As Reina faces loneliness and opposition, she discovers she may not be alone. An award-winning short film about patience and waiting for God’s timing in relationships. Complete with the story behind the story and youth ministry resources.
The Story Behind the Story
Many of us have been rightly told that, as humans, we have dignity, that sexuality is a precious gift, and that relationships should be a selfless exchange of mutual love. Society, however, often seems to say that selfishness in relationships is normal and expected; that you need to compromise the beautiful uniqueness of your own personality and values to attain love. I experienced this opposition of voices for the first time in college. “You are the only one sitting here on a Friday night alone!” the voices screamed. “You yourself are not good enough. Do this, and you will get a boy. That is what you want, after all.”
The pressure placed on myself and my freshmen peers intensified to the point that one of my friends, desperate to start a relationship, even backed me into a corner in an attempt to kiss me. “Just go for it,” he had been told, and believed the lie that he would win my heart by force. Somehow, I knew that love had to be a gift, given and received freely, and could see through society’s lies, but I could still hear them. “You are not good enough!” They played on the constant longing that was within my soul. As humans, we are created to love and to be loved because we are made in the image and likeness of God, Love Himself! Theology of the Body reassures us that this longing is a good, holy, and pure thing; a reflection of our longing for the Divine, and His longing for us. This I knew, but it was still painful. Why was God waiting so long to fill the needs of my heart? I poured my love out in letters to my future husband, made a list of his characteristics, and even gave him a name so I could address him directly in prayer.
After a long relationship abruptly came to an end, the longing and desperation of loneliness was so great that it would often bring me to tears. How long would I have to wait to find love? In this pain, I began to write the script, slowly merging it with my own heartfelt plea to my Lord. Finally, I was able to hand everything over to God and surrender to His perfect timing. As the production miraculously fell together, I found that “my story” was not truly mine, that this same pain, longing and questioning had been experienced over and over again by those around me. Together, we found the beauty and peace in waiting.
The sufferings of the Good Fridays in our lives are always followed by victorious Easter Sundays. Before the film was complete I was courted by and began to date a young man whose faith and wisdom I had admired for years, and together we have found more love and peace than I have ever known. I do not know what will happen in the future, but I do know that God heard my plea before I had even spoken it, and answered my prayer before I could even ask it. I just needed to draw strength from a quiet and confident trust in Him and simply wait for His help.
To the lonely, the fallen, the persecuted, the restless, and the hurting: Peace. Know that your Lord sees you and has already heard your cry. Know that you are not alone; that our Lord and your brothers and sisters around the world feel the same pain. Find strength in this quietness and be confident. You not only can be loved, but you were made to be loved. And that need will indeed be filled, with a fullness greater than you could ever imagine.
Relevant verses and quotes for personal reflection and group discussion. Also recommended: Theology of the Body teachings by Bl. Pope John Paul II and expanded upon by Christopher West.
”Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength… But you will have none of it. So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help.”
– Isaiah 30:15, 18
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”
– John 14:27
“We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out all fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.”
– 1 John 4:16-19
“’God is love and in himself he lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Creating the human race in his own image…, God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion.’
“’God created man in his own image… male and female he created them’; He blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply’; ‘When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.’”
– Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2331
“So do not worry and say ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you besides.”
– Matthew 6:31-33
“My soul, be at rest in God alone, from whom comes my hope.”
– Psalms 62:6
“Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one. Dream that the more the struggle, the more you prove the love that you bear your God, and the more you will rejoice one day with your Beloved, in a happiness and rapture that can never end.”
– St. Teresa of Avila, Excl. 15:3
“Beg the Lord of heaven to show you mercy and grant you deliverance. But do not be afraid, for she was set apart for you before the world existed. You will save her, and she will go with you. Your marriage to her has been decreed in heaven.”
– Tobit 6:18
“Love is patient love is kind… it bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:4, 7-8
“Was it for nothing that I kept my heart pure and kept myself from doing wrong? All I get is trouble all day long, every morning brings me pain… then I realized how bitter I had become, how pained I had been by all I had seen. I was so foolish and ignorant – I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you are holding my right hand. You will keep on guiding me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom do I have in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart, he is mine forever.”
– Psalms 73:13-14, 21-26
“They are surprised that you do not plunge into the same swamp of profligacy, and they vilify you; but they will give an account to him who stands ready to judge the living and the dead… Above all, let your love for one another be intense, for love covers a multitude of sins… Beloved, do not be surprised that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as if something strange were happening to you. But rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly.”
– 1 Peter 4:4-5, 8, 12-13
“Here is the truth that will demand all the courage that nature and grace can muster to face: the more Christ ‘is formed’ in the child, the more he will suffer. Those in whom self predominates seem to suffer much; for they make everyone around them continuously aware of everything that they are enduring, either by incessant self-pity and complaints, or incessant bravado and boasting about their fortitude. But the fact is, the heart concentrated on self contracts, it dries up and shrinks and goes hard like a nut withered inside its husk, and nothing can get through the hardness of its littleness. Its suffering (like the nut’s, if that could suffer) is simply its own bitterness, and even that limited to the size of its littleness. But those who are Christo-centric, in whom Christ waxes strong, expand and are wide open to the grief of the world. They are wide as the arms of the Crucified are wide, and their hearts, unable to contain the world’s suffering in themselves, break open, as Christ’s did, and let the torrent of his pity sweep through them.”
– Caryll Houselander, “The Passion of the Infant Christ”
You may freely download, use, copy, transmit and distribute this video and supplemental resources as long as you attribute it to Katie Breidenbach, Thing in a Pot Productions, and do not alter, transform, or build upon this work. See the Outreach page for more information. © 2013 by Katie Breidenbach and made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 License.