exactly what I needed

Tonight I went and sat in the sanctuary at my church! I went and kneeled at my usual pew that I always sit at, and had some time alone with God tonight.

The sanctuary at night is very dark, and the only thing visible is this little red flickering candle that stays lit at all times, and you can see the crucifix ahead and the shadows that surround it.

I am Catholic, and I love my faith. I became Catholic 2 1/2 years ago, and it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced.

Sadly the past 3 months I have fallen away from the church – I stopped going for a while. I felt myself being pulled away from the church as I was going through some hard times;when actually those are the moments I should have showed up the most.

This year has been a tough year for me, and when I am going through a hard time, I don’t find myself worthy enough to show up to church, or to be around too many people. When I am going through a hard time I tend to isolate myself only to the immediate people in my life who feel safe to me. I don’t want people to see me when I am going through a tough time; so I escape into my self being.

My therapist is one of the only people who truly understands my relationship with God – He was there for me that night when I became catholic, and he saw me accept my first communion. He understands my relationship with God more than anyone, because I talk to him about it – I don’t talk about my relationship with God with too many people, I hold it close to my heart and open up about my faith with only those who truly get it.

We pray together in sessions when we are really working through something tough – we will huddle in a hug together, hold hands and both pray with each other, and almost everytime we sit and pray together – something of goodness comes out of it.

Even when I am not going through a tough time, he will offer to sit in prayer together – it’s refreshing and healing for me. I love his prayers!

We talked about this yesterday in session about me going back into the church no matter how I feel about myself, no matter what hardness I am going through, no matter who tries to bring me down in my healing. NO matter how hard the past 3 months have been, it always goes back to God and his grace.

My therapist is really good at reminding me of where my heart is, even in times when I feel I am lost in that. I was reminded of that again yesterday, and tonight -I showed up in church, and I prayed and it felt good to be back in the arms of God tonight.

I have a interesting relationship with God, he shows up in my life not when I ask him to show up, but when he feels I need it the most, and it almost always shows up through connection, love and support.

I sometimes put a distance between me and God when I am angry, or don’t understand something, or when I need something and he is not providing me that relief of a need met – but he always shows up in the end, and it’s always through my support.

Tonight when I left the church my shirt and the bottom of my hair was soaked from crying so much – I was emotional in my prayer because I missed being in his presence, I missed that time with God, and I missed my pew, and my church, and the feeling it gives me.

When I got into the car I sent a message to my therapist and said “I did it, I showed up and it felt good, thank you for knowing what it was I needed, and thank you for being someone who is truly on and by my side”.

Tomorrow I will show up in therapy and I will share the prayer I had with my therapist and maybe we will sit and pray together and thank God for bringing me back to the place that always fills my heart with goodness and grace no matter how hard or GOOD things are.

So tonight my heart feels lifted! I have faith that God will show up, maybe not right in this very moment, but when I least expect it and I will full accept it with a smile – I will know when that moment comes for me.

I am truly blessed for the support and people in my life who never give up on me when I turn my back towards them in the hard, and I am truly blessed for my therapist Andy who knew exactly what it was that I needed, and he was right.

8 comments

  1. What a beautiful post Karen, you literally had me in tears because I know what it’s like to fall away from god even for a little while. I believe that God understands when we struggle with our relationship with him.

    It sounds like you and your therapist share some very intimate moments of grace and prayer, what a beautiful thing that must be in your healing.

    Thank you for sharing this and thank you for reminding me that even in the hard moments, God is always there. I might need that reminder sooner than I think.

    BLESSINGS

    Jess

    1. Jess!! Thank you for coming by my blog and leaving a nice comment. I hope that you yourself can find that inner peace, I know I did last night!

      yes prayer in church is a very beautiful thing, and I am blessed to have that .. prayer is HUGE for me.

      Thank you for your comment and you yourself should go find some quiet time to be with God and your self.

      HUGS

  2. God will always be there no matter what tough times you are going through. God knows your struggle, and he always waits for you Karen. Prayer in therapy is something that sounds amazing. I never thought to do that with my therapist. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story tonight. I look forward to seeing you back in church.

    Anna – blessings and hugs to you

    1. Anna, I look forward to seeing you too, it’s been since August since I have been to church and I miss it very much. I actually plan to sit and talk with Deacon Bill this weekend :)

  3. Hi Karen
    I truly relate to your uncertainties and pain. When our Pappa God started healing my heart, I have found His love always waiting in the sanctuary of my heart. We only need to come to Him!
    Much love XX
    Mia

  4. Thank you for sharing this part of yourself and your story. It was very moving. I can relate to the part about not sharing with many people about your relationship with God and prayer. It is something that is difficult to put into words as words can be misunderstood or inadequate for the the depth and mystery of such experiences. But you have done a lovely job of conveying it.

    I feel joy and admiration for you and for the true richness of your spiritual life. That is the best kind of richness.

    I attempted to put into words some of my spiritual life in a couple of posts at my blog.

    http://gentleperseverence.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/original-blessing/

    And here, about meditation and prayer:

    http://gentleperseverence.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/meditation-and-prayer/

    Today my husband and I plan to go to a church that has a labyrinth in their chapel. They have times when it is open to the community, and those who are called can go and walk the labyrinth. We will walk the labyrinth as a walking-meditation and a time of prayer. We’ve done this a few times and I especially like to do it at this time of winter.

    I turned away from God when I was 11 years old because I was going through a very hard time and had been praying fervently for help. I didn’t get help as far as I could tell so it appeared to me that God wasn’t there for me. It was scary because up til then I had prayed every night as I’d been taught and I believed/felt that Jesus always watched over me. But when I prayed and didn’t receive any sign of help I lost that faith and felt so alone.

    It’s taken me a while to reconnect with prayer and to find faith. I’ve come to recognize that it comes and goes because I’m human. But it always returns IF I MAKE MYSELF AVAILABLE TO GOD. I’ve been learning that it is more important to make myself available to God without expectation as to how God responds. That part is not up to me. That has taken me a long time to realize.

  5. Gel .. thank you for sharing your links and I will for sure sit and take time to read those tonight.

    I have always had a deep relationship with God since I was a child, he was my only hope.. but as I grew up I grew angry at him because I thought “if he loved me so much, why would he let happen, happen to me”.

    It wasn’t until 5 1/2 years ago when my therapist made me realize that “God didn’t let this happen to you, he was standing there shaking his head in tears in anger that the “free will” of others could do this to a child”.

    I was angry with God for the longest time, but I was really helped to see Gods way by a lot of people around me.

    One person told me a few years ago “God will restore what the enemy has taken” .. I still hold onto that everyday.

    One thing I know for sure, and I read what you said above about how he doesn’t always answer prayers and I go through this too, it’s NEVER right away, and its always when we least expect it. God will show up through people (at least for me that happens) .. God will show up through my support with words, and I will smile knowing where it came from.

    My therapist always says to me in session “I feel God was present” when we had a tough session that was hard to move through. and I feel it too.

    My Nana was a NUN! a catholic NUN.. she lived in a convent for 8 years, but then stepped out so she could MARRY because she fell in love. It was my Nana who inspired me to the Catholic Faith.. it is ME and my life and I enjoy being a part of this faith.

    So thank you for your comment Gel and I will take some time to read your links.. I look forward to it and thank you for your comment :)

Please take a moment to comment! I love connecting with others!