Knocking and God Isn't Answering for the First Time Ever
Mine is a life that hasn't exactly been fraught with tragedy. It has, however, known a fair amount of financial and personal struggle throughout the years. If the rough patches on one's journey are tests, I feel as if I should have multiple graduate degrees in Getting Over It Already.
Whenever anything gets too ridiculous, I have relied on a triple-tiered, unwavering support network of family, amazing friends, and faith.
In the past few months, the faith wavered. That's not wholly accurate: it disappeared.
A little background is in order here.
I have been a practicing Roman Catholic all of my life. I never had a "wander away from the Church" phase when I was young. As a younger road comic, I would go on retreat at a monastery and contemplate whether I wanted to be a priest.
The intensity of my prayer life fluctuates but it has always been there for me. I pray in a variety of ways. Sometimes I begin the day with a prayer of gratitude. Others I'll pray the Psalms. The Lord and I have always been able to have spontaneous conversations too.
This relationship has been the bedrock of whatever I have needed to get through in my life.
I am not saying that I am, or was, a saint--far from it--I have always just relied on an active faith in God.
When my only child left for college last year, the empty nest was more difficult to deal with than I imagined. I found great solace in prayer and my parish community, as always.
In the early part of this summer, a couple of things happened (not health-related, but a bit personal to discuss here) that shocked me and left me feeling rather untethered. Fortunately, my daughter was home for the summer, so I had that to focus on. However, she's nineteen and has a job and a life of her own--so there wasn't a lot of parenting to occupy my time.
My friends and family were there for me, as always.
When I turned to God, he was not.
It didn't feel like he pulled away. I wasn't angry with him.
It felt like he wasn't there and I felt empty. That in itself was as shocking as what precipitated all of this.
That was almost three months ago, and my approach to dealing with it, while not exactly vigorous, hasn't been passive either.
I will pray for a few days in a row just to see if that starts anything.
Because the Roman Catholic Church is so steeped in ritual, I decided to avail myself of some of them to get things moving.
So far, so empty.
While wearing out one of my best friends with yet another "I don't know what to do" babble-fest last week, he (also a Roman Catholic) suggested that I talk to a priest. Fortunately, I have been active at my parish for a very long time and have developed good relationships with a couple of the priests there.