…..and the greatest of these is Love.
Thanks to my support people, I’ve got that one down pretty well. But I’m sure struggling with the faith and hope parts. They go together—if you have faith, you have hope—and I feel bereft of both these days.
Please understand, Constant Reader, that I am not depressed. I am merely experiencing an existential crisis that I think is perfectly normal considering what I’m going through at the moment. Pieces of my old life just keep slipping away with every week that I remain unemployed, and the worst hasn’t even happened yet—the utilities are still on, Will and I have plenty of food, our meds are paid for, and we are not yet homeless.
I just wish that God in His infinite wisdom would let me know what He’s got up His sleeve, because I feel completely adrift in the world and I’m not getting any direction. Sometimes it even feels like He’s so far away that I can’t find Him. I talk to Him in the darkness of the night and receive no response; I go to Mass and pray the ancient prayers of the faithful, and I feel like a liar. This faith crisis is so serious, in fact, that I didn’t even go to Communion today—I feel I’m unworthy of the privilege when I’m not even sure right now what I believe.
It’s not that there isn’t sufficient evidence of God’s mercy and grace; all I have to do is look over at my husband and know that we owe his life to more than modern medicine. And I’m reasonably sure that He works through human beings for our greater good, as has been made manifest in the generosity of my friends and the guidance of my doctor (AKA life coach). It’s just that I don’t feel like I’m being heard when I beg God for a way out of this situation, and it scares me because maybe there isn’t one after all, or at least not one that doesn’t require enormous sacrifice.
Then I get to thinking: what makes me so special that I shouldn’t have to face adversity? Nobody ever said life was fair; if that were the case, Jesus would never have gone to the Cross. People go through hard times, they lose people and homes they love, and they survive it. I’ve been blessed throughout my life with so many good things, and relatively few heartaches. So why do I feel like I’m being punished?
Here’s where my melancholic Irish heritage comes in: it’s because I’ve been blessed with such abundance that I have to suffer for it somehow. I’m serious. We love our good times and celebrate them heartily, but we also fear them because we know bad ones will follow. (Sound anything like bipolar?) So in one sense, I’m almost resigned to paying for all I’ve been given by having some of it taken away from me—by illness, by aging, by unemployment, and/or by just plain old bad luck.
This is where faith, hope, and love come in. Love, as I’ve said before, is not an issue—there is no doubt in my mind that I am loved. I have only to feel Will’s touch to know it. But God, while You’re trying to figure out what to do with me, I could really use some faith and hope right now…..and if I’m wrong and You really are trying to communicate with me, would you please make me shut up and listen?
5 thoughts on “Faith, Hope and Love”
Your entry today is a familiar story. Without typing a whole page, I have learned that having faith when your circumstances are hard is so difficult. No one understands the struggle unless they have been through it. No one asks for difficult times and of course it’s easy to have faith when all is going well. What does the person do when he/she is diagnosed with terminal cancer? I had a six month period that I had severe anxiety and panic attacks. I would plead to God to restore me. That was a really hard time for me physically, mentally and spiritually. My prayer even more now is that I have the same faith in the storms as I do in the sunshine. I love how you are able to distinguish your moods from episodes. I still struggle with that, but it am getting better at it with the help of my support people. Praying for you and Will.
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Thank you, Heather. 🙂 I appreciate your writing to me. Trust me, it will get easier to distinguish moods from episodes as you become more self-aware; one thing about mental illness, it certainly teaches us a lot about ourselves. In a way, knowing ourselves well is a blessing that not everyone receives. I only wish I could have done it without “benefit” of bipolar disorder! 🙂
Instead of praying for God to give you a way out, try asking for the strength, courage and motivation to deal with the situation, you might find you get a completely different answer. Instead of believing that God is punishing you or expecting pay back for all the good times, consider that God is giving you the opportunity to become the best person you can become. We rarely move forward spiritually in the easy times. Perhaps you have lost your faith in God so that you can learn to have a little faith in yourself. It’s OK to lose faith in God. God is bigger than that,he can handle it. And sometimes when all else fails it’s not hope or faith that is important its perseverance, we keep putting one foot in front of the other until things become clearer.
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Your comments are VERY much appreciated. I hadn’t thought of it that way. God is indeed bigger than my lack of faith, and I know He’ll pull me through this one way or another. I felt so much better after writing this post, maybe it was something I just needed to get out of my system. Thank you. 🙂
I think that’s the beauty of writing. To create a post we need to order our rambling, racing thoughts into a coherent thought out piece and in doing that we gain a greater understanding of ourselves. It can be very cathartic.
Yours is one of very few blogs that I get new posts emailed to me. It’s because you write so openly about your experiences. Your strength and courage shine through (you probably don’t always feel that way but it’s true none the less). I hope you always keep writing because your blog inspires me and I’m sure many others.
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