Once upon a time, there was a Lisa that I really liked. It was a bit of a long time ago, but she left an impression on me, and I want to be like her again.
I had always hoped that I would be like that someday, but I worried that I may never find the inspiration. But indeed it did happen and lasted about 6-8 months or so. It was one of the most beautiful times of my spiritual life.
I had met a guy that really impressed me, and from that very short encounter, my little head and heart finally aligned and my eyes firmly focused on Jesus. The things of this world just didn't matter as much, and--without anyone knowing--I went 6-8 months without buying anything for pleasure. I even ran out of light bulbs but just made myself thankful for the light that I did have.
I had this quiet and simple joy that I carried around with me, and I'm sure he was oblivious. Of course he was. He had no idea, and even if I had explained it to him, it wouldn't have made sense probably.
I wish that I could tell you that I did it for intrinsic purposes, but I did not. All my sacrifices were joyfully done for him. And as the sacrificing continued, it only got easier. I felt sustained by my prayer life, and praying became something that I couldn't wait to do -- and so I'd do it as soon as I got home from work.
The way I viewed the world changed greatly at this time. I felt like I beheld even strangers with dignity and love. It is funny how when certain things align, so does the rest of your life. And, for the first time in my life, I was getting 8 hours of sleep every night and exercising three times a week. Every month, I had an extra $1,000 in my savings account. I was charged to handle more responsibility, and I could. There were about 25 distinct and unique improvements to my life that I just couldn't credit to myself. God's grace was reigning down!
They say that really special things happen only once in a lifetime and cannot be repeated, but I have proof to believe otherwise. This was the SECOND time in my life where God had gifted me with a beautiful time of spiritual grace. And it is so important to focus on the fact that it was indeed a GIFT from God and not anything that I could bring upon myself. And, lest I should begin to think that it was something that I myself had brought about, God--in His infinite mercy--would lend me for a moment to my own devices and I would stumble and fall and need Him all over again.
It was the Rosary that I prayed daily in both of these beautiful times of my life. Our Blessed Mother is such an awesome intercessor, as she helps us to focus on her Son. Even if one should pray the Rosary sloppily (as I unfortunately did often, falling asleep before I finished or rushing through it in order to get done), the repeated attempts must be something that endears us to her, and so she was indeed an advocate for me. I love her so much!
Both beautiful times came to an end when I permitted sin to enter my life and stopped appreciating the graces God was willing to give. In the first instance, I had grown confident that the earthly happiness I enjoyed was due mostly to my own efforts, and so I began to make plans, banking on the certainty of earthly things rather than investing my confidence in God alone. Now that I think about it, the second epoch ended for the same reason, and I thank God that I am able to understand that at this moment.
With things so clearly laid out before me in this blog, perhaps it seems silly to you, dear reader, that I should be struggling to be that girl again. Do I not have the blue print right before me? "Pray the Rosary! Fast and make sacrifices!" I know precisely what I must do to lead a better life for God, and yet--even when I think I've "learned" a lesson--it doesn't become real until it's gone from my head to my heart.
Please pray for me that I lose any unhealthy worldly desires and keep my focus on God. I crave to be in a better place!