The Sun Never Says
“Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, “you owe me.” Look what happens with a love like that --- it lights the whole world. - Hafi

“God just wants to shower us with love.” My spiritual director told me this during a particularly rough patch. It was a playful image that made me giggle in-between tears. I imagined being in a shower where cartoon hearts spewed out of the showerhead instead of water. You would step out with a beautiful glow, great skin, and lit with the Holy Spirit. 

A few days before this interaction, I was informed that I would be receiving a promotion. Two days later, I found out I was no longer eligible for the promotion due to a technicality. I was crushed and devastated. Already attached to the idea of this new professional opportunity and imagining what life would be like for me in this new role, my imagination ran wild. I created illusions, scenarios, and dreams of what I could and would do with my new work portfolio. The feeling of despair took over me when I got the call that confirmed that none of those dreams would become a reality. I was no longer able to concentrate after receiving the news. I withdrew from my surroundings and did not want to engage in active conversations with the people around me.

I tried to console myself with the thought that there had to be a reason for this circumstance. I kept telling myself, “This is all a part of God’s plan and that there must be something else keeping me away from this seemingly great opportunity.” The more I said it, the more I realized how disappointed I was about the situation. It was challenging for me to keep my focus on God and his plan for me. I was disappointed and heartbroken. I was angry that God was challenging me to put even greater trust in him. I didn’t like it. I felt I had been tested enough. Why was I getting tested again?

It was a moment created specifically for me by God. It was an opportunity to choose him and to keep learning how to trustingly accept God’s plan when things go seemingly wrong. This disruption to the route that I thought I should be on was a lesson to highlight my dependence on God.  

Throughout my initial moments of sadness, there were small moments of God’s gentle, loving, and kind presence. God brought me small interactions with loved ones that would break me away from my temptation to choose loneliness, disappointment, anger, and resentment. In all the turmoil, God’s love was so very present through the compassion and friendship of the people that accompanied me during those first few days after hearing the news.  

God was present when my boyfriend took off of work early to take me out to dinner to cheer me up. God was present in my conversation with my spiritual director who put into perspective that God only wants to shower us with love. God was also present during a celebratory group dinner with loved ones that included margaritas, laughter, and fellowship. 

In my moment of sadness, I was not alone. God was present and using my community to make his presence known. God was using those around me as instruments of his love for me. I just had to let myself be loved. I needed to let him shower me with love.  

It was during this session with my spiritual director that led me to the realization that sometimes God just wants us to trust. Acceptance of our trials brings blessings that far outweigh them. I have to trust that God has lovingly planned every inch of my journey. 

I have realized that throughout my journey, I will encounter God’s love in many forms. I just have to take deep breaths of God’s presence and let go. Together with God by my side, we can make it.

Jeanalee Obergfell

For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. - Corinthians 4:17-18