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Struggling with Inner Barriers


markdohle

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Struggling with Inner Barriers

A few years ago, my good friend Gail, as she was walking in the woods near where our green cemetery is, found a stone in the form of a heart. It was large covering much of the palm of my hand when held. She wanted me to have it. I have it on my prayer altar in my room. I found it intriguing because it for me, represents my own inner journey to overcome the stoniness of my own heart.

I have found that there are barriers that have been set up in my soul that I can’t climb over. So over the years, as these barriers become ever more apparent, so does the inner pain of seeing how imprisoned I still am by inner forces that still have a grip on me. While I do have some insight into this inner dilemma, it is not some sort of key that can unlock this issue.

Many people live from their hearts. They experience deep warmth when they pray to God, and it shows in how they relate to others. That is not the case for me. In spite of my desires, there seems to be an inner war within my soul that I have to endure, offer up, and just be patient with.

For me, as I age, there is a wound that has slowly healed over the years, yet it still lingers. Sometimes it seems to be a weight that I can feel, at others a ‘sort’ of pain that will sometimes become less when I pray. This lack of ability to love God does not frustrate me anymore as it did when I was young, but I long for the freedom that will one day be mine. Perhaps only at death will God be able to accomplish the final healing for me. I have been waiting for almost 73 years, so what is the few years I have left are not that long of a wait.

The Lord during my life has touched me more than once, in such a way that I did actually experience a deep sense of peace and love, and yes warmth, that has kept me on the path. It was a grace, a foretaste, and I have to wait, pray, and just be in the Lord's presence until that state becomes permanent.

I believe that each of us is ‘everyman’. By that, I mean that we all have more or less the same spiritual struggles, but experienced in different ways according to the wounds we have experienced when very young. This inner longing for union with God is universal, though it may manifest in ways that work against actually achieving this often unconscious desire. Yet grace is always at work, and in this is my hope.

I am not sure what or where I live from anymore, but my trust in God’s love for me is growing, and that is enough for me. Struggle, pain, frustration are part of life, just as much as joy, love, and communion are as well. Though I am getting weary, well having a 73-year-old body can do that I guess. The ’70s are turning out to be very interesting. Never a dull moment. The learning to let go seems to be more and more important for me, what else can I do? I still do not regret getting older, even if everything hurts on some days, and when I kneel down, not sure I will be able to get up. So far so good. Though I do not kneel that much anymore.

I am happy, content, even with the above frustrations because my hope is in God’s love for me, not so much my love for God. We are all carried by the Lord, we are children before God’s eyes, after all, even if I can be very immature, grace is at work.-Br.MD



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