Right now in my life, I am in a very dark place. But, if I have learned anything from my Catholic brothers and sisters, it is during our darkest times that miracles are possible.
A couple nights ago, I was in the parking lot of my church staring at the adoration chapel. As someone else appeared to be praying in the adoration chapel, I sat waiting for the chapel to be empty. Hanging from the rear-view mirror in my car is a third class relic of Blessed Stanley Rother. The relic is a thick blue metal crucifix with a St. Benedict medal in the middle.
As I sat in my car, engine running, I began to get emotional. I began to tell myself how I was a complete waste of life, and how nobody would ever want me, not even God. I felt so unworthy that I could not bring myself to enter adoration. I felt so broken and so guilty of everything sinful that I’ve done. I began to question why God was not in my life, why He was not present, and why I could not sense Him. And all I could do at this moment, was to grasp onto the crucifix I had hanging, and squeeze it. I squeezed it so hard I’m pretty sure I could of broken it.
In my moment of complete agony, I clinged to the cross, and it did not break. I held onto it and I did not let go. I continued to cry and release all my anger and frustration. A few minutes later, I felt a peace come over me. I felt a voice that seemed to say, “despite your pain, I am here for you, and I am suffering with you.” Then, I drove home listening to my favorite Christian music, in a prayerful state. My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I’m not perfect. I’m a broken sinful human being. Most days I struggle to even get up, I struggle with the thought of living the day and would rather just survive it.
I am currently in a state of spiritual attack like I have never encountered before; I feel like my soul is completely disconnected from God. But, I know that God never leaves any of His children behind. I am not at the front of the pack. In fact, I’m so far behind that I can barely see the other sheep in front of me. But, I know that my God Is walking with me through this suffering.
You are loved. You are so, so loved. You are so loved that a man who was free of sin for His whole life decided that He would rather be crucified on a wooden cross than to risk eternity without you. Know that God looks at your struggles and He sees them, He really does. He knows how much they weigh you down. He also knows that He Himself has conquered death, and when you place your burdens at the foot of the cross, Jesus turns your burdens into something beautiful. He will transform them into something that is new and authentic, but only if you trust Him. I have a very long journey ahead of me, one that I will be full of suffering and full of joy. I hope to come out on the other side a new person, one that spends every minute of every day praising the One who created him.
Yes, I am currently walking through a garden of thorns wishing every step was my last. But, my Savior is walking with me, and He whispers to me to “keep going, keep walking, because through Me all things are possible”.
Edited by Maggie Rudman