Our wounds are the seeds of resurrection
A few days ago, I prayed with this verse, “What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight” (Matthew 10:27), and heard God asking me to share a little bit of what has been going on in my life in hopes of encouraging someone who needs it.
The last eleven months have been the darkest time of my life, as I experienced significant health trials in the last year, beginning in August 2021. I have suffered ongoing health issues since 2015, but this latest challenge has by far been the most difficult thing I have ever experienced. I experienced a substantial loss of my health, subsequent loss of a job I loved, and received a diagnosis of high levels of mold and other toxins in my body.
I was virtually bedbound/housebound from October 2021 to May 2022, experiencing debilitating fatigue, nausea, anxiety, and depression. My world shrank to my house as I lost interest in or was not physically able to do most of the things I love to do. Though it was incredibly painful, I look back on that time as a gift to reflect on the meaning of suffering and to draw closer to Christ, who suffers with us and for us. Saint Faustina said, “In suffering, we learn who our true Friend is,” and perhaps the biggest lesson I learned is that the cross never comes to us without the Crucified (for my non-Catholic friends, this is why you’ll find crucifixes in our homes and churches – to remind us that we never suffer alone since every type of suffering has already been endured by Christ).
The bigger the cross, the more we are invited to look through eyes of faith and see God holding us even when we can’t feel His presence and don’t understand His ways.
What I really wanted to share with you today, though, is a little story from April. It was the day before we had to put my beloved cat of 18 years to sleep, and I was very slowly walking along a trail near our house, pushing my wheelchair. A man approached me and said, “The Lord has heard your prayer! Soon you will be jumping for joy!” I was too filled with grief and hopelessness at that time to fully receive what the Holy Spirit spoke to me through that stranger, but it is a promise that has echoed in my heart and that I have now seen come to fulfillment as I experience healing. So this is a word of hope that I want to pass on to anyone who is suffering. The Lord sees you (Genesis 6:13). He hears you (Psalm 6:9). He is with you (Zephaniah 3:17; Isaiah 53:5). And joy will come (Psalm 30:5). He is a God who heals, whether that healing comes in this life or in eternal life (Revelation 21:4).
All suffering, all pain, all emptiness, all disappointment is a seed: sow it in God and He will, finally, bring a crop of joy from it.