By Nikita Lakatoo Persad
As a young child, broken relationships, unhappy marriages among them and not to mention my own parent’s divorce were my living examples when it came to love.
Then there were those I knew whose parents were the perfect example of a generally happy, long-lasting successful marriage. Yet, they too found themselves lost when it came to love.
So, I thought to myself, well I can’t just get married in the Catholic Church to a ‘good Catholic boy’ and automatically all is well. That’s not a given apparently. I must look deeper and more divinely.
“God is Love.” That’s something we always hear being preached and is usually a go-to reply when we want to say something nice and godly to someone, to seem nice and godly ourselves.
But do we believe it? Do we understand what that truly means? Do we live it? And if so, why is it so hard for us to go to the ‘Love Man’ Himself, Jesus, concerning our own love life?
Why do we limit our prayers to finances, health, business, education while neglecting prayers for love, a helpmate of God’s choosing, humility, sexuality between married couples?
Yes, the Holy Spirit also works in the bedroom, too! How do you think Abraham and Sarah were able to conceive Isaac in their old age? I mean, Abraham was 100 years old when his son was born and the same Spirit that stirred up their ‘ole’ loins then, is the same Spirit available to us, today.
When you read the title ’On My Way to Love’ the last thing you’re thinking of is a story of how a girl fell in love with her Maker, which in turn opened up the divine sweetness of God’s true love in all aspects of her life, but let me tell you, I had to unlearn everything I thought to be love to get here.
One thing that stands out as I think back is, as my personal relationship and love for my heavenly Father grew over the years, I stopped being typically and superficially attracted to the same type of guy.
I mean, as much as we are called to be spiritually conscious, we’re flesh and blood too and we all have that ‘type’, who instantly catches our eye in any and every room, whether we are aware of it or not.
And the more I ruminated on it, the more I came to realise, the same type of guy I would have liked in my early twenties couldn’t be the same type of guy I would be compatible with today, in my early thirties. Now that’s talking age and providing there was some sort of spiritual growth and maturity happening within me, between that time and continuing.
Just think for a minute, the type of guy you liked when you were much younger and oh-so-blissfully unaware of the harsh realities that await, like me, perhaps you asked yourself “what in the heeeezy?”
I understand this now but let me tell you before any growth was happening, I fell into more pattern than progress. I began to ask myself if all I’m doing is having a good time with this person with no real depth, spiritually or otherwise, nothing Godly really.
Is this person honestly compatible with me and the life I want for myself or am I allowing the flesh and physical attraction to outweigh what really matters in an equally yoked relationship?
I didn’t always get it right. I had my share of trial and errors I must admit, but it’s for that reason I journeyed deeper and began to look inward while opening my heart more and more to God’s love for me, what that truly means, and the love He intends for me through the people He placed and continue to place in my life.
Only after truly renouncing my past sins, honestly and openly confessing them, saying I’m sorry to those I’ve hurt and forgiving those that hurt me, I noticed real changes in my life.
It’s like God had put a filter between me and the world, only letting in who and what He wanted, while unveiling my eyes and ears to His truth.
In retrospect I can see how God separated me at certain times in my life for His purpose. Even when I couldn’t see or understand it at the time, He was working behind the ‘scenes’ of my life: fixing the lighting, making sure I was at the right marker at the right time, fitting me with the right wardrobe, feeding me my lines. He was and still is the director, producer, and casting director of my life.
I had a propensity for drinking heavy alcohol and liming away my woes, but the moment I said “Lord, I don’t want to continue this way”, I gave the Holy Spirit free reign in my life.
Now, when I drink my alcohol (I enjoy a beastly cold Mackeson especially while on the beach or sometimes if I’m cooking), it’s mostly with my husband and family accompanied with good music, food, and pure enjoyment.
It’s been my experience that God is not going to heal what we hide from Him. He didn’t force us in the beginning, and He won’t now. It’s always a personal decision which requires an open heart and a desire to be better than we have become.
However, there are occasions God hears the secret whispers, the hidden longings of our hearts like in my case, when I couldn’t find the words. I praise God for that.
I told someone recently, it’s not that we are short of messages from God, but we must have open hearts to receive and obedience to benefit from them. That is true for me.
I’ve been a Catholic all my life. I went to Holy Mass every weekend and sometimes during the week. I was just going through the motion, looking the part but during every homily there I was, folding bow ties out of dollar bills, with not even a soupçon of spiritual motivation. As far as being Catholic, I was good on paper but lacking in heart. A Catholic with no prayer life.
I often tell the Lord, if I only knew that falling in Love with Him in this way would make me as peaceful and as content as I am, with myself and by extension my life as a whole, I wouldn’t have fought Him every step of the way.
But we go through what we go through, I guess, not so much for ourselves, but so that we can be used to help others. I’m not as brave or as confident as I may seem in the words of these articles, nor do I think I’ve figured it all out.
I’m still learning, still growing, still navigating wife-hood and mother-hood but as one beloved Catholic priest often reminds us, “We do not labour on our own, but we labour with the help of Heaven” – basically echoing God’s Word, His promise to us that the Helper, the Holy Spirit given to us, is the greatest teacher of every subject area.
And if my experiences can be of help or encouragement to someone, I am humbled and blessed by it. It was CS Lewis who once wrote, “Experience: that most brutal of teachers, but you learn, my God do you learn.”