One of the most excruciatingly painful, yet most spiritually fulfilling times life happened recently in three week period. I can no longer postpone writing about this because as time goes on my memories of what happened during this time are fading.
I can’t forget the lessons I learned because they are ones I NEVER want to have to re-learn.
I will share those lessons in a separate blog.
What is the dark night of the soul.? Here is an excerpt from an article in Christianity Today by Chuck DeGroat that I found very helpful:
“The fifteenth-century Christian writer John of the Cross described this experience; he called it la noche oscura, or dark night, that difficult invasion of God’s astringent grace that opens us to new realms of spiritual experience. ”
Astringent grace. Those words describe exactly what I went through.
I know that I could never have reaped the benefits from this time that I did without the help of my family. Robert, my former husband, room mate, and co-creator in community building, was willing to be present for in ways that alleviated my pain which sometimes seemed unbearable.
Every morning and evening we would talk about what I was going through and pray together. Sometimes we would read scriptures, listen to inspiring spiritual teachings and listen to worship music.
We started taking a video class which was so important for my healing present and future, Immanual Lifestyle which helps us develop an even more secure connection to God so we can come to that place where we are praying unceasingly.
In fact, this became my main prayer and yearning–to always stay connected to God and feel close to him. I felt so far away at times.
He made me healthy food, consistently checked in with me when I hid in my room and prayed for me a lot. He showered affection on me in the form of hugs.
or No Longer Slaves performed by I Am They. When I hear songs that we played during my darkness, the bittersweet memories come rushing back, and I remember how important it is for me to keep my connection God always alive.
During my dark night of the soul, my daughter, Maud, called me every day, and came over for long periods 3 or 4 times. Being alone was really hard for me, and having people I felt completely safe with was so important. Her husband Was really supportive of her helping me and his presence was very healing.
Chris, my son who works for me full time on Jesus Vegans projects, was super flexible. Sometimes I just couldn’t have him around because I was so unable to work on our goals. I was able to delegate to him things to do on his own without having to be on site during the worst part of the darkness. He was so encouraging and flexible.
Cliff, my former husband and present member of Jesus Vegans
Community was understanding and encouraging as well. Knowing that my whole family was there for me helped me to be free to concentrate on my healing without having dysfunction of relationships adding to my distress.
My best friend Barbara Hulley founder of Jesus Vegans play Barbara was really supportive from a distance. I felt so grateful because she couldn’t really understand what I was going through and thought it was really important.
There were a few times when Robert started feeling overwhelmed by the amount of energy he needed to expend for me. I almost lost it during those periods, but he and I were able to talk through the difficulties in a way that added to my healing.
I did not want to see anyone else besides my family during this time. I couldn’t even talk to my good friend Sky, who lives in San Diego and is a member of Jesus Vegans coordinating circle. I did let him know that I was unable to communicate in person, but I did write him an email and keep him updated in texts. I was so grateful that he did not pressure me to talk or feel offended that I needed space.
I saw Brian Leffert on occasion because he works for us as the master carpenter for our Mir House, the community building which will serve the eco-village site. He was always so loving and didn’t push me to talk. Later, he said, “I knew you would come out of that space.”
So what brought this dark night of the soul on? I can’t share all details because I would jeopardize other people’s confidentiality. I will share this in part 2.