I was friends with Travis for almost two years. We were good friends, too—I even helped pick out the engagement ring he gave to his high-school sweetheart. A few months later he called off that engagement to attend seminary, but just like the wild plot of some Catholic rom-com, we realized shortly thereafter we were more than friends. We realized, in fact, that we were in love and after dating for two weeks we had a wedding date; six months later we were married.
I married a hardworking man who loved God, His Church, and me. He was my best friend and everything should have been great. But, I could not believe that he was happy with his choice. Every day I lived in fear that he was still in love with his ex, that he regretted marrying me, and that he didn’t love me. We fought about it often and my stubborn, hard heart held tightly to this dumb lie. And it was a lie, because the truth of the matter is that Travis has never loved anyone the way he loves me.
Here God had done something so amazing, and because of the hardness of my heart I refused to rejoice in it.
Needless to say, I can relate to those Jews in the Gospel who went to the Pharisees. They had been with Lazarus’ sister Mary and had seen him rise from the dead! Talk about God doing something amazing! And yet, Saint John relays to us in his Gospel that instead of believing in and following Jesus they, “went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.” (John 11:46) Because of the hardness of their hearts they were not open to the good news. They refused to rejoice in what God had done, and instead they lived in fear.
I missed out on a great deal of good in the early years of my marriage because I refused to believe that I was lovable and that God would give me a man better than the man of my dreams. The Pharisees missed out on their God and Savior who was right before them because they refused to believe that God would work in such a way.
In what way is your heart hard? What needs to be softened, or perhaps even broken, so that God may fill it with every good thing? What dumb lie are you clinging to that is robbing you of joy? Don’t be like us stubborn fools—reject those lies and focus on the good that God has given you.
Be honest with yourself and take inventory of your self-hurting lies. List them out and cross them off! Take them to prayer, trusting in God’s beautiful love for you.
Bonnie Engstrom is a writer, baker, speaker, and homemaker. She, her husband, and seven children live in central Illinois, and her son’s alleged miraculous healing through the intercession of Venerable Fulton Sheen was submitted to the Vatican for Sheen’s beatification. Bonnie pretends she has a green thumb, bakes a fantastic chocolate chip cookie, loves naps and chai tea, and blogs. You can find out more about her here.