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  • Writer's pictureDeborah

The Same

Memorable Moments Hebrews

Hebrews 13:8 ESV

In this ever changing world sometimes it’s difficult to know what’s what.

I am a boomer, born in the 1950’s.

My three older children are Generation X. My youngest son is a Millennial.

Five of my grandchildren are Gen Z.

My three youngest grandchildren are Alpha Gen.

Every generation has distinct characteristics. In addition to that, sociologists continue to study and look for patterns in generations and in society.

I am an avid lifelong learner. All of my personality tests administered by psychologists during seminary show I love learning. As such, I make a point to periodically ask a question to people from every generation. I am also determined to learn as much from my children and grandchildren as I can. They know things I do not know and I want them to teach me. That’s because each generation has special characteristics.

Because of that, I seek to learn new things from each child and grandchild, especially my grandchildren. One of them is my go to for psychology/sociology. One is majoring in college in biochemistry.

One is my technology coach, another is my art coach. My youngest grandson teaches me how various toys make puzzles. He is unbelievably fast at building puzzles. I am amazed by the skill he has when he is “playing” with small pieces of building blocks.

Each grandchild teaches me marvelous wonderful things I do not know.

I am reminded that life is ever-changing.

Yet Hebrews 13:8 tells us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.“

That fact gives me great comfort. I realize that as everything around me is changing ever so quickly and I struggle to keep up with the changes, I have an ever-constant stable influence in my life.

In addition to that, while my children and grandchildren are all influencers in my life, the greatest influencer for the whole of my life is Jesus.

See, I went through a few rough years nearly twenty years ago, when everything in my life changed forever.

In an instant everything I’d known changed. Most of it was gone forever.

In those dark hours of my soul, I know I was not alone but I could not see or hear Jesus.

It was the most difficult trial I had faced because even though I had faced difficulties, I could always feel, see, or hear the presence of God in my life.

I came to a point where I begged God to let me hear the voice of the Spirit.

What I heard was silence.

Complete silence.

There were times it felt like God had abandoned me.

I don’t remember how it happened but someone told me about their Spiritual Director. I asked questions. I found out the Spiritual Director had an office across town so I called to make an appointment. He was (is) a highly educated and trained Spiritual Director.

I ‘sat’ with him for several years.

I discovered that my focus was primarily on my life and my perception. My focus was not primarily on God. He didn’t tell me that…he helped me to see it. I love Spiritual Direction because the director simply asks questions. They don't give answers. They help you to find the answer for you. They direct you to God.

In my case I came to realize that I was working too hard to earn my faith. I learned to relax and wait for God to teach me.

I also learned that silence is God’s first language.

I learned that the silence of God I’d experienced was not a curse. It was a gift. God was teaching me the first language…the language before creation. Silence.

Creation emerged from the silence of God.

When I couldn’t hear God, creation in me was emerging from the silence of God. Even though I lost so many parts of my life, God was rebuilding a beautiful creation in me.

During that time my Spiritual Director told me about readings from St. John of the Cross. Reading The Dark Night of the Soul, written in the 16th Century by St. John who was a priest, mystic and poet was enlightening.

St. John wrote, “The soul then, thus disguised and clad in the vesture of hope, is secure from its second foe, the world, for St. Paul calls hope the helmet of salvation. Now a helmet is armor which protects and covers the whole head, and has no opening except in one place, where the eyes may look through. Hope is such a helmet, for it covers all the senses of the head of the soul in such a way that they cannot be lost in worldly things, and leaves no part of them exposed to the arrows of the world. It has one loophole only through which the eyes may look upwards only; this is the ordinary work of hope, to direct the eyes of the soul to God alone; as David says, “My eyes are always to our Lord,” looking for succor nowhere else; as he says in another psalm, “As the eyes of the handmaid on the hands of her mistress, so are our eyes to our Lord God until He have mercy on us, hoping in Him. The green vesture of hope—for the soul is then ever looking upwards unto God, disregarding all else, and delighting only in Him—is so pleasing to the Beloved that the soul obtains from Him all it hopes for.”

I learned to keep my eyes on God.

I learned that the silence of God is ever so precious.

For the first time I felt the fullness of God’s love for me.

I gained much more from the silence of God than I lost from my precious experience.

As always, my loss made space for my gain.

Spiritual Practice: Loss and Gain

What have you lost? What did you gain?

In God, Deborah


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