Two years ago, I stumbled into a conference in a giant hotel in Orlando, FL in search of something. And all I took home with me was this lousy sticker that read “I’m worth waiting for!”
A little like this gem….
I’m kidding. Kinda. It wasn’t lousy at all. It was beautiful. But I was scared of it. When I was handed that sticker, I remember thinking “Okay… where can I hide this but still have it on my person? Because I totally think it’s true, but I don’t know if anyone else will….”
WOW. WHAT?! Girls are dumb sometimes. I’ll be the first to admit it. What was I thinking? Why was I so afraid to believe that I, Emily Martinez, was worth waiting for? And it’s not just me. So many of the women in my life today, are secretly thinking the same thing. Why would any good guy wait for me? What is special about me?
Ladies, this is what we must fight. Why is it so easy to believe this lie? Why is it easier to hide the “I’m worth waiting for” sticker, rather than wear it right over our hearts? I think it’s because we are afraid that the minute we let go and believe it, we have allowed ourselves to be vulnerable. We put the sticker on our heart, pulled our hands away and now the real trust comes in.
I stuck the sticker on the backside of my name tag, thinking that was a really “low key yet cool” place for it. But, ya know, by the end of that conference, I really loved when that sticker could be seen around my neck. I really liked feeling like I was worth something. (What a crazy idea…)
Now, let’s fast-forward two years to my second SEEK conference, not as a student but as a FOCUS missionary. I was reminded of so many things, but mostly that girls still struggle with the same thoughts that I struggled with. A few of the girls I love more than anything in the world were hurting, so I spoke to them about their true worth and dignity. But it didn’t feel like enough.
I went into the adoration chapel because, gosh, sometimes you just need to let Jesus silence the 50 billion thoughts and emotions going through your head all at once. Finally, when I felt at peace, I started to give the Lord everything that was in my heart. I was so confused that all these talks about beautiful marriages and pure relationships and the joy of waiting were still NOT enough. Not enough to ease their hearts. Not enough to conquer their fears. Not enough.
And then, I hit the root of it. Why do we still feel not enough? And why were my words still not enough to help those women in my life who were struggling to see their beauty? I started to look at my own life. 24 years old… Single…. and on a dating fast… (Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke…) And then for some reason I thought of that darn sticker. “I’m worth waiting for.” And I looked at Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and said in my heart something like this,
“Lord, my gosh, look how far we’ve come. I know I will wait for him. I’ve learned so much from you! I will wait. I don’t settle anymore. I don’t “take what I can get”. I don’t make exceptions anymore. I’m listening to your will. I know better now. You’ve taught me so much in the past two years. Thank you.”
And then I paused. And I turned away from Jesus. And I found myself thinking “But why would HE wait? He won’t wait. Why would he wait?” Sounds familiar….
And then, as if cutting into my personal conversation with myself, Jesus truly spoke to my heart.
“I did. I waited. I am waiting. I will wait. And don’t you want him to be like me?”
And then Jesus dropped the mic and walked away. Ha.
For once, I was speechless. All I could do was sit there, in awe at the amount of love our Lord has for each one of us individually. I was overwhelmed by His love. His straight up CRAZY love.
Ladies (and Gents), if you don’t believe my words, believe His.
He waited. Oh man, did he wait. And he never gave up on me. He never turned away.
My favorite story in the bible is the prodigal son (Guess why?). The father splits his share of the estate between his two sons, and the younger son takes the money and runs. Goes out, has a “great time”, spends it all, and is left empty and without love. After a long while, the son decides to swallow his pride and return home, in hopes that despite his father’s anger, he will still be allowed to work as a servant. But that is not the case at all. His father is waiting for him at the gate, not with anger but with compassion. And he has been waiting. Just looking at the abandoned road, praying that his son will one day walk it again. He doesn’t let his eyes leave that road. And when he saw his son approaching, “He ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.” How utterly beautiful.
The Lord is always waiting for us. Always. It is never too late, and it is never too soon to turn to him. Every time we fall, he is waiting to help us up and heal us of our wounds. Every time we succeed, He is waiting to grace us with his proud smile. He is the KING of waiting. So, ladies, why not be the Queen?
If you’re worried right now that you’re not enough, that you are unworthy of the wait, I pray that you drop what you’re doing, and run back home to the Lord. Get to a chapel, kneel down, and see Him waiting for you. Because He is. And he has a beautiful plan for your life. You are worthy of the wait.
So put that sticker on your heart! And a smile on your face! Because the Lord is faithful. And He is waiting to prove that to you.
“Patience is power. Patience is not an absence of action; rather it is “timing” it waits on the right time to act, for the right principles and in the right way.”
–Fulton J. Sheen
So. I lied. I didn’t just leave with a lousy sticker after my first SEEK. I also left with this lousy prayer. HA. And it rocked me. So, ladies and gentlemen alike, when times get rough, try this on for size.
Praying for you all.
Be Satisfied with Me
by St. Anthony of Padua
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 than 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 both of you 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.