Last week I shared a personal story about how God pulled me out of desolation one small grace at a time. It’s really incredible what a difference a week made, and if it weren’t for this blog, I might have missed it. I made a personal commitment to write an email every week this year. It took writing last week’s email for me to see just how much God had moved me, and the particular moments when it happened. You can read last week’s story here.
This week I wanted to talk about the first of those movements. As I mentioned earlier in the year, I started a 1 year program with Souls & Hearts along with 8 other men. It’s been a journey for sure. I am blessed to be partnered with one of those men for regular checkins. On Tuesday I reached out just letting him know I was struggling. He reminded me of Psalm 62,
God alone is my rock and salvation,
My fortress; I shall never fall.
This verse moved me ever so slightly out of the darkness, and opened me up to additional graces from God later that week. It reminded me that God was still God, and He was with me even if I couldn’t see Him. We are never alone, but we can feel alone quite often. It is in that loneliness that we are most vulnerable. Whether it’s a fear of judgment or rejection, or the lie of shame that tells us we aren’t enough, its strength exists only in the darkness. When we bring it into the light, it loses its power over us. Sometimes this looks like going to confession. Other times it looks like telling a friend what we’re struggling with. Still other times it looks like bringing that shame or fear to Christ himself in adoration or the sacrifice of the mass.
In the context of sharing it with a friend, I want to make one point clear. This doesn’t look like telling a friend how awful or terrible the people around us are. This offers no consolation because there’s no vulnerability. It doesn’t even look like asking them for advice or problem solving as if that fear or shame only exists because you haven’t taken a certain action yet. What it DOES look like is being vulnerable enough to let God, let that person see you as you are without judgment. It lets the light in, and even though you haven’t moved yet, that fear can begin to subside. Next week I’ll share one of the other moments of grace that moved me out of that place of desolation.