Standing in the Dark

“God is all right.  Therefore, why should we mind standing in the dark for a minute outside his window?  Of course we miss the inness.  But there is a bliss of its own in waiting.  What if the rain be falling, and the wind blowing?  What if we stand alone, or, more painful still, have some dear one beside us, sharing our outness?  What even if the window be not shining because of the curtains of impenetrable good drawn across it?  Let us think to ourselves, or say to our friend, ‘God is.  Jesus is not dead.  Nothing can be going wrong, however it may look to our hearts that are unfinished in childness.’

“Let us say to the Lord, ‘Jesus areyou loving the Father in there?  Then we out here will do his will, patiently waiting till he open the door.  We shall not mind the wind or the rain much’…

“In a word, let us be at peace, because peace is at the heart of things–peace and utter satisfaction between the Father and the Son — in which peace they call us to share, in which peace they promise that at length, when they have their good way with us, we shall share.”

— George MacDonald, Your Life in Christ, p. 51

A Gift

“Although not knowing may itself seem like a bad thing, I am convinced it is one of the great gifts of the dark night of the soul.  To be immersed in mystery can be very distressing at first, but over time I have found immense relief in it.  It takes the pressure off.  I no longer have to worry myself to death about what I did right or wrong to cause a good or a bad experience — because there really is no way of knowing.  I don’t have to look for spiritual lessons in every trouble that comes along.  There have been many spiritual lessons to be sure, but they’ve been given to me in the course of life; I haven’t had to figure out a single one.”

— Gerald G. May, The Dark Night of the Soul, p. 15

Recovery is possible, and it doesn’t depend on your spouse.

“Even if you choose not to continue your marriage, you still have to recover from the trauma you’ve been through.  The road to recovery can be a stimulus for growth whether you travel it with your partner or you make your way alone.  It’s a difficult road, but it is passable and well traveled for all its difficulties, and it’s important to know that it is there for you and anyone who wants to follow it.”

— Shirley P. Glass, NOT “Just Friends,” p. 12

Meaning in Pain

“I finally figured out that I had a choice:  I could suffer a great deal, or not, or for a long time.  Or I could have the combo platter:  suffer, breathe, pray, play, cry, and try to help people.  There was meaning in pain; it taught you how to survive with a modicum of grace when you did not get what you wanted.”

–Anne Lamott, Grace (Eventually):  Thoughts on Faith

Brokenness

“It really is easier to experience spiritual connection when your life is in the process of coming apart.  When things break up and fences fall over, desperation and powerlessness slink in, which turns out to be good:  humility and sweetness often arrive in your garden not long after.”

–Anne Lamott, Grace (Eventually):  Thoughts on Faith