I had an experience the other day. I am currently going through a major transition, which will be made known relatively soon. It has been hurtful and shocking, amongst other feelings. When things like this happen, even more so than normal, I feel extremely compelled to prayer.
In this instance, it was the rosary, using the Sorrowful Mysteries. It felt right and just to recall the One whose sorrow beckons me to reflect more deeply on my experience. I cannot tell what you have experienced in your prayer life. Perhaps you’ve never felt as if there was a response. Maybe you have. In this prayer time of mine, unexpectedly, I received a response. It was while meditating on the crucifixion; while picturing Christ on the cross in agony. I was overwhelmed with the realisation that Christ is still on the cross right now. He is on the cross in my experience. He is being crucified with it. And unmistakably, in this image I was carrying, I felt an invitation to be crucified too. When I step back and attempt objectively to look at what happened, I see foolishness. Who chooses crucifixion? And yet the call to love as deeply as Jesus, to be united with him in his love for all people, was so overpowering. Seeing him on the cross struggling as he lived through his last breaths, knowing that his love was so great that it could encompass all negativity and hurt…how could anyone, least of all I, say no? I choose crucifixion. I choose the cross, if only to be united with Christ and to be in company with him. In that moment of choice, the words, ‘Do not be afraid’ echoed in my mind. Do not be afraid.
This is my choice. I freely choose my path, which at this point is not a pleasant choice. I have peace knowing that I am making the right decision and that I am walking the path that Christ has asked me to walk. And I trust Jesus’ words, do not be afraid. My fear of the unknown has lessened the more that I’ve been trusting that God will provide and that his Spirit is leading me in the choices I am making. There was wrong that happened. There is also hope and joy in my future as I choose Christ. God will turn ugliness into beauty, though it is veiled at this time.
There are few occurrences in my life where prayer has yielded such a strong and undeniable response. Those few times in which it has happened, it has been true. The words spoken, the images received, the message conveyed; every time when I have responded to God’s unquestionable touch, the fruits of God’s Spirit have abounded, though not necessarily at once.
If possible, I ask for your prayers right now as I continue to discern my path. Keep all those going through difficult situations also in prayer. More than anything, this situation has brought to my heart those who struggle with much harder choices than myself, even amidst my hurt and shock.