The strangest thing happened to me a few months ago.
I was thinking back to the drama that was happening in my family at the time my youngest daughter was born. It's really hard to let it go of the pain because there was so much nastiness going on. (Look back to entries from 2012 for more details.) I'm not really into drama. Been there - done that. So it seems really unfair that other people's drama should have poisoned what should have been a beautiful experience. But it did.
So I began to pray: "God, why did this have to happen to us? It was so wrong! What did we do to deserve it???" Like Job, I demanded an answer from God for my suffering.
And God answered. Suddenly peace filled my entire being. And then I heard a whisper in my heart: "My daughter, you are right. It should have been beautiful. Your family did nothing to deserve such cruelty. But I was with you every moment and I carried you through it."
Some people might think that this is too little, too late. And really it is. I gave too little, too late. What would it have taken for me to have trusted God from the beginning of the ordeal instead of being angry that He didn't act in a way that I wanted Him to??? Or maybe I did trust in Him and that is what got me through the dark place of post-partum depression? Or maybe it's a bit of both. Or maybe I'm just asking the wrong question.
So I began to pray again. This time I thanked God for ALWAYS being there for me and asked Him to increase my faith. But I'm finding this easier because I know I didn't get through the depression or the family drama on my own. Now I can enjoy my life and my children. That dark, lonely time is only a means to increase my compassion for others who are trapped within the teetering chemistry of their brains.
I know this change in prayer is working. Instead of asking to change my circumstances, I'm asking God to give me strength to get through this moment. Then the next moment. Then the next. Walking with Jesus on a journey with no limits is pretty darn cool.
Sometimes I hear about spiritual warfare. It's an intriguing concept though it's not one I've really taken seriously. I don't know if it's cool or hokey and slightly paranoid. But I will say that faith in God's love for me and my children has led me out of some really dark places. Looking around, I notice that the world has become a cynical place. Joy is being traded away for instant gratification. Prayer is considered a superstition. A good friend of mine from way back, one who was once comforted by the prospect of being prayed for, literally laughed in my face when I mentioned prayer.
I begin to wonder if prayer, beginning with gratitude and ending in faith, is not a power in its own right. If it were merely superstition, why would it be so upsetting? (Knock on wood and no jinx!) Why would people prefer to believe that love is merely an emotion or a limited resource? Why is it so hard to believe that we are worth dying for? I think that if we understood the love that God has for us that our world would be a more beautiful place. And yet, we too afraid to reach out for our birthright.
I have no answers tonight. I only have faith that God knows what He is doing.
(Jesus, I trust in You!)
Heavenly Father, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for having taken such wonderful care of my family when I could not. Please grant us the grace to see you working in our lives. May we always have the courage to do what we know is right, especially when it is difficult. Help us to forgive ourselves and others for the suffering we encounter in the world. My we always trust in your Sacred Heart.
For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!
May God continue to bless you!