Matthew 28:20b “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
God does not want
us to be burdened
because of sorrows and tempests
that happen in our lives,
it has always been so
before miracles happen.
–Julian of Norwich, 14th century Anchoress
Sorrow, grief whether from unforeseen circumstances or our own doing always seems to lead us to questioning our beliefs and faith. We ask ourselves, the universe, or the Divine “why is this happening to me?” In our woundedness we nearly always believe we will never be able to recover, to fully live life again. I know what it feels like, I have been there way too many times and yes I felt totally adrift without friend or companion. Yet I was, we are, never really alone. There is always someone to lay at their feet your fears and pain. Sometimes we have to look for confidants, and sometimes we only have to open our hearts. When we open up and let the pain scream out the healing process begins.
So yes with time the wounds of our heart, mind and soul do heal and we move on. We learn from our pain and discover new strength deep within that provides the fuel to live a joyful and fulfilling life helping us move into a better place in our lives. We learn there are relationships that can’t be broken even in the darkest times. We also learn that from loss great things will grow. The two greatest miracles of sorrow are learning we do have the strength to walk through the dark places in our lives and learning to forgive ourselves.
But when we refuse to look at our sorrows, too afraid of the memories to bring them out into the open where the light is we never learn from our struggles. By keeping the memories of the painful times of life locked within we never allow ourselves to find the deeper meaning in our sorrows, or the strength that comes from squarely facing them. We never completely heal.
Healing doesn’t mean forgetting because if we forget than we cannot come to an understanding of who we are and are meant to be. Life isn’t easy; it is full of ups and downs. More than likely we spend more time in the valleys than we do on the mountain tops. But just as a young tree grows stronger when strong winds blow it around we too grow stronger; strong enough to face the next valley, and the next, and the next. With each one we gain a bit more strength. Yes, I know all too well that it doesn’t feel like that in the moment but it is true. Living your life without challenges, or risk of sorrows, isn’t living it is existing and there lies the difference.
Have your traveled a dark valley? Did fear keep you from moving forward or from sharing your pain with a friend, pastor, spiritual director, or directly with the Spirit? If you could not let your sorrows out what would help you to find what you need? Prayer and silence are strong tools for rebuilding our relationship with the Divine. Offer your fears to the Spirit in your own way of prayer. Confiding in a spiritual director, a close friend, or your pastor may help guide you in your own search for answers. Each journey is different and requires different tools. Asking for help is not a weakness but strength and a spiritual practice in itself. Let your heart be healed by finding the best tool for you.
Blessings on your journey wherever the road takes you.
Ruth Jewell, ©January 26, 2016