So this has been a really tough week. Including thoughts like “I just can’t do this anymore!” but since we need a roof overhead and food on our plates, I need to stick with it for now.
A couple of weeks ago I felt an amazing 20 min or so of lightness and grace – a feeling that God was truly with me. Later that day I had a conversation with the VP that really brought me down and took the wind from my sails … crashing down again.
And this week, moments of desolation. In fact, earlier this week I had a frenetic, frantic feeling that I had to get out NOW. I’ve felt that quality of needing to decide something *immediately* before, when I was working with a spiritual director through the exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, and she identfied it for me as not coming from God – if the quality of it is desperate and not peaceful, that’s something to note. So, I conclude that this is a time of desolation for me. And man, have I been depressed and down about it. (It’s also PMS time, I realized today – probably not a coincidence!)
So last night, I explored a link passed on to me weeks ago by a friend and found this amazingly relevant quote:
Nothing has the potential to create a sense of God’s absence like deep, unjust, and/or unexplained pain. During these times, we may, like Jesus and David, feel forsaken by God. When this happens, remember that a palpable sense of God’s absence is itself evidence of God’s reality and engagement in our lives. We don’t miss what we don’t know. We don’t long for what we don’t believe in. We don’t have a sense of absence for that which we’ve never experienced. Your very yearning for God is evidence that God has been and will continue to be involved in your life.
That had a real impact on me.
Today I practiced lectio divina with the passage about the two disciples walking to Emmaus. It’s just after Jesus has been crucified and died, and there are rumours about him having risen again. Basically the two are shocked, afraid, and totally unsure about why all this is happening. This is totally not the future they were expecting.
So, today I set myself up in the rocking chair my parents bought for me years ago. (I find rocking very calming – perhaps going back to the many cuddles I enjoyed with my grandma when I was small? Times of absolute, unconditional love.) I read the passage aloud a few times and then just tried to be, quietly and attentively. to my surprise, what came to me was that Mary met me along the road and invited me to her tent. She held me as I cried, and offered me tea, soup and bread. We talked about God’s great love for each person. We talked about how her life unfolded in such a different fashion than she had expected – the dubious pregnancy (from others’ point of view), going to Bethlehem at the worst possible time, going to live in a foreign strange place for many years … her need to trust God in all of these uncertainties … her need to trust in Joseph and his discernment of what to do, when it wasn’t really what she might have wanted, but she had to trust that he was following God’s guidance too.
Then Mary told me to go lay down and rest. I asked if it wasn’t hard for her to have this transient tent instead of a safe, secure home (you may have guessed, I am a homebody!) I don’t recall exactly but I think it was something about while she would have liked that, this is what God called her to and it’s a greater joy to be with Him. I actually did go lay down in my own bed and slept for at least 3 hours.
I still am wishing, hoping, praying for an “out’ from all the stresses we are currently under. But still praying to just stay close to God – to learn what I can from this situation. It may be accepting failure – something I’ve always had trouble with.
One thing is clear to me on so many levels, though, is how much love there is in my life. I am so thankful for that!
In “real life” news – we sold our house in 6 days – can you believe it? And over list price! And we closed on another house in town, in the older part. The house itself is likely in the range of 100-130 years old, a real character 🙂 We (DH) will have some changes to make to it so that we can rent out half and live in half, but it should be possible to do. It’s got a nice backyard and is walking distance to our little downtown. Big downsides: no wood burning fireplace 😦 and no attached garage. It will be much more “cosy” than our current big house but during the whole selling and buying process I felt so much lightness and joy, I think we are following God’s lead in this. I just wish He’d give us a path for both our careers so we could stabilize that way too.
Ah well. One day at a time. This weekend we’ll be visiting family to decorate my parent’s tree and visit in front of a real, wood burning fireplace. I am so looking forward to that!