By Frances Csarny
Some days I can't help but wonder why God would want to listen to my heart’s requests when the busyness of my life interferes with our relationship, a relationship that should be the most important in all of my life. But I'm comforted by the words in the Book of Sirach that say, “The Lord is a God of justice, who knows no favorites.” Of course, the deepest part of me recognizes these words and believes them to be true
but there remains some doubt.
Despite the challenge to keep God my first priority, I am proud of the faith I have developed throughout my life—especially during the time I spent in college. A large part of my relationship with the Divine is connected to the Ignatian tradition of finding God in all things, all people, the world around us. I recognize God’s presence and glory in countless things, people each day; A child’s smile, red ladybugs that land on my hand, the changing phases of the moon in the night sky, a wilted sunflower that has past its prime blossom.
Looking back at the past few years of my life, I recognize that there is no greater truth than the verse in Psalm 34—“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves”.
Transitioning from college to “reality” was challenging in many ways.
I had moved back home with uncertainty about my place in the world and with my connection to the Divine. I lacked confidence in myself, in my faith, and believed myself to be a burden to others in my life and even a burden to God. I struggled to find value in my life and shut myself off from friends, family and my faith. My spirit was crushed and it seemed hope was nowhere to be found. Allowing myself to find refuge in the Lord was impossible, overwhelming and unnecessary (so I thought) during these times of darkness. I went through the motions of each day with such heaviness weighing me down that sleep was my only salvation. While sleeping, I did not have the nagging of loved ones urging me to seek out help to rejuvenate my spirit. While sleeping, the constant thoughts spinning in my head subsided for at least a short period of time. While sleeping, I was finally alone... or at least that's what I thought.
But God’s love for me was always present even when I didn’t recognize it.
God’s love for me presented itself very clearly on a cold January day. In the depths of despair, I came across a red ladybug that only I noticed in a room of people. This living creature took my breath away and filled me with the Holy Spirit. In that moment, I made the choice to surrender myself to God, to accept the help and love of others and to find the light I had been neglecting.
Timothy talks about how the Lord stands beside and gives us strength when it seems that we are all alone.
I know that through the times of doubt in myself and in my faith, God was always present with me even if I did not embrace the support or presence of the Lord. Even with the imperfections of myself, my faith, God is present in my life. It is humbling to serve a God with such patience, everlasting love. My faith is continually changing and growing but my prayers will always be valued and will be heard by a just and loving Lord.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frances is currently a PreSchool teacher in Bay Village, where she works with a group of loving, energetic, and busy three year olds. She is living in Lakewood and enjoying the excitement of the city of Cleveland. When Frances isn’t busy with children, she can be found spending time with her many cousins and friends. Frances enjoys collecting beach glass and lucky stones on the shores of Lake Erie throughout the year. She is trying to keep the art of letter writing alive by sending notes to friends and family in the mail.