Love God

“The only unhappiness is not to love God.”
– Thomas Merton

There is nothing anyone could offer to me today that would make me go back to the days when I thought God hated me. Those years of my life were internally the most miserable and hopeless years I have ever experienced. For if God hated me, how could I possibly trust Him, rely on Him – or most importantly – love Him? Living each day in that world did not encourage true happiness.

People sometimes ask me how I got from believing God hated me and not being able to trust Him to where I am today. It seems like an impossible leap to go from that way of thinking to a place where God is my first thought, my best friend, and my only guide as I walk through each day. It seems impossible because it was impossible the way I was living my life – without God.

Part of what happened for me was that I hit a bottom in my life. Everything I thought I knew about making myself happy wasn’t working – and hadn’t been working for a long time. It was the end of the road for my self-sufficiency, my ego, my pride. A sense of absolute desperation set into my heart and I knew I needed to look outside of myself for help.

I didn’t want to live anymore the way I was, but I also didn’t want to die.

In following the direction of people who shared my addictions and were recovering from them, I started to learn and accept that God did not hate me. In fact, I started to see how much He loved me. I recognized how many times He had saved me from myself and from others. I felt, deep down within, that in my darkest moments, He was right there with me, protecting me and planting seeds of light all around me. The realization of His path that guided me to recovery was overwhelming. The timing. The people. The willingness. The surrender. He manufactured a miracle without me even noticing it until well after the fact.

As I type in these words today, I smile and my heart swells with joy. I realize that it is through my love of God that all other things appear. I am most alive, most content, and most joyous when I am relying on, trusting in, and loving my most wonderful Higher Power. My God. My Love. My Happiness.

Thomas Merton’s words are so true. The only thing I would change about them would be to say them this way:

The only happiness is to love God.

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