I love to be loved. I love knowing my husband loves me, my children love me and my friends love me. I love the feeling of intimacy and security being loved brings.
Lately I have noticed myself needing that love a little too much. I have noticed when the love that I am giving is rejected, the hurt I feel wounds deeply. Words that teenagers say in the heat of the moment sting sharply and cut at the heart of who I am as a mother. The fluidity of our daily life, the constant coming and going, has kept me on edge and I am feeling stretched in a way that mandates me calling on the Lord for realignment and focus.
I’m reevaluating things there in my heart. I’ve always been about relationships. I seek them, form them, share them. I’m wondering if perhaps my focus should be more on the relationship my children have with Jesus than the relationship they have with me.
If my children are in a relationship with Jesus then they are in a relationship with me, because if you are in a relationship with Jesus then you know love and not only know how to give and receive love but you desire to do it, because you know the joy it brings. If my friends are in a relationship with Jesus, then they too shine with joy and love. Sometimes we all need reminders that we are in a relationship with Jesus. Relationships take work. Investment is key.
But how? Of course there are the usual ways to introduce Jesus to your children, family and friends. We go to Mass, read stories of saints, share fellowship with others who know and love Him. But it goes deeper than that.
My son once said as he and I spoke about discernment, “Mom, I know who Jesus is, I just don’t know Him.” That struck me because I had though that was what we had been doing; knowing Him. I thought all the Rosaries, camps, prayers, novenas, etc were raising our kids in the faith. I am sure all these experiences are beneficial, but what they really need is to learn to take time to be with Jesus. It is in the stillness and the quiet remembrance that there is so much more than me and my desires in this world. That sometimes my desires, even if holy and good, can cloud the path to relationship with too much doing and not enough being.
Relationship begins with an invitation. If I want you to meet a friend of mine, I tell you about them. We go and visit them. In the beginning its a constant back and forth of phone calls or texts as funny new things are shared. Relationship requires vulnerability. As the relationship builds, we might share a struggle, ask how we can help, show a random act of kindness that says this relationship is worth investing in. This can be built between our children and the Lord. We spend a great deal of time in my church on evangelization.
I’ve been asking myself: Am I building these relationships within my family? Within my friends? Heck, do I desire it for all whom I encounter? Do I desire that others have more of a relationship with Jesus than they do with me? The answer is yes. From Dave the Facebook friend to my sleeping daughter upstairs to even the person I am most struggling to be in relationship with, I desire them to be in relationship with Jesus more than me, because I know that that is an eternal relationship. I know that time here is fleeting and that our time in heaven is eternal. I have a vision of a relationship right now that is very broken here on Earth and that I cannot fix being ever so well in Heaven; of embracing that person in the kingdom and us knowing that Christ made it well.
I’m on a journey. There is more to ponder, write and flesh out as I seek to bring about this in my relationships. For now, I’m putting it out there as a thought, maybe a challenge and a prayer that this brings healing.
Copyright 2019 MaryBeth Eberhard