Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. // Matthew 10:37-39
Several years ago, I spent my birthday in El Salvador, away from my husband and our six children. I had been invited to witness and write about a Catholic charity serving impoverished women and children, and the dates of the trip coincided with my special day.
On that trip, I had a moment that I include among the happiest of my life. The day before my birthday, the group visited a nearby town, and we found our way to a Catholic church on the square. I was able to spend just a few minutes kneeling before the altar, and in those moments, I felt an experience of God’s love more deeply than I ever had before. He was there, inside my heart, burning with love for me.
In that moment, I was overcome with a great awareness of all that God had given me: Of the love of my husband and children and parents and siblings. Of the gift of good friendship and good counsel. It all hit me in a wave, actually in several waves over several minutes. All this goodness, this deep knowledge of the love in my life—and it all came through God’s great love for me.
Instead of missing my family while I was away, I was overwhelmed with a deep, abiding love for them.
Before that moment, I knew and recognized all the goodness God had poured out on me. But when God infused me with His love in those few minutes, I was able to feel that goodness in a new, more profound way.
The only way I can experience a deep love for my father and mother, my sons and daughter—and my husband!—is to love God more. To put God first means that I am filled with a love that can only come from Him, a love that creates more love, that recognizes love, that gives love freely. This is the life we find when we lose ourselves.
We give God everything we have, and, in return, we find richness beyond our imagination.Give God everything. //. Rachel Balducci Click To Tweet