How can it be that last night I felt like I was going crazy–actually to the extent I just want to die–to be done with the world and all its suffering. Then, today was such a blissful day…
I know…you might be thinking–typical manic depressive by polar behavior. I would agree with you if this happened on a daily or weekly or even monthly basis. But more and more–as I deepen my relationship with Jesus, these “dark nights of the soul” occur less and less often.
It is a story worth telling–and when I get down and discouraged, perhaps I will read this to remind myself that “all things work together for the good for those who serve him and are called according to his purposes. ” Paul said this somewhere in the New Testament. By the way, I think everyone who is sincerely doing their best to live a life of goodness are serving God and are called according to his purposes–but that is another story!
It had been a great week. I had the revelation that we are called to be living epistles–the gospel in action. Paul said that somewhere. (By the way, I am really bad at memorizing scripture and where they are found–but I remember the big truths that jump out at me and seem to be written on my heart)
Having this revelation helped me feel useful in everything I was doing. Even though I want to do community organizing projects and create an eco-village community with a community organizing school–I have not yet done this. So when I do organizing work, or cleaning, I often feel discouraged, thinking I am not doing what I am called to do. But this week I felt so grate. I felt Jesus love just pouring out of my heart and everything I did felt joyful. Even cleaning the rental house and making it shiny and clean (even cleaning the really gross stuff under the refrigerator and stove was a happy experience) was great.
I listened to the CD BETWEEN THE CROSS AND THE DOOR by Casting Crowns the whole time. I cried out to God to make me his instrument and help bring the kingdom of God on earth. I prayed about all kinds of things, including for my family and the suffering going on in Gaza especially with wounded and dying children who do not have adequate medical supplies and attention.
Wow! It was amazing how I even got into helping out a sick client/friend. I was helping her de-clutter her house, and she got really ill while I was there. This kind of thing sometimes happens when people are experiencing de-cluttering. They have an internal cleansing as well that manifests in challenging and painful symptoms. (I need to figure out how to make their inner cleansing less painful.) One of the things I did was clean out the vomit in the sink. Amazingly, this was not so bad, and I took great joy in knowing I was really helping her out. I also prayed for her. She was very grateful–and got well soon after I prayed for her.
But then my husband Robert told me we were short on money again. I promised myself that no matter what were my external circumstances, I would do as Jesus actually commanded, “Don’t worry!” His words are so wise–I mean, worry never helps any situation. We can’t hear the voice of the holy spirit if our minds and hearts are clouded with worry.
But I did what I told myself I would not do. I started criticizing my husband unjustly. I started panicking. I started getting scared. My husband and I got into a big fight, mainly instigated by me. When he did not listen emphatically like I wanted him to, I spiraled downward into an abyss of discouragement that created a big wall between my husband and I.
I also got really mad at God and Jesus, and yelled at them. Why why why–I keep doing my best to hear God’s voice and follow Jesus and be the hands and feet of Jesus. I am blessed beyond measure with wonderful children, a good relationship with my former husband, a wonderful husband, nurturing friends and neighbors. But the money situation keeps challenging me. And the lack of my dream of community coming true.
When I told my husband I just wanted to die–but I was not going to commit suicide because I was just not capable and I knew it was wrong–I hoped he would hear the depths of my pain and come to my aid. I really don’t want to do extreme things to get attention–but the pain I was feeling was extreme. I felt so separated from Jesus. I felt alone and hopeless.
Robert, my husband, was able to be there for me in a way that was truly beautiful. I felt so much better after being able to just rant and rave and have him listen without taking it personally. He was calm and loving and I feel so grateful. He was empathic and at the same time logical. I could handle that.
I felt at peace, and connected to both my husband and Jesus.
I went to sleep feeling much better, and woke up in time to go to New Heights Church and have an amazingly blessed day which I will describe in my next blog.
My husband said today that I had left a message on his phone telling him that I had a revelation: that I was called to be a living epistle to everyone I met. I left the message on Friday–and he didn’t hear it until Sunday. I don’t even remember leaving the message. He said that perhaps the reason I had the challenges I did–which felt like an attack–was because I made this stand. It seems like when I go to a new level of faith, I am challenged. That is also another whole topic.
As always, I welcome your comments and input about what I have shared.