Joseph, I have been making my deposits in my eternal account for a very long time. Recently my effort to be good, and just, and as good of a Christian that I can be have gone without notice. I have begged the Lord for help, left it to Him. My mom was very ill, and had surgery that was to fix her medical issues but instead died. That was six weeks ago. More recently my son thought taking his life would be the best solution for his grief. Thankfully, he survived. My family is so very small, and getting smaller by the day. This year alone we have lost four of our members. Through it all I try to stay in faith, and believe that there really is a God above that loves me. I have to say, I’m not feeling the love. I’m lost and I don’t know what to do. Any ideas?
I am sorry that you have gone through so much. Even when we try to live in God’s will, life often asserts itself, as do other people, in ways that cause us pain and distress. I don’t want to give you cliches and I certainly do not want to say anything that would trivialize your pain or suggest it is not real.
I hope your son is in counseling and I hope you are getting some kind of counseling as well. Grief is serious business and most people after a great loss find that they need counseling to help them through it.
I personally believe in a Higher Power that is God, and I believe in a Lower Power that opposes God — or more accurately, oppose those of us who strive to live in God’s good grace. God’s will has become the source of my sense of protection and care. It doesn’t mean that life is not often trying, chaotic, or even tragic, but it does mean that I am sure that God wants what is best for me, so every time I say to God “Your will be done” I am putting on a cloak of protection and care. Maybe it does not help everybody, which is why I tend to write in the first person — I would not presume to speak for anyone else or their experience. I just know that when I am afraid, hurt, discouraged, whenever I say to God “Your will be done” I feel better.
So all that is to say, no I do not have any ideas. The only thing I can suggest is to do more of whatever spiritual things you do. Read the Bible more, pray more, be even more good, more just, and whatever else, because nothing will piss off the devil more than trying to get you discouraged so you abandon faithful activities, only to see that you are doing it even more. The devil stop just to keep you from doing even more that is positive. I know that probably sounds crazy or stupid, but so be it. If the devil is tempting you to lose faith, express more faith and the devil will flee.
I will be praying for you.
Incidentally, the only way I can reply is by approving your comment. I do not believe this is the best forum for this conversation. It seems better suited to a more private setting.
I was so proud of the folks in my first service for remembering to omit it during the service–but then they said it REPEATEDLY after the service, congratulating each other for not saying it! (For the record: I ban it ENTIRELY from my vocabulary, not just my liturgical practice, for Lent)
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The Reverend and Future Saint R. Joseph Ignatius-Francis Owles