My heart is closed in accepting that there will be a man who could truly love me. The pain of the past and the hurt I had experienced from my father is enough to kill my hope, to lose the enthusiasm to love, to share my being to a man. I have grown bitter and mad. It feels like I am enclosed in a sealed box.
As a child, I grew up with a not-so-good father. He used to cause trouble in the family. Oftentimes, he was drunk. The worst part was he was violent to us, and he had extramarital affair. I didn’t have a happy childhood. I don’t even remember the time I was happy since I was three. I think those years were the worst. Every time my parents had a fight, I would hold my little rosary. I didn’t know how to pray or to complete a decade of it. But I prayed for peace. I could not find love at that time. I pitied my mother so much. How I wished I wasn’t born.
When I reached adulthood, I had three different romantic relationships. Those were impactful. The first two were very hurtful. My wounds were reawakened and worsened. The first man left me because he had to marry another girl. He didn’t talk to me about it. He just disappeared. The second man just used me. That relationship caused me a lot of grief and guilt.
Through the years, I haven’t stopped praying to be healed. I know this emptiness inside of me is very deep. Its depth could only be fathomed by Christ. I didn’t quit praying because my soul knows that it’s only Jesus who can truly understand me.
One day, I stopped by for a morning Mass in Alliance of Two Hearts Parish before going to an out-of-town field work. I saw a beautiful family kneeling down to pray. I thanked the Lord to see such a sweet moment. Mesmerized by what I witnessed, I then prayed, “Lord, will you bless me to have a holy family like that?” I was surprised to utter such question to God. I thought I wouldn’t desire anymore to build a family of my own. With all those unhealthy relationships I had been through, my heart still longs to love. In my prayer, I found out that God is healing me by making me aware of my truest desire - my deepest longing to be loved. This is what I am made for, to receive love and to give love.
Even if it’s hard to trust in Jesus’ love for me, I choose to believe. He knows me very well, better than I know myself. He knows every inch of me. By conversing to Jesus Christ in prayer, I receive the light of myself which is true self-knowledge. I become aware of my pains. And I truly pray that may His Sacred Heart mend mine. His mercy abounds. And the language of His mercy is love. He forgives and accepts. I also pray to forgive and accept my fate - what has happened in the past, what is in the present, or what will be in the future.
Jesus’ love is eternal. His love is always following me in highs and lows. Even if I offended Him, His love remains. In sorrow, He is weeping with me. In joy, He is delighted with me. In times of failure, He is uplifting me. And in victory, He is triumphant with me. There’s no place I could hide myself from Him even in occasions of sin. My poor soul is confident to come to Him in the Sacrament of Confession because my heart knows that He will heal my fallen nature. The only constant intimate relationship I have is the love of Christ because He is my everlasting Spouse. As He says in Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” To be loved like this is heaven spent in this world.
Written by Ivy Fernandez. Ivy is currently a social worker at Cebu City Medical Center . She is a Pure Heart volunteer since 2021.