Half of 2013 wasn't the easiest of times for me. I had work-life balance, sure... if work-life balance meant "life equals work". I got that down pat. I hardly had time for my family, let alone myself. I felt guilty when I fell asleep unplanned because that meant less time to do my job. I was also in a pseudo-relationship that weighed me down, down, down. In other words, exaggeration and quarter life crisis aside, it was the most tired I'd felt in my life.
I especially felt that weight one Sunday afternoon before I went to mass. I remember it quite clearly. I was in the car and the rain was pouring down hard. My friend, knowing my situation, asked me over the phone how I was. And I just felt everything right down to the very core. I was tired. And I honestly didn't know where my life was headed. I was lost. The fact that I knew I was blessed with a job, a family, a car, and so many more things made it all the more difficult for me to understand why I was still feeling so helpless. I felt so ungrateful.
But that was the very same week of August 25 AKA the day that changed my life. I'd just signed up for a retreat, thinking it was just a reason for me to do something not work-related. And something that would take my mind off Mr. Pseudo Relationship. Little did I know that I would find something more. Which coincidentally was the name of the retreat (Something More). Come to think of it, it wasn't a coincidence. It was all in His plan.
On August 25, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. And it's been the best decision I've ever made in my life. Being a Catholic and growing up in a Catholic school, I thought I had already made that decision. But I realized all the things I knew about Him was all in my head. It took 30 years for that same knowledge to travel all the way down to my heart and to my whole being. I didn't know that having a personal relationship with God was possible. And necessary.
He'll really speak to you and reach out to you in a way that's unique to you. To me, it was music. One of the songs that was performed during the retreat was Falling Slowly, one of my favorites. I had never heard it sung as a Christian song, but there it was. Spot on. Needless to say, I was caught from then moving forward. I learned how to be closer to Him. How to pray to Him. How to just allow myself to be loved by Him. And I can't even begin to explain how amazing His love is.
If I wrote all the miracles that happened day after day after day after I entered a personal relationship with God, I wouldn't have enough space or time. And it's only been 4 months. But in a nutshell, I was finally able to achieve work-life balance (the real one), Mr. Pseudo Relationship and I are now friends - in the real sense of the word (it got even better because we were able to connect on a spiritual level after all this), I'm going through all this with my best friend at my side, I met 5 amazing and beautiful ladies during the retreat whom I love and am learning from and getting love and support from, and every time someone asks me how I am, I just say I'm happy - and actually mean it.
I've already written 6 paragraphs and I know I haven't even begun to capture the least bit of how miraculous my journey has been so far. I just know that this feeling, this belief, this journey is something I'd want for everyone. It's an amazing, amazing experience that'll only get better and better because He is at the helm of it all. It's not going to be easy, it's not going to be challenge-less, but I know that when I encounter those challenges, I won't be alone. I'll never be alone. And I know He wants me to be happy. All I had to do was say yes to Him. To accept Him. That's all I needed to do. That's all He wants. Just receive Him, and I promise you, He'll do amazing things in your life too.
I'll probably write another entry about this soon, because my goodness, I've left out a lot. But if you're reading this, and you want to know about this awesome journey or if you want to go through it yourself, or if you just want to talk, please please please don't even hesitate to tell me. Let's meet up over coffee. I'll be more than happy. And I promise you, it won't be a preachy kind of talk. Haha. I promise you too, it'll be full of love. And joy.
Oh that's one more thing I love about being in a relationship with God. It's so full of love. That's one common thing you'll see in people who've accepted Him into their lives. They're so full of love. And I love love! Heck, I'm a hopeless (hopeful?) romantic. And God isn't the God of love. He IS love. How amazing is that? So anyway, again, if you want to know more, let me know okay? :)
Whatever 2014 brings, I'm counting it all as joy, because I know that whatever happens, it's in His plan. And if something happens that I don't understand (and I know there will be), I can rest assured in the fact that I know the WHO behind it. So the WHY can always wait.
My wish for you, dear friend, is for you to discover this wonderful, unexplainable experience. It doesn't matter where you are, what you've done, or if you were like me and think you don't have the time. If you find yourself lost, unexplainably unhappy, guilty, or whatever negative feeling there is, imagine that there's Someone who will gladly make it all go away. And that Someone CAN make it all go away. Each and every time.
Have a happy and hopeful New Year, everyone! :)