|Photo: Nancy Bauer, OSB|
The reason I haven’t written lately is that I have been searching and applying for jobs for last three months. The work is relentless and the emotional roller coaster is taxing and exhausting. One day hopeful, the next day disappointed. Only one person can be chosen. Feeling the searing pain of rejection, I ask, “Why God?” - I often ask with no answer. Intuitively I know and trust that God’s ways are beyond me. Yet the darkness dogs the light and even taunts it in the waiting.
With much struggle and interior fighting with God and myself I have finally come to make peace with this whole process of hope and rejection. It surely did not come overnight! There’s not been any grand revelation through my lectio time or inspiration reading. How can it be that the darkness has sustained the light and gently kept the coals aflame?
Psalm 88 ends in the NIV translation with David saying, “Darkness is my closest friend.” I have had to cry out to God and befriend my darkness. Darkness as my friend has gifted me with humility, honesty and authenticity. It helps me remember that the Light shines in me and through me. I am not the Light and cannot produce the Light even though my grandiosity and false self often tempt me with this illusion. Darkness reminds me I am not in control of either Light or Darkness.
Paradoxically, the greatest gift my friend Darkness has given me is to understand deeply that I need help and to ask for that help. Growing up as a child in a survival mode, and learning to be fiercely independent, this skill was never taught. Only in forced reluctance did I ever ask for help. I am so grateful for my friend Darkness because it is humbly teaching me to ask for help and that I need help. The resulting freedom I have experienced has mysteriously helped me befriend darkness and provided peace that all is well on the emotional rollercoaster of job searching and life’s journey.
“The Light shines in the Darkness” as both mysteriously and paradoxically sustain my soul.
Trish Dick, OSB