Last night our youngest twin and I were watching the movie Polar Express. The movie, 2004, is our youngest twinnies favourite it is the story of the Christmas Eve journey of a doubting boy who boards a magical train that’s headed to the North Pole and Santa Claus’s home.
She looked at me with shinning eyes and said do you remember when you used to read that to us every Christmas? Boy do I!
As I watching this delightful movie with our twinnie daughter one thought kept coming into my mind: “I would love to have a train come to visit me in the middle of the night and take me to God.” If we are truthful with ourselves we all have had times of great doubt that there is no God, or that God isn’t/doesn’t listens to us. I know my relationship with God has changed over the years, and most profoundly when our eldest son was pre-teen/teen. He was not the easiest child to raise and my hubby was at a point in his career when he traveled greatly. Hubby was also not so sure what to do with a wife and child who circled each other like caged lions. Let us just say that living with this boy was like living in a Life Time movie. That is when I lost, as REM would sing, my religion. And it frightened me here I was a spiritual director who was having the dark night of her soul.
When my father died I worn a pink rosary on my wrist and it gave me great comfort that God was with me. Now as a mother of a son, our first, the infamous Honeymoon baby, I was battling with getting him to therapists, parole meetings, protecting the younger children from his “friends.” It was a nightmare that lasted for far too long.
I suspect that this is true of many mothers; the parenting situation is confusing, frustrating, lonely and difficult, you are not getting what you need from your spouse, and he may not yet understand what that is, and as for God, well….he seems even more distance than he has been in a very long time. It was during this time that Polar Express came to theaters, and my hubby and I took the three younger children to see it. It tore at my heart then and as it does today. I sat in that dark movie house crying my eyes out because I understood why my bell no longer rang…why I no longer believed in Santa, but more importantly in God….I felt as if God had forgotten about me, our family, our troubled son.
I dried my eyes and went back to being mommy, trying to feel as strong as I was pretending to be for my younger children. Trying to stay the course my hubby and I had worked out, the one that eventually proved to be the most helpful to our eldest, but at the time I couldn’t see how it would help and all I wanted was him out of the house. I would sit and cry in the dark hours of the night staying up to protect my family, but prayer did not come easily or at all, prayer was just words that went no where. Friends would quote the footprints prayer to me and I would nod my head and think how pathetic it was that I could not feel what that prayer promised.
I am not sure if I am out of the dark night of my soul, and I am not sure where I am with God. I just know that I still have a glimmer of hope that the faith of my childhood will come to me….how long it will take I have no idea, but I hope it is soon.