During my early college years, I was often frustrated that God didn't work on my timeline. If God had just listened and followed my plan, I would have been dating by sophomore year, engaged by the end of my junior year, and have my life goals mapped out by the end of my senior year.
God didn't get the memo.
I spent a good semester moping about how my life didn't look like what I had expected it to. Then I (very slowly) began to see the beauty in how God's plan was playing out in my life. I wasn't very docile to what God had planned, but God was still working with my messy and reluctant heart.
The winter of my junior year, I ran across a prayer credited to Saint Anthony of Padua called 'Be Satisfied with Me'. It quickly became the anthem of my prayer life, dating fast, and general discernment.
“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, Full 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 than you could dream of.
You see, until you are ready, I am working even at this moment. Be satisfied exclusively with me.”
I loved the prayer so much that when I gave a talk on chastity as a Prayer and Action staff member in the summer of 2015, I printed copies of it off for reflections afterwards. When Joseph and I started dating, I regularly pulled out the prayer and reflected on it.
After Joseph and I got married, I naively thought the prayer wouldn't be applicable in my life anymore. After all, I'd prayed the prayer as I discerned marriage. I was working on finding that intensely personal and unique relationship with Christ AND He had introduced Joseph and I to each other and led us towards our vocation together.
But even though I had discerned marriage with a man who I love and who leads me closer to Christ, I quickly found out that Joseph was not called to satisfy me. And I couldn't satisfy him. We were both messy human beings who couldn't fulfill the role that Christ was supposed to have in our lives.
Marriage, even though it was beautiful and good, couldn't fulfill the desires of my heart and my yearning for an unconditional love. So, during these past 7 months of marriage, I've continued to work on my relationship with Christ.
Then last night I pulled that prayer out during our adoration hour again and it hit me.
I was still thinking that God wasn't working according to my plan. At 22 years old, my life dosn't look like I thought it would.
I wouldn't have ever imagined losing a baby within our first year of marriage and the stretching and growth that comes from that. But as I reflected through Saint Anthony's prayer, I slowly began to realize that even a good thing like having a baby would not fulfill the deep desires and aches of my heart.
Are you satisfied with Christ alone? Or are you constantly looking forward to what is next in life? Don't get stuck waiting for the 'next' in each stage of your life. I spent too much time during college waiting for the 'next' of marriage. I thought that the only thing that could make me happier than being married was being a mother, and I waited for that 'next', too. But as I've stopped looking around the corner and instead focused on the here and now, I've found that satisfaction is much more possible.
Be satisfied with Christ, and His plan for your life that is better than your wildest dreams. Although your life may not look just what you wanted, His plan is good (even when we don't understand it). Trust Him and be satisfied with Him - He isn't going to disappoint you.