Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Giving Up For the Greater Good

Recently I had the opportunity to return to the career path I was on prior to my reversion. Over the last several weeks I seriously considered it. Little by little, the path appealed to me to the point where I couldn't see anything else that would be fulfilling, career-wise. It would allow me to use my creativity. I would have the opportunity to work with great people to bring to life an amazing project. The good things about my life pre-reversion were highlighted, forgetting the struggles and obstacles I came across that eventually made me leave that life.

About a week ago was when the excitement reached its height. It looked like it was going to happen... I even began telling a few of my closest friends about it. I began to drop little hints to other friends I trusted. The more I talked about it, the more it felt like I was committing to it. "I don't want to talk about it and eventually not do it," I told myself. "That would be disappointing and would make me look flaky and/or scared." Still, the more committed I felt to going through with it, the more distant I felt from the faith. I eventually told those I trusted more about it because I wasn't in a good place and I needed prayer.

I felt no peace while considering this career path. It gave me an emotional adrenaline which I can only describe as the feeling you get at the top of a rollercoaster prior to the big drop -- all nerves yet excitement as you wait to take that plunge. My mind raced with so many thoughts and ideas. My energy levels were indescribably high. There was an added element that I won't get into but let's just say that it played a big role in this whole thing.

I knew I was in trouble when I had to start hiding the fact that my faith has been a big part of my life for the past decade. Yes, you read that right. Not only was I trying to downplay being Catholic, I also felt like I wasn't fit to be a Catholic any longer. Without going into too many details, let's just say that a priest made me feel as if I were a lost cause; like there was no point in my being a Catholic any longer. I don't know whether I misinterpreted him or if he didn't communicate his ideas properly but it's been the second time in less than a year that he's played a role in my questioning and doubting my commitment to living my life as a faithful Catholic -- like I just don't have what it takes to try to reach Heaven.

During this journey, I've felt completely empty. I've felt so far from God and from the Church... well, you guys read the last blog post, right? It was nothing compared to how lonely and empty I eventually ended up feeling a couple of days after the last blog post. I felt like I hit rock bottom. Bl. Mother Teresa and St. Therese of Lisieux's dark nights of the soul kept coming to mind. I went to confession and Mass and that helped... for only that little while. The days following it, I felt worse. I've forced myself to keep praying even though I've felt like a robot going through the motions.

Over the last 2-3 days, I began to reconsider the decision to return to the field. There was something about it that wasn't sitting well with me. I began seeing that I was falling back into my old habits that caused me a lot of trouble and that I'd worked so hard to get rid post-reversion. My spiritual life, my heart, and my very soul were in danger. There's a reason why I left this life behind and I was being reminded of it.

The less I thought about returning to the path, the more at peace I felt. This morning I couldn't sleep (I only got 3 hours of sleep). I had too much on my mind. Thankfully my wingman was up super early as well and we talked about everything I was going through. He suggested I put the breaks on the project to see how I felt. A few hours later, I made the decision to walk away. I felt an inner peace when I decided to update friends on the decision.

I'm not saying that I'm never going to return to this career path but I'm not ready right now. I'm still too susceptible to the dangers (hidden and obvious) in the field. With how anemic my spiritual life has been lately, it would've potentially destroyed whatever is keeping me from giving up on being a faithful Catholic. Perhaps I needed to go through all of this to remind me of what I've gone through in the past decade (since it's been a decade since my reversion) and how much life has been better since I left my previous life behind. Perhaps all of this was meant to make me see that I truly don't ever want to return in case more tempting offers come along my way in the future. All I know is that I had to walk away from it to save myself. I gave up something I love (once again) in order for something greater -- the chance to potentially reach Heaven one day.

Intellectually, I know my goal is to reach Heaven but I'm still feeling empty. While I've felt a peace about letting go of that amazing opportunity I was considering, I still feel like I'm going through a dark night of the soul -- I still feel empty, alone, completely cut off from God and the Church. I know I shouldn't always listen to what I'm feeling because feelings can be false and trip you up which is why I'm still praying, albeit my sheer willpower because I have absolutely no desire to do it.

Thank you to all of you who've prayed for me thus far. If you can keep me in your prayers, I'd gladly appreciate it. I'm not sure how long all of this apathy and emptiness will last but I'm not ready to give up yet. Some days are harder than others. Some days I feel like giving up but I don't. For the record: when I talking about giving up, I'm talking about faith matters. I'm not suicidal or anything like that.

Alright, I'm going to go do something. I'm not sure what just yet, I just know I don't want to stay online for much longer.

I hope y'all have been well.

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :)


AnneMarie said...

Prayers continuing to come your way! :)

Stephen said...

Emmy, this makes me think of this past Sunday's Gospel readings: Jesus said, "Strive to enter through narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and not be able."

If our lives with Christ were easy, then the doorway would be wide and easy for many. Or as Jesus told us to pick up our cross and follow him.

Continue to trust Him, Emmy, and trust that there are those of us who are continuing to offer up prayers for you during this difficult time.

Catholic Mutt said...

Oh, the dryness! Sometimes I feel like it's just part of my current season in life, sometimes I feel like it's my fault for not being as faithful as I could or should be. It's probably some combination of both. Anyway, thankfully we know it's not about how we feel, a lot of it is just to keep showing up. Sometimes to let God do most of the work since ours is so pathetically inadequate (and I'm talking about me in that statement, because I would never attribute that to anyone else!) Anyway, just recently started reading your blog, but know that I will be praying for you, and think that you are exactly on the right track in listening to that peace. Also, there is no one that is a lost cause! Jesus rejoices in every single one of our decisions to turn toward Him, no matter how many times we fall, and no matter how small those decisions are, and He will always bring us closer in the midst of that.