One of my favorite church hymns is “There is a Longing in Our Hearts.” Every time I sing it, I am moved to tears. This is the reason why…
I have been dreaming about love ever since I was a child.
Yes, my life, even at eight years old, was a perpetual longing for love.
I didn’t really know what kind of love my heart was longing for at that time. I was too young to understand, but I remember feeling a strong need to belong, to be cherished and to be protected.
I remember my sister and I used to play dress up and we took turns being the “bride.”
I also remember sitting on my bed writing songs during my youth. There was one song I remember in particular. I used to sing it in front of the mirror. It was a beautiful sad song about a girl who was so in love with a guy, but he did not know anything about her feelings, so their roads never really met.
I was so in love with love, but it was a love without face, a love without voice…
Still, I had many years to “find the one” and I always had in my parents a safe and happy place to turn to, so all this daydreaming about love kind of worked for a while.
All of the sudden, my life changed when I was only 17. My dad passed away, so the person I looked to as a reference for a man of God, of love, of respect, was lost to me in a storm of grief.
My world came down in pieces.
I felt so lonely. My heart needed a safe place to rest more than ever.
I cried and I prayed many nights, trying to make sense of the emptiness and pain that mom, my siblings and I felt without dad.
I knew Jesus was there. Somewhere.
I needed His mercy and His love more than ever.
I needed His companionship and wisdom.
My faith was faint, but it was still there. Joining the music ministry helped me to maintain the tiny connection that I had with God at the time, but I still had so many questions. I was hesitant on trusting the Lord, so I gave Jesus the role of spectator, instead of the leader of my journey.
I was determined to find love, no matter what, but every time I tried to date a guy, it didn’t last long.
By the time I was in college, finding love became a little bit of an obsession.
I was so afraid of the possibility of never recognizing “the one” in the crowds and of him never loving me back, just like in that song I had written many years ago.
Some lights shined in my path during that time, but the only things I found when I ran after them were disappointment and pain.
My relationship with God was still not the best. But I approached Him with my demanding prayers and my inflexible will. I would ask Him for things like: “Lord, please, make this guy fall in love with me.”
I was spiritually and emotionally hungry. I spent most of my precious 20’s longing, searching, aching, and once again, without really asking the Lord what His will was for me. Now, I realize that I was not letting Him be God because I thought I knew better.
At 25 years old, the skies were gray and my future, blurry. The more I longed for true love, the harder it became to find it. I didn’t understand. My friends started to get married and I couldn’t seem to find my own definition of “real love.”
The years passed. By the grace of God, little by little, I started to realize that nothing I could say or do was going to give me what my heart really wanted. Because I didn’t really know what I was looking for.
One day during Mass, I finally heard in my heart a new prayer that changed my life forever:
“Lord, please give me the opportunity to start a family in your Holy Name.”
I felt my soul burning as I repeated these words in my mind. At that very moment, I finally recognized Him as the Lord of my life! And from then on, He started to reveal His perfect plan to me.
All my heart really needed was God. I needed to get along with Him first, as a true friend, to contemplate His face and see what love really looked like, and how loved I already was!
I needed to put Him as the center of my life, to surrender to His will and give Him total control of my present and my future.
Entrusting my life to Jesus, I started to grow in friendship with Him. Realizing how powerless I was, I saw the greatness of His love and His mercy.
Prayers started to flow more often from my heart. I prayed the Rosary. I made an effort to listen attentively to the voice of God during Mass. I promised myself that I would stop searching for a relationship to fill up my interior emptiness. Peace started to enter into my days.
I decided to make good use of my free time reconnecting with my mom, whom I love so much and who had been so patient with me on this journey.
Little by little, the Lord broke my attachments of the past, revived my soul and prepared my heart to receive the greatest gift I could ever longed for: my husband and my children.
The pain of all these years was the biggest blessing of my life. In the cross of loneliness, heartache and frustration, in all that I called “nonsense,” the Lord was leading me, taking me into His arms.
I am so thankful for my personal Advent. Through this long season of waiting, God’s grace made me a new woman. A woman whose heart was saved from sin and sorrow by Him. A woman who loves Him and trusts Him above anything else.
In case you are wondering, dear listener, my future husband was closer than I ever thought. One day, my man of God joined the choir where I had been singing for years. We became friends, got married after 3 years and after 10 years, we are still singing together.
God is always faithful. God is always good. He knows what our hearts need. Glory to Him forever!
Nelly Sosa is a catholic wife, homeschool mom of two amazing gifts of God, and blogger at El Árbol Menta. Borned and raised in a big city in Mexico, adopted the peaceful country living of rural western Pennsylvania seven years ago, and there, in the beauty and peacefulness of creation, she got to know and love the Lord like never before.