God keeps sending me all these little gifts and surprises that are becoming proof to me that he listens and cares. I’ve written about a few of these before. A few others are too hard to explain so I haven’t talked about them. Another one happened today, sort of a big one.
Katie from Dreams of a Better World blog and I have been having a lot of discussions (in the comments) about the nature of suffering and what it means. She’s also written some excellent and moving blog posts about it. A whole book could be written about this topic (and maybe has), but here’s the short version of what we both think suffering means.
God doesn’t cause us to suffer or make bad things happen. He isn’t a big bully in the sky. But he allows those things to happen and asks us to trust him when life looks hopeless. He uses those things so we learn to lean on him, and then he will begin to show us in small ways that he is there, and that increases faith.
What happened today seems like a dream, but I think it’s the beginning of a spiritual awakening…maybe. Time will tell. I know I’m changing, and they are all good changes. I don’t think these changes would be happening without God and the reason why things never changed before, was because I wasn’t ready to trust him or lean on him yet. I was still too proud and too suspicious and untrusting and skeptical because of my past. But you need to lean in completely and just let go. But that came later.
You reach a spiritual low that can go no further, in our cases caused by prolonged abuse, and one day we realize we must fight to survive. But we’re so weak and beaten down, how can we fight? But we do. We get angry at first, and rage and pound our fists against the walls and at the sky and maybe at God himself. But soon the angry fires burn themselves out and are replaced with a sort of openness. I can’t explain this openness but it happens after the anger. It’s like you’re empty and waiting. Waiting for what, you don’t know. You’re exhausted.
If you’re a writer, you start to write. Katie and are both write and that’s the tool God has given us to draw us closer to him, and to help us make sense of what happened to us. So we started blogs. For someone else, it might be art or music. Creativity is very close to spirituality, and it is given to us through grace.
That’s when God steps in.
And then everything begins to change.
Getting back to the conversation Katie and I were having in the comments about suffering, I decided to go to Mass today. I never go on Saturday but something told me to go today. The homily was about–
You guessed it. The nature of suffering and how God uses it to humble us and mold us into who he wants us to be.
I couldn’t believe it. This couldn’t possibly be a coincidence. I felt my heart open. Wiping away tears, I looked up at Jesus on the cross and whispered thank you.
After a lifetime of not knowing what I was put here for or what I wanted to do, and not being passionate about much of anything, the clouds are finally beginning to clear and some kind of plan is coming together for the rest of my life, and it’s nothing I could have ever dreamed up myself.
Whenever I tried to make choices without God, I always made the wrong ones and was back to where I started or worse. But now, I’m finally starting to see the path that God has laid out for me, because my faith is growing. And it’s the little miracles like what happened today that are helping with that.