by Linda Veath
It’s all about me.
Yes, you read that right. For a while, I actually thought it was all about me. Thankfully, God has been working in my life to change that perspective.
In recent years, I had picked up the pieces of a broken marriage and started anew. I retired and started living on my own in a home that I loved. I bought a new car. I had friends I could count on. And, even more importantly, I had an assurance in my soul that using my time and resources to help others in God’s name was my calling.
Yes, I had it all. Until I started thinking it was all about me. It became easier and easier to feel good about what I had done. Easier to say thank you without pointing to the Lord. Easier to take the credit. Easier to drop hints so people would ask for details about what I had been doing.
Then along came the occasion to really help someone. I seized upon the opportunity. But what started as good was soon overtaken by the big “I.” And it became all about ME, MY way, MY needs, MY being in control.
And that’s when God allowed the devil to knock the props out from under me. Why? Because, the props holding me up were the wrong props. My work was being built on a foundation of pride, selfishness, control.
God started showing me, piece by piece, where I went wrong, and it hurt. I cried and cried. Surrounded by the darkness that comes from failing the Lord, I began to see that I had, in many ways, encountered my “dark night of the soul.”
It’s during the dark night of the soul when God roots out our deepest attachments to sin. And self. It’s a time of desolation that is overwhelming and crushing. A time when a person feels the dark of night plunging their soul into a void, a dark nothingness, essentially revealing what we are without God. It is purely an act of God working to draw us closer to Him.
Psalm 51:17 says “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” And verses 10-12: “Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of my salvation.”
As I’ve made this journey through the darkness, my eyes have returned to Jesus—His forgiveness, His healing, His peace, His strength. I’ve learned that it is not all about me. It’s not about me at all. It is ALWAYS and ONLY about Jesus.
And by the way, if you have never read St. John of the Cross’s poem The Dark Night of the Soul, may I suggest that you do. It’s truly amazing.