It’s been four years since someone told me that Charlie’s addiction to pornography was my fault. Last night I thought of that night. I thanked God for the opportunity He blessed me with to grow in virtue (or attempt to grow in virtue, I do a bad job of striving for perfection). I hadn’t thought of that night in a long time, a really long time actually. First, I cried, as I recalled the persons words and how they penetrated my sensitive heart like a deadly hurricane hitting the coast. I remember getting in my car four years ago and driving to the adoration chapel. No one was there so I screamed, Who am I? What am I here for? Are you my Father or not? What do you want from me?
I heard nothing. And that made the tears flow even more rapidly. I got back in my car and drove to swim practice. The pain made me numb and I just wanted to feel something, so I accelerated. I screamed out again, Who am I? Again nothing, so I accelerated a second time, as the tears turned to torrents which streamed down my face and clouded my vision.
A few moments later, as I continued to accelerate, I was tempted to take my own life by smashing my car into the cement median in the road. The devil whispered that the pain would finally be gone if I did this. I wanted to end the pain, but knew in my heart that this would mean he had won. And if I lived for one reason only it would be so that the devil wouldn’t win this battle. So I shouted for a third time, Who am I? Do You love me? The Rosary beads that were wrapped around my rear view mirror began to sway when I asked those questions. In my heart I heard the following from the Father, Maura, you are My daughter. You are precious in My sight and more beautiful than you can imagine. I am your Father and I love you. The Rosary beads ceased swinging and I slowed down grateful to be alive. In my heart I felt the Father’s peace. My recovery from the effects of his addiction to pornography was long and hard, but I will forever choose to see the beauty in the cross.
Last night when I thought of this night, several thing came to mind. First of which, Blessed be God that I am alive and praise Him for the gift of life and the beauty of grace and forgiveness. Back in college I couldn’t run in the daylight, look at myself in the mirror, wear make-up, curl my hair, wear shorts, short sleeves or sleeveless shirts, among countless other things. I even had to wear clothes in the shower. Everywhere I turned I was reminded of my reflection and how my alleged ugliness had caused someone to become addicted and or stay addicted to pornography. Everything that was beautiful about me and the world, pornography had twisted my mind into believing was ugly.
What a lie!
Last night was actually really beautiful because I saw my progress over the years and the healing our Heavenly Father has blessed me with. I am grateful! I can now run during the day, I love make-up and curling my hair and wore a sleeveless dress a few hours before I relived the memory. I don’t even think twice about doing those things, and that my friends is the power of God! Blessed be God! His love is transforming and His mighty Hands are healing and comforting.
While I will always find pornography to be revolting, there is beauty in the cross.
The Father has given each of us a cross, often more than one. My friends we must carry it with love for Him. With joy in our hearts we must thank Him for the opportunity to grow closer to Him and for the chance to unite our sufferings to His. We must carry it lovingly to Heaven.
Do you carry your cross with love, joy and hope in your heart? Let’s do it together – let’s inspire and encourage each other in our journey to Heaven.
Life is full of ambiguity – the joy of new life, sorrow of death, the beauty of love, the pain of loss and the cross of suffering, which coupled with grace can be transformed into immense joy and love when one makes the choice to see beauty. For beauty is everywhere, even in suffering.
Stay tuned: Part 2 of this post will be published tomorrow.