Good Enough.

Lately, I’ve really been struggling with the idea that I’m not good enough, no matter how hard I try. A couple of days ago I wrote a letter to my brother who identifies as transgender and as far as I know, he doesn’t believe in God. I guess it’s not necessarily that he doesn’t believe in God, but he doesn’t have faith in Him and sort of rejects Him.

I wrote him a letter because I think that he thinks that I don’t love him or want to be around him because he’s transgender, and that I condemn him because of it, which isn’t true at all. I love my brother deeply and I just want him to know that he is still good and capable of being loved, and in fact, he still is loved.

In this letter I quoted the book of Genesis when it said, “God looked at every thing that he had made and found it very good.” I then continued to tell my brother that I said that because when God created him as male, God saw that it was good, and that he was made that way for a reason.

I feel so ridiculous for saying these things to my brother when I struggle with self-esteem and the thought that I’m not good enough. But that part of scripture in Genesis really speaks to me : I am good. God made me, and he made me good. I am enough. Even when I feel that I’m not enough: not skinny enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, I am still enough for our Lord and Creator, and that brings me comfort.

It reminds me of the movie The Chronicles of Narnia The Voyage of the Dawn Treader when Lucy wants to be looked at as beautiful like her sister Susan. And she practically wants to be Susan, but Aslan comes to her and says that by wanting to look like her sister and practically be her sister that she is wishing herself away and he says , “You doubt your value. Don’t run from who you are.”

That’s my problem and I’m going to also say that it’s my brother’s problem. We doubt our value and we’re running from who we are supposed to be. I run towards Christ, but even though I know he sees me as being good enough, I don’t accept that, because I want to be accepted by every one else, when in reality that doesn’t even matter. Jesus Himself says, “If they hate you, know that they hated me first.”

My brother on the other hand, seems to run as fast as he can away from Christ and wants to be like everyone else, he too wants to be accepted by the world and wants to be someone other than the one God created him to be.

To sum it all up, Christ accepts you, Christ wills your existence and loves you unconditionally, and in the end, that is all that matters.

Taste and see the Goodness of the Lord

This weekend I had the amazing opportunity to go with some friends to Benedictine College in Kansas. I stayed with the Regnum Christi house while at Benedictine, this is a journal entry I wrote while there:

“Benedictine College is so extremely beautiful. I feel that God is pulling me here. It feels like home, even though I’m out of my comfort zone. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt something so strongly deep inside of me as I do right now. I know my parents might not fully support this decision, but I feel that God wills it, and if He wants it, I want it too. There are so many Catholics here. They are passionate about their faith and have such a great love for Christ. Staying with the Regnum Christi girls, praying with them, talking about Jesus, and just loving each other brings me such extreme joy and hope. I feel like I’ve grown so much as a person and a young Catholic woman just by being here, and knowing that it was God’s will that I got to experience this. It’s given me so much more depth not only to my love of Christ, but to my life in general. This whole weekend, I’ve been surrounded with the love of these girls and I felt Jesus pouring out His love over me. I’ve come to know and realize the Father’s love because of this wonderful experience. I also got to sit in on a New Evangelization class, and it was amazing. We talked about Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation: The Joy of the Gospel – Evangelii Gaudium. I’ve never read it before, but now, I want to. It was so beautiful how passionate the teacher was about the faith, and not only teaching it, but helping the students spread it. I enjoyed the class so much that I could’ve listened to the teacher talk for hours. I feel like my friendship with the girls I came with has deepened so much too. I’ve come to realize that our friendship is so genuine. I’ve realized that they don’t just hang out with me because they have no one else, but because they choose me. That makes me think of the priest’s homily at Mass on Saturday at Benedictine. He talked about how God doesn’t need us – He wants us. He chooses us. That is true love. This weekend, I’ve encountered Christ so much. I feel so extremely loved by being surrounded by my brothers and sisters in Christ. Especially at Benedictine. I think that’s why I feel so drawn to go there. I feel so wanted and loved. Praise God.”

In case you couldn’t tell, this weekend was such a life changing experience for me. This weekend, I also realized that I need to stop seeking a relationship (boyfriend) and just be satisfied with Christ. At Mass on Saturday night, one of the music ministry girls sang a song that I later found out that she wrote herself, that was about the prayer by St. Anthony of Padua: Be Satisfied with Me. It goes like this:

Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone. To have a deep soul relationship with another, to be loved thoroughly and exclusively. But to a Christian, God says, “No, not until you are satisfied, fulfilled and content with being loved by Me alone, with giving yourself totally and unreservedly to Me. With having an intensely personal and unique relationship with Me alone. Discovering that only in Me is your satisfaction to be found, will you be capable of the perfect human relationship that I have planned for you. You will never be united to another until you are united with Me. Exclusive of anyone or anything else. Exclusive of any other desires or longings. I want you to stop planning, to stop wishing, and allow Me to give you the most thrilling plan existing…one you cannot imagine. I want you to have the best. Please allow Me to bring it to you. You just keep watching Me, expecting the greatest things. Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I am. Keep listening and learning the things that I tell you. Just wait, that’s all. Don’t be anxious, don’t worry, don’t look around at things others have gotten, or that I have given them. Don’t look around at the things you think you want. Just keep looking off and away up to Me, or you’ll miss what I want to show you. And then, when you’re ready, I’ll surprise you with a love far more wonderful that you could dream of. You see, until you are ready, and until the one I have for you is ready, I am working even at this moment to have you both ready at the same time. Until you are both satisfied exclusively with Me, and the life I prepared for you. You won’t be able to experience the love that exemplified your relationship with me. And this is perfect love. And dear one, I want you to have this most wonderful love. I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with Me, and to enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting union of beauty, perfection and love that I offer you with Myself. Know that I love you utterly, I AM God. Believe it and be satisfied.”

To tell you the truth, that prayer is the most beautiful and comforting thing I’ve ever read in my life. I feel like everything that I experienced this weekend has been tied together. I feel that my relationship with God the Father has deepened and that I know His love for me as His daughter. I feel that I came back from Benedictine knowing God the Father better than I’ve ever known Him. And that in order to love another, I have to be satisfied with Him alone, and I feel like He keeps satisfying me more and more. Because of this, I don’t even have the desire to seek a romantic relationship anymore.

When I got home, I told my parents, and my aunt who happens to be staying with us about the class that I went to and how much I loved it and told them how I felt like God was telling me that Benedictine was where I was supposed to be. And my aunt (who is not Catholic) pretty much says that it was great that I loved the class, but how is that even gonna happen? How are you going to be able to afford that school? It’s great that you’re passionate, but you can’t have that. I held off the tears and went to my room and prayed to Jesus, “Jesus, why don’t they understand that I feel like this is your will for me to go here, and that it’s where I’m supposed to be. And that if it is your will, it will be. Why can’t they realize that I feel that YOU want this for me?” I sat kneeling on the floor sobbing to Jesus just asking Him why no one was being supportive since I thought that was what He was calling me to.

My mom came in and we sat down and I talked to her about the weekend and how good the Jesus has been to me by allowing me to experience this college and these beautiful people who were so much like me. I told her so sincerely, “Mom, Jesus has been so good to me.” Immediately after I began to sob even harder than I had been before and just kept saying “Jesus is so good, I know His goodness. I know His goodness.”

The Lord is SO good to me. Praise God. Praise God.

May it be done unto me.

The other day on my local Catholic radio, I heard someone talking about how hard it must have been for Mary, carrying Christ in her womb. Imagine, she, being around the age of 14, was probably mocked and made fun of, because some people didn’t understand that she truly was going to give birth to the Savior of the world. She risked so much just by saying “yes” to God and His will.

Honestly, I never really noticed how much Mary must have been mocked and judged because for one, she was pregnant outside of marriage (yes, it was God’s doing, but some people didn’t understand that).

Mary had so much courage to live out God’s will.

I’ve really started meditating on Mary, and thinking about the sacrifice she made for us as well. She carried Christ for us. That’s why we, as Catholics look up to her so much, and place her higher than any other saint. She is the mother of God, and also our mother.

Lately, I’ve been kind of stressed out about school and work. Sometimes I feel like God is giving me too much to handle. I know God’s telling me, “Dominique, you’re doing fine. I am with you, and I won’t leave you.” I try so hard to live a life of virtue and let me tell you, that is very hard to do in today’s day and age. I try to listen to God, help the poor, and do His will, and you know, that’s really not an easy thing to do. I have dreams of my own, but God’s plan for me is even greater. It’s so hard to grasp this.

I’ve heard it said that you’ll never be asked for anything more than Mary was, and that was simply, “yes”

I want to always be able to say yes to God, for whatever He asks of me. And when you think about it, God never asks for anything but your life, your heart, and your love. I know that seems like a ton, but compared to what His son gave us, that’s very little.

This year, try to listen to the voice of God, and when He asks you to do something difficult, let us respond with the words of our mother, Mary,

“Let it be done unto me according to thy word.”

May we all accept what is sent to us — even when it is hard. Especially when it is hard.