On my way home from work I cross a park. The other day on the footpath, I noticed that the little cracks in the path’s surface had curved round to form a heart shape. (Hopefully you can just about see in the photo.)
There are plenty of breaks and cracks to stumble through on our lifes’ paths and there’s no escaping the hurt. Yet I try to remember, we need not fear the pain and confusion and our weakness. When we look back at what we have travelled through and what we leave behind for others, perhaps we will see it was love that remained through the very hardest times, love that grew in our hearts and that we left in the good we did, unknowingly.
“Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” – St Teresa of Avila
“Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you,” says the Lord God (Isaiah 49 v 15)
These lines from the Bible came into my head just now. Thank you Jesus. It’s very hard to hang onto anything when everything I trusted in, so much – too much – seems to be taken away. The Lord alone suffices, St Teresa of Avila wrote. The Lord alone will never forget us and never fail us, even if His face is hidden from us for a little while. He loves us like a mother or a father, and more.
“When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” (Psalm 27). When everything else crumbles, when we are totally alone, still God who is love remains. One translation of the Aramaic actually says “Because my father and mother forsake me,”; “because” rather than “when”. The Lord knew we would be abandoned, and so, He never leaves us and He takes us up in His arms.
I struggle very much to pray when I feel as I do now. The hurt and obstacles and anger and frustration and alone-ness, all obscure my hope in God and too quickly I allow them to cloud who God is and who He created us to be. If all I run into is this pain, He must be angry, He must wish me punished, He must take pleasure in my pain. I must return to His Cross and return to listen to His Word in the Bible. This is God, not my pain of itself. Love surely brings pain, but it is not the pain and hurt and isolation itself.
And then in prayer, came my Jesus’s tender promise – “My gaze is longing love.”
It feels like breaking over and over at the moment. I hang onto something then it gets taken away. I don’t know why I’m quite so stupid and childish that I keep hanging on to things and people. Last week it was trying to get my tax credits sorted, so things wouldn’t be so tight. Resistance and obstructions all the way. Then it was trying to negotiate a payment plan for my rent arrears. No response (again) to my phone call and letters, so another letter to write. Then trying to get the harassment and discrimination at my last employer investigated. Dismissed without any consideration whatsoever by the regulator. Another complaint to write and my case to be presented again. Then plans with a friend – cancelled. Then hanging on until my appointment with my CPN on Friday – cancelled, because he has to go on training. I can absolutely understand he has to do the training, but I so needed that. Last month’s appointment was cancelled too. Letters I can’t understand about my Housing Benefit and yet another form to fill out to claim for a Discretionary Payment…terrified I’ll lose my home and so my job….
Snowballing, snowballing, problems everywhere there should be help.
Only able to carry on one day more, then one day more, and only by cutting and taking more pills than I should to knock myself out so at least then I can’t take even more and end it.
Hallucinations and flashbacks shaking me too much to breathe.
Hating myself for being so so weak and so childish and for hanging on to things I should by now have learned well not to count on. Hating myself for needing to be cared for and needing help and not being a proper adult, just a burden.
It is very hard not to become bitter and not to give up. I can only try to think, God is teaching me to trust in nothing and no-one except Him alone. “God alone suffices,” St Teresa of Avila wrote. It is right, of course. His Love is all we need and all we cannot lose. But it is very hard not to be angry, bitter, childish and wrapped in my own hurt.