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Dark Night Of The Soul

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I have been teaching a class on Prayer for the past few months, and a week ago, our subject matter was on "The Dark Night of the Soul". This is one of my favorite lessons that I have studied, and how timely it was that I had just refreshed myself so thoroughly with that material, for how little did I know I would need to equip myself with it.

A few years ago I studied the subject of prayer very thoroughly, and I found the experience of it to be very deepening. I have said, time and again, the time to learn to swim is not when you are drowning. In other words, we must be equipped when things come our way and try us. We have all found this to be true as we have gone through our grief journeys. When I first lost George, I found it difficult, if not impossible, to pray. I felt nothing. I felt abandoned, hurting, and anger towards God for allowing this to happen, when I knew full well He could have stopped it or allowed a different outcome. Yet underneath all of that anger and pain, was a deep underlying girding of faith, as I knew the truth, deep down inside, that God is God and that even when we face what we don't understand or like, He does know what He is doing...even when He doesn't choose to share His reasons with us. We can and have speculated, and yet still, we don't always know what He is up to or why. I have learned to accept, to trust Him, and to keep my faith in Him. This is not always a simple matter...we still have our human emotions to contend with, and contend we do! We still hurt, there are still things we don't like, things that if given the chance, we'd change...even though we know there may be a good reason for them. Because we are human.

My grief has, if anything, deepened lately. As time goes by, I miss George all the more. All the more I realize how special he was, not only to me, but how very special he was just by his very existence. I love him deeply and I realize that with or without him here by my side, that love that we have will always continue. Our wedding rings had an eternity symbol on them, and that eternity symbol stood for the eternity of our love. It began in friendship, and that friendship will always be there. He will be the one waiting with open arms when at last I arrive in heaven. Our hug will continue where it left off, and nothing has died. Only our ability to communicate with each other in the right here and now. And yet, I feel his presence in my heart.

Friday night I learned that my dream job that I love so much, will be ending. I don't know the exact day, for my boss hasn't told me that yet, but his wife let it slip and I know it's coming, soon. Now that George is gone I am my sole support, and the bills kept coming whether he was there or not. My money is gone...gone to pay hospital and doctor bills and taxes. Gone for furnace repairs. Just gone. My daughter found out at the same time that her dream job was also going to end, very soon. Right now is another "Dark Night of the Soul" for me, for I cannot see how things will work out, how it will all go. We all like to know our course, to know things will be okay, we like to plan, we like stability, we like our comfort zone. But sometimes that vision is removed from us and all we have left is our faith...and if we continue to walk in the path we know we should go, it is during those very times that our faith is built, that we grow. Because ultimately, our faith is not so much in ourselves, or in our circumstances, as in the God that we know we can trust...the same God that has been there all of our lives. I look at those faith stretching times as His gift to us, for it is in those times that He deepens us, and what greater gift could He gives us than our faith? It broadens our persepective, we glean wisdom from it, our character deepens, and we have something to offer to others when they need it. I find His peace, even in darkness. I find comfort in reading Job and Psalms, for Job and David both did their share of crying out and lamenting over their circumstance, and yet both of them were men of God, and ultimately, their faith was in Him...and He was with them. It helps to know that you are not alone, that others have faced the same things. That you will survive, you will get through it.

I hope I have not offended anyone by sharing my faith, that's not my intent. I know we are all going through so much, there is a lot of pain that visits this site. My heart is with you, each of you.

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Guest Guest_Deborah_*

Thank you KayC for your beautiful words. I want to have that faith again, but right now when someone asks me to keep them in my prayers, my immediate response is God isn't listening to my prayers. Larry had everyone praying for him. I'm not angry at God, I just don't understand.

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I don't think we can understand...maybe that's why God doesn't try to tell us. I know that his ways are bigger than our ways. But I try to look at it in a positive light, like George is finally spared the suffering of this life. And I know that our here and now seems so big to us, because it's all we've known, but the Bible puts it into perspective when it says our lives here are like a vapor that passes away...it's eternity that is really our home and our loved ones have gotten to start it ahead of us, but we'll be there soon. It's the now for us that's hard.

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