pray daily, fervently participate in the Mass at least weekly, and believe this is what keeps me going, but rest? Resting, truly trusting in the Lord without worry, doubt, or fear? I forgot what that was like!
I spent several years just surviving, trying to hold family together, including myself, remain faithful to God, and care for other people, trying to make them happy, that I forgot what it was like to truly rest and just "be" with the Lord. I learned to pretend that everything was okay and to "put on a happy face" instead of being honest with others and myself about how life really was: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
This is why I'm writing to you tonight. To take off the mask, tear down the walls, and be honest. This is how we heal. This is how we open our hearts and let God's Grace in, let each other in, and open our hearts to the whole hurting world around us and bring others into God's Kingdom. This is what I find with the people I meet every day, and it's good.
When I came to Christ almost 15 years ago, it wasn't "being good" or "doing the right things" that brought me home (as good as those things are). It was the knowledge that as broken, sinful, angry, frustrated, and hurt as I was, God loved me, and wanted me to be with Him. It was when I admitted my faults and failures, and acknowledged who Jesus was (Almighty God) and what he had done for me on the cross that I was healed. Continuing to let down my guard and be honest with Him and others allows His grace to come into my heart and flow into others’ lives, but it isn’t easy, and I want to be honest with all of you, as my dear sisters in Christ.
I know I'm preaching to the choir, but thanks for giving me the space and allowing me to get things off my chest, let my guard down, let my plates fall and be honest about who I am, where I'm at, and who I want to be. Maybe you needed it, too, maybe not. But hopefully we can all let our guards down and be open enough to let the Love of God into our hearts and each other’s lives and heal us.
If We're Honest - Francesca Battistelli