I’d like to talk to you about patience, which is hard for me, because I’m probably THE most impatient person on the face of the planet. I’d also like to talk to you about love… with a little bit of Jesus.
I’m that girl. I’m the hopeless romantic. I’m the Taylor Swift-loving, Nicholas Sparks-reading, Hallmark commercial-crying girl. And it’s hard. It’s really hard. Because as I loved, I lost the most important man in my life (Jesus, obviously).
The thing was… the love I was looking for wasn’t love at all. It wasn’t sacrificial, it wasn’t pure, it wasn’t what was going to last forever. I trusted too many people and I let too many guys hold my heart. I fell over and over and over again and I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong and why I couldn’t keep these guys in my life. I didn’t know why I wasn’t worth it. Why wouldn’t they stay with me? What was I doing wrong? Why was I pushing people away without knowing what I was doing?
And then in October of 2013, I met him. I fell hard. For the first time in my life, I found someone different. And I actually mean it. He was different. He still is. He always will be.
But there was a problem. You see, I had trained myself to only see my own thoughts. I had forced myself to reconcile with the fact that I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t pretty enough or smart enough. I didn’t have the right body or the right clothes. I definitely didn’t have the right personality. He’d never want me. So I ruined it. I ran away.
I let the one man who I really, truly ever wanted with a pure love walk away from me. I made a mistake, and I had to live with the consequences.
Here’s the thing. I’m supposed to be talking about Jesus here, right? During this time, he didn’t exist to me. I went to church and I “prayed” on Sundays. But I didn’t know him. I was trying to love and give myself away when I didn’t even have myself to give. I didn’t know myself, because I didn’t let myself know Christ.
Ladies, tell me if you can relate. “I’m not Catholic enough. I know I’ll just sin again, what’s the point of confession? What I’ve done is too terrible for Jesus to forgive. He can’t love me.” That was me, over and over again. I didn’t see the point of trying to make Jesus love me because I’d convinced myself I didn’t need anyone’s love.
So back to the story… here I was lost and heartbroken. Sure, I had some cool friends and a great family. But I knew I had messed up. Just to put this into perspective… I had already spent two months pursuing this boy. And then I just gave up. I had spent two months of my freshman year wanting a boy who wanted me back and then I told myself I didn’t deserve him. I. Was. An. Idiot.
I had a friend at the time who I often accompanied to the Grotto. For me, it was more of a social thing than a prayer thing, but I still went. I sat there silently. I tried to pray sometimes, but it never really worked. One day, she shared a prayer with me that I will remember forever.
St. Anthony of Padua’s Be Satisfied With Me:
“Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone,
To have a deep soul relationship with another,
To be loved thoroughly and exclusively.
But to a Christian, God says, “No, not until you are satisfied,
Fulfilled and content with being loved by Me alone,
With giving yourself totally and unreservedly to Me.
With having an intensely personal and unique relationship with Me alone.
Discovering that only in Me is your satisfaction to be found,
Will you be capable of the perfect human relationship,
That I have planned for you.
You will never be united to another
Until you are united with Me.
Exclusive of anyone or anything else.
Exclusive of any other desires or longings.
I want you to stop planning, to stop wishing, and allow Me to give you
The most thrilling plan existing . . . one you cannot imagine.
I want you to have the best. Please allow Me to bring it to you.
You just keep watching Me, expecting the greatest things.
Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I am.
Keep listening and learning the things that I tell you.
Just wait, that’s all. Don’t be anxious, don’t worry
Don’t look around at things others have gotten
Or that I have given them
Don’t look around at the things you think you want,
Just keep looking off and away up to Me,
Or you’ll miss what I want to show you.
And then, when you’re ready, I’ll surprise you with a love
Far more wonderful than you could dream of.
You see, until you are ready, and until the one I have for you is ready,
I am working even at this moment
To have both of you ready at the same time.
Until you are both satisfied exclusively with Me
And the life I prepared for you,
You won’t be able to experience the love that exemplified your relationship with Me.
And this is perfect love.
And dear one, I want you to have this most wonderful love,
I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with Me.
And to enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting union of beauty,
perfection and love that I offer you with Myself.
Know that I love you utterly. I AM God.
Believe it and be satisfied.”
This prayer changed my life. For the first time, I understood. I wasn’t finding a guy because I wasn’t finding Jesus.
Remember when I said I wanted to talk about patience? This was it. It took a month (on top of the two I’d already spent wanting him). While this might not seem like long, it was forever. I prayed that prayer every single day for a month. I prayed to St. Anthony every single day for a month. I begged him to bring that man back into my life. I begged him for love and happiness and promised to pursue Jesus at the same time.
It took a month for Anthony to answer me. Since then, it’s been over 2 and a half years. Funny, isn’t it? The man of my dreams shares the name with the saint I spoke to for what seemed like forever.
Because of this prayer, I know I have a relationship that will last. I pursued Jesus instead of pursuing a boy. I focused on Jesus instead of focusing on a boy. When I had finally made the decision that I didn’t need him anymore, God put him right back in my life. Patience works. God knows your heart, and only God knows when you are actually ready.
I’ve come a long way in my faith life since then, and so has Anthony. Jesus forced me to be patient, showing me that the best things really do come to those who wait. He showed me that He will never give you step 2 before you’ve completed step 1, and as annoying as that can be sometimes, it all makes sense at the end.
Jesus isn’t just someone who I talk about in Theology anymore. I have an actual prayer life. I say the rosary more often now than I ever have. Now, I’m not saying that I found Jesus because I found a boy (quite the opposite, actually). I’ve gone through a million other trials since then. My point is simple: Don’t make your own plans. Make your soul, and your soul will find the way.
Love is patient, remember? (1 Cor. 13). While I became patient in finding love, Jesus was patient in waiting for me to find Him. He didn’t rush me; he didn’t give me an ultimatum. He let me make a few mistakes until I finally begged Him for mercy, and oh boy did mercy come. I will forever be grateful to Jesus and St. Anthony.
Becca is a rising senior at Mount St. Mary’s University. She is heading to law school in the fall. Becca loves coffee and mountains and one day she is going to change the world.