Saint Bakhita helped to heal me from the effects of growing up in a dysfunctional household, filled with selfishness and contempt. I never felt treasured as an individual person. I tried desperately to be accepted and worthy. When my actions failed, I grew angry and resentful.
By Tiffany Buck
I grew up in a dysfunctional household. It was a home filled with selfishness and contempt. I never felt treasured as an individual person. Always feeling awkward and out of place, I tried desperately to be accepted and worthy. When my actions failed, I grew angry. My anger and resentment ruled my emotions.
This does not bode well for an individual suffering with bipolar disorder. Instead of going to Jesus with my tears, I would go through my same old routine over and over again getting the same response. My anger and frustration became marked by cynicism; not even the birth of my precious daughter soothed my frustration. At my lowest point, the unthinkable happened. My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. My world was truly rocked. Amid all the chaos in my family, my mother was indeed the beacon of light. It was through her actions and beliefs that I was baptized into the faith. She didn’t stop there. She taught me the rosary and enrolled me in Catholic school A seed of faith had been planted and was about to bloom.
It started with mass. While kneeling in prayer after communion I asked Jesus who will be my family now? It was as if the Holy Spirit had tapped me on my shoulder and told me to look up, this is your family. I looked around and saw my husband, my daughter, the congregation and the tabernacle. Jesus, seeing that one of his sheep was suffering knew a friend was needed. He sent me to the saints. I spent a couple of months dutifully reading the saint of the day that was sent to my email. Although I enjoyed reading the stories, I didn’t quite make a connection with any of them.
Our parish was gifted with a subscription to Formed.com. I was overwhelmed with the great amount of content available for the whole family. One sleepless night, I decided to go on Formed and watch a movie. I clicked on the movie with the title Bakhita. She was unknown saint to me from Africa. I have always been fascinated with Africa, and hope one day to get the opportunity to see it. I was raised on African American music and ‘The Color Purple’ was one of my favorite novels. Needless to say, I thought I would enjoy this movie about an African saint. Her story was like a novel I couldn’t put down. She was a slave that said “If I was to meet those slave raiders that abducted me and those who tortured me, I’d kneel down to them to kiss their hands, because, if it had not have been for them, I would not have become a Christian and religious woman.”
“In God’s will, there is great peace.”
For three solid hours I cried. Her story moved me in a way like no other.
Jesus knew I needed a friend so He sent me to her. From that night forward, I started asking for St Bakhita’s intersession. Little by little the venom of anger started to dissipate. I stopped looking at what I didn’t have and started to be thankful for the treasures God gave me. I implore anyone suffering from anger and resentment to ask for the intersession of this great saint. Her prayers are powerful, for she knows there is no peace outside of God.
Tiffany Buck is a stay-at-home mom. She is a parishioner at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Cumming, GA. She is active in the ministries of Walking With Purpose, Book Chat, and the Council of Catholic Women. Her poetry has been featured in Silver Birch Press, Wagon Magazine, and the San Pedro River Review. You can follow her poetry blog at ourladyslipper.blogspot.com.