I was caught entirely off guard. I'd never felt that way. There were times, in the midst of it, that I wished it was going differently, but it never occurred to me to wish it hadn't happened. There were good pieces and bad, but the things I discovered in myself during the difficult pieces were invaluable. I feel sturdier now, I know myself better, trust myself more, and have more peace.
In addition to those perks, I also have more confidence in God. I look back on two specific phases in my life that were unusually hard, and in retrospect, can see God in them. I could not, necessarily, at the time. Now I feel like I can anticipate that hindsight (did you follow that?), which may help to carry me through other hard times when I don't see God.
I talked to my spiritual director about this yesterday morning, and then later in the day found this poem:
We travellers, walking toward the sun, can't seeIsn't that gorgeous? The more I read it, the more joy it brings me.
Ahead, but looking back the very light
That blinded us shows us the way we came,
Along which blessings now appear, risen
As if from sightlessness to sight, and we
By blessing brightly lit, keep going toward
That blessed light that yet to us is dark.
-Wendell Berry, from Given
So, I'm feeling good about what lies behind, but would still like prayers for discernment-- not so much for the big picture of what lies ahead, but one-day-at-a-time discernment, the kind that keeps me close to God in each moment. I'd love your prayers for me in that.
Are there any ways that you need prayers to keep you "going toward that blessed light that yet to us is dark?"