Behold, I am with you always, until the end of time.

All quotes from Prayer for Beginners, by Peter Kreeft.

From time to time, something dark catches me up and throws me to the ground. Pain at the back of my heart pushes tears out of my eyes as I suddenly feel angry, hurt, lost, ignored, overwhelmed. Alone.

Immediately all my attention focuses on the pain. “It is as if the pain is a tyrant with a whip saying ‘Look at me! Look at me!’ every moment.”

At these moments, I do my best to remember this parable:

“Fact, Faith, and Feeling were walking along a wall. As long as Faith kept his eyes ahead of him on Fact, all three made progress. But when Faith took his eyes off Fact and turned around to see how Feeling was doing, Faith fell off the wall, and Feeling fell with him, while Fact went on.”

My bloggy friends- the Devil would LOVE it if I was too busy being in pain to remember that God is there with me. Too much of the time, my will is not strong enough to turn from the immediate, pressing pain. I forget that God is in the pain of the moment. I feel far too overwhelmed to muster anything like faith.

Fortunately for all of us, I don’t have to. You see, faith, unlike feelings, comes entirely from God. I don’t have to conjure up anything- God offers faith as a gift.

All I have to do is keep my eyes on Fact: A) God exists and B) He loves me more than I can ever imagine. Since faith depends on GOD, not me, I don’t even have to prove these facts to myself. I don’t have to reassure myself that they are true. Emotions like doubt, fear, and confusion don’t phase God, as long as I do this one simple thing: choose to accept that “God said it, and I believe it, and that settles it.”

Seriously. That’s all it takes- an act of will. Faith says that even though I feel all of these emotions telling me that God isn’t there and could care less about me, right now, in this moment, I choose to believe otherwise. I choose to accept God’s gift of faith.

The emotions often don’t go away. I don’t feel any more secure, loved, joyful, or at peace because of my choice, and I certainly don’t miraculously feel God’s presence. But since faith is not a function of emotion, it doesn’t matter what I feel. I choose to believe differently.

Thanks to Faith, I know Fact to be true. It becomes a rock to hold on to, a shelter to hide in through the storm. In that dark space, when I feel completely rejected by everyone, I am able to hold fast to Fact.

Eventually, the emotional squall subsides, and I recover clarity. I remember my many blessings and I am grateful. As it turns out, I am not alone, but well loved and cared for. God is good.

My mind is totally wrapped up in my own needs during the storm. Once the Pain-tyrant has hushed, my will can handle more than just maintaining my choice of Faith. I try to remember to turn my attention outward and pass on the love I have experienced to others.

Tonight, when going through these steps, I felt called to write them down and share them somehow. You would think that it would get easier or better, but it doesn’t. It’s more like running in circles than a process with measurable progress. Lather, rinse, repeat. Fear knocks me down, I choose to believe, the emotion subsides eventually, I try to take the focus off myself while waiting for the next storm. It’s not how I would choose for my life to be structured, if God asked my opinion on the matter, but there it is.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Behold, I am with you always, until the end of time.

  1. Meg

    Are you ok, love? What’s wrong? Or, if more appropriate, what was wrong? If you wanna talk, I’m here ….

    • bronzedshoe

      Meg, dear, don’t worry. These emotional attacks are a very regular part of my life. The event or remark that sets them off is often very minor. There’s nothing wrong, and I am much better at corraling and dealing with my emotions than I used to be.

  2. Mary Savoldi

    Laura, I love you so much and so thankful with all you have share on this space. You know that I have felt so much of the same pain as you. Even though, I know all my family loves me, I still feel so alone. And I was just rereading you site yesterday. I try to feel God’s love and somtimes still feel alone but, you words have helped me so much. You are a true blessing and I love you so much. I have your pictures up with your family and remember all the fun we have had. Like at Uncle Jim’s trailer for thanksgiving. It is so hard when our children move on and for so long I have helped them grow and it is harder to let go and no be able to be there for them and proctect them from being hurt. I love you and keep doing the great job you are doing. Love, Aunt Mary

  3. Wow…are we so similar?? Your description (and even in the comments) sound so…so…me. Wow. I love how you capture what I KNOW, but sometimes forget in a flash of pain. Thanks for the reminder. I may have to link to this one day with your permission! Lovely!

    • bronzedshoe

      Glad it resonated with you! I wasn’t sure I was making sense at the time. Feel free to share, if you so desire 🙂

  4. Anne

    Dear Meg,
    Thank you for your encouraging words and web page. It’s a wonderful fact that our “With you God” is truly with us in any storm whether we see Him or not; and, that the Scriptural Passage begins with, “Be sure of this”.
    And also, when looking up His Scriptural Passage I found your beautiful meditation. Thanks!!
    In Christ,
    Anne

  5. Raul

    I don’t know you, but let me tell you your a beautiful work of art, created by heavenly hands for great things. SO don’t give in, don’t give out. amd don’t give up. Love conquers all.

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