In the Pursuit of Happiness, I found Wholeness

When I started my fast, I made an intention to live it fully in grace so I could get the most out of it. It tore open my heart to ideas and new virtues I was finally able to embrace. I became okay with silence; no need to impress others with words. I became patience in situations not under my control. I became grateful for the daily duties at work which opened the doors to a new job offer. I found that if you are not happy with what you have, you cannot receive more.

“For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance” (Matt 13:12).

Allowing Christ to live vibrantly through me in gratitude forced me to look inward for happiness. In situations I could complain, I learned to let it go.  Keeping my tongue positive made temptation flee. The more you complain about a task at hand, the harder it is to focus on it.

I am still practicing on taking my foot out of my mouth concerning my observations with others. The rule of thumb is asking yourself if your words build up the Kingdom of God or tear it down. I used to think honesty was the best option and it is. But there are ways to tell others how they can improve their communication with you in a constructive way. People cannot be categorized in a personality type, they are all unique. Learning to communicate and listen to each one can increase your effectiveness in ministry.

Learning communication skills and virtues were far from my mind when I started this fast, but I found myself in the grace of self-improvement. When you empty yourself out to God, He fills you up with the nourishment you need. Beyond the lessons of virtues, I learned the greatest lesson of all– Love.

Through obtaining self-control in the area of food, I learned I am worth loving. I don’t have to continue that patterns of my past abuse against the temple God has created for His dwelling. I can love myself where I am and understand where I came from.  I am making one step closer to dedicating myself to God’s work within the Body of Christ; the Church.

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About Vanessa Grace

Vanessa Grace has been writing poetry since she was 13 years old. Since then, she has been awarded four editor choice awards from the International Library of Poetry and is published in multiple poetry collection books. Nobel House selected her work for publication and included one of her poems in the Favorite Memories collection between 2006 and 2007. Vanessa recently graduated with her masters in Theological Studies from the John Paul II Institute in Washington, D.C.; her undergraduate studies were in Journalism and Media Studies with an emphasis in Integrated Marketing Communications and a minor in Communication. Prior to moving to D.C., Vanessa completed an extensive Theology of the Body training course with Katrina Zeno, coordinator for the John Paul II Resource Center in Phoenix, AZ. She has served in youth and young adult ministry since 2005 and written for Lifeteen.com while interning for them in 2010. After converting to Catholicism as a teen, Vanessa served with Life Teen youth ministry programs for eight years. Through this site, Vanessa hopes her poetry will inspire others to find hope and healing through the grace of God. To contact the author, email vanessagrace33@gmail.com
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