By Grace Buchheit
I got this.
Why should I ask for help?
Just keep pushing forward and focus on others.
I’m supposed to serve, right?
These were some of the things I would tell myself when I became worn out or felt like I had nothing left to give. I always tried to be there for others, whether it was being that shoulder to cry on, the listening ear, or the steady rock when it seemed that everything was falling apart. But when it came to my own feelings, I tended to push them away, thinking that as long as I was taking care of others, I was okay.
This began with my family, as I tried to support my siblings through tough times, and then I took this same mindset into a leadership position I was placed in. As I continued to give, I began feeling more and more empty, but in my stubbornness, I refused to allow others (and our Lord) to care for and support me.
And then I heard a talk on vulnerability and the importance of receiving love. That talk hit me hard, and afterwards, I went to the Adoration chapel and cried for a hot minute (I have no idea how long it actually was). I just sat there in front of the Eucharist reflecting on the times I had rejected our Lord’s love. And then I spoke to Him. I told him I was sorry, and He received me. Jesus broke down my walls of pride and received every part of my broken self and continues to receive me every time I come to Him. I realized that Christ wants us to receive His love, just as much as He wants us to love Him. Christ desires us to give him our hearts, to allow him to hold our hearts in his gentle hands, close to his Sacred Heart.
After this encounter, I entrusted my heart to our Lord to be loved by Him, I gradually began to allow others in as well. I began to share my own emotions and struggles with friends and family and allow them to care for me. When I received love from those around me, I found I was able to love and give of myself more fully.
You see, this is what we are called to: we are called to love others, but we can’t very well do that if we don’t have anything to give. That which we are called to give is ourselves. Let us run to our Father every day, to be filled with His love, a love that never ends, never runs dry, so that we can better serve every person we encounter with His perfect love.
This all sounds pretty simple, right? Looking back now, I wonder why I wasn’t able to see this earlier in my life. But then I see how God’s timing is better than anything I could imagine on my own and the good that God brings out of all my mess is a beautiful thing. Run to the Father—He’s waiting to fill you with a love that will never end, and that is literally Christ himself.
We love because He first loved us.1 John 4:19