Does God Trick Us?
By Victoria Clarizio
As I shared in my last post, from the time I was in high school, I felt called to discern religious life. When I went to visit the community I ended up joining, it was love at first sight. I felt right at home and it seemed that everything God was calling me to could be found there.
During that weekend, we had a special time of adoration on Saturday night. As I was looking at the Eucharist I felt God make some very concrete promises to me. These words rang so clearly in my heart that I will always remember the exact words I heard:
“Everything you desire, great and small, you will find here.”
I knew first and foremost, that everything I desired could be found in the Eucharist, but I also knew God meant something more specific than that. At the time, I took this promise to mean that community was where I belonged for life–that is where I would find fulfillment and my life’s purpose.
God broke His promises when He asked me to leave, or at least that’s how I felt. I knew that He always fulfills His promises, I just couldn’t see any possible way that His promises to me could be fulfilled.
Then my spiritual director asked the right question, and I had the grace to see from God’s perspective. I was telling her about this promise I felt God made to me, about finding everything I desire. I was so stuck on my interpretation of that and feeling like God had lied to me, that it was giving me tunnel vision. I kept banging my head against the wall of this lie: God tricked me. I felt deceived and betrayed by Him. I got worked up whenever I talked about this, but my spiritual director broke the tension by asking:
“Well, did you find your desires there?”
At first I stared at her in confusion, “What do you mean?”
She let my brain process for a moment.
It was like I had been looking at the world upside down and it suddenly righted itself. My facial muscles relaxed as my tension turned into revelation. I almost jumped out of my seat in excitement, as renewed consolation bubbled up within me.
“Yes! I found my desires there. I found out what I desired. ‘All of your desires, great and small, you will find here.’ I learned what the true desires of my heart are.”
She grinned broadly at me and the sacred moment that was unfolding before me.
As my inner world adjusted to this new reality, it was all I could to repeat over and over, “that is so cool,” with a huge grin.
Since that day, my trust in God has continued to be restored. Now that those blinders are off, I am beginning to see more clearly how God has been working all along, how He has been fulfilling His promises and how He has used the desires of my heart to lead me towards His will.
With this new vision, I have been looking back over my life to see God’s hand in everything and how he has brought good out of hopeless circumstances. If you struggle with discerning God’s will or trying to figure out what He wants from you, or if you can relate to my journey, feel free to come back next week to keep learning about what God has taught me!
Missed the first part of my story? Click here.
Author Bio: Victoria Clarizio is a Catholic writer and teacher. She blogs at One Pearl about prayer, scripture, Ignatian meditation, and Jesus the Bridegroom. She encountered Christ in a deeper way through praying with scripture during her time discerning with a religious community and hopes to help others do the same. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Fairfield University and is working on a memoir about her spiritual journey. When she’s not writing, Victoria is hanging out with her rambunctious ninth graders(mostly boys!) at the homeschooling co-op where she teaches. She lives in Connecticut with her parents and is excited to see where God calls her next.