Elizabeth Estrada ponders the beauty behind our suffering, as it mirrors the beauty of the crucifix.
For years I have been asking God to help me become closer to Him and to help me have a closer relationship with Him. Over the years my relationship with Jesus has become stronger and closer, but with it I have also discovered a lot about myself. It has been like when you forge a piece of steel into what it needs to become, what it really is and what it is meant to become, but first it must go in the fire. The fire purifies and is molded into something beautiful. The suffering, I have learned, is to purify me of the hard shell that isn’t needed and that keeps me away from my God, my Jesus.
Years ago I would have done anything to avoid the pain, to run from the cross instead of embracing it and recognizing its beauty, instead of dragging it behind which makes it worse.
The beauty is not easy to recognize, though, which is why many don’t understand the beauty of the crucifix. In order to recognize it, we must first get to know ourselves, to clean our wounds, and go to places that are very unpleasant.
I was one of the many who never saw the beauty but only the pain. Now I understand that in order to become closer to Christ, do His will joyfully, and get to heaven I must also get rid of my self-denial about who I am and who God wants me to be.
By going to those places I discovered that so many times I thought that being self-reliant and proud was the way to go, when all I was really doing was getting further away from God and more attached to the world and its affirmation. I was protecting myself instead of trusting God to do what he wants me to let Him do for me.
It’s funny how suffering will bring you to places that make you humble, like a child. A child that recognizes that God’s approval is the only one that matters because He loves me and wants me to be in heaven.
This November, I am more grateful than I have ever been even for the suffering and to becoming the daughter God created me to be.
Copyright 2020 Elizabeth Estrada
Image: Alem Sánchez (2018), Pexels
About the Author
Elizabeth Estrada, a public school teacher, is an avid reader and enjoys crafting. She serves as a Catechist and resides in the Diocese of Dallas with her son Agustin.