How to climb out of this dark hole?


#1

Hi everyone, I am new here. I have been reading here for a while and decided that CAF is probably the best place to get feedback. This is kind of lengthy so please bear with me…

Growing up, I always thought that I would go to college, meet a husband, and get married.
Well, as the saying goes, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. Well, due to some family stuff, I did spend some time helping my siblings through school (not financially but in other ways), so down the road, everyone is grown up, and I had fewer familial obligations. I was working, going to Mass almost daily, online on a few different Catholic singles sites, had a great group of friends. Life seemed to be great!

My friends and I supported other through singlehood and all the ups and downs of meeting good Catholic guys, online and in our social circles. And we all pledged to pray for each other, and one by one, they all got married, and I did not. I decided perhaps God might want me to do something else, at least “for now”, and I ended up starting my own business (ironically, I make wedding favors, and I am quite talented in an area in which I will never personally benefit).

I took a payout from my job in order to move with my cousin (my roommate) to another state where one of her siblings lives, because we don’t have much family left where we grew up and wanted to be near some of the family with children. She sold her house and was able to buy a house for cash here in the state in which we now live. So I have few living expenses, and I will not be homeless, so this takes me to the next part of my question.

I know all of the following is my own fault so please spare me a lecture :D, but I ran out of money at the same time I totaled my car. My business is not doing well (although I am earning enough to eat and pay my internet bill), and I have not paid my other bills in months. The amount of money I got from my car (due to a high deductible), was not enough to get another one, and I ended up using the money for some emergencies (a repair on my cousin’s car, because we must have a working car).

So here I am single, not getting any younger with:
no money
no car
no job
no health insurance

My question is why is God doing this to me? Intellectually I know (I studied theology in college, LOL) that God loves me, but how exactly do our prayers work with God’s will? I spent many hours praying for my friends, and well, they seem to have everything I do not, not just materially, but spiritually (obviously they have attained some sort of spiritual readiness in order to be married). I don’t get it. Does this mean no one prays for me? Or that they do, but it’s God’s will that my life be like this? If so, WHY? I am fighting terrible terrible envy of my friends, too. :frowning: I’ve sent maybe 2 emails to my friends as a group asking for prayers (with no specifics), like 5 months ago when this started, and have received no replies. So I guess they don’t care? :frowning: And I know they are around because they post on Facebook all the time posting things like “we’re off to take Emma to her first Yankees game”, “we’re off to take Emma to grandma’s art show”, “I got maid service because I cannot clean 4 bathrooms”. “We’re off to the Hamptons for Taylor’s birthday”. I’ve asked for prayers on Facebook (without ever mentioning specifics), and only had a couple of my cousins reply, (no friends). The thing is, I don’t think they’re shallow, they’re all great Catholics. So I just don’t get this whole thing AT ALL. Their happiness and wealth (both material and spiritual) is shoved in my face every time I log onto Facebook.

I can use my cousin’s car, but since we are in a new huge city, I don’t know where to find a spiritual director (can this be done online? :D), and I do go to Sunday mass and I do go to confession.

Why? Why me? I want to stamp my foot and say it isn’t fair. I cannot find a job (and I have degree!), either. How do people get to the point spiritually where God gives them all the desires of their heart? I cannot get there and I don’t know how. I also want to make it clear that I am not just looking for material gains through prayer.:blush:

I don’t want anything fancy or extravagant out of life, just to be able to pay my debts, someone who loves me, a car to drive, and to get to heaven. Ok, heck, I’d be happy with the ability to pay my debts, and heaven (of course!). :smiley:

And to top it all off, I have terrible terrible insomnia. I didn’t fall asleep until 8 :eek: this morning!

Help… and sorry this was so long and in spite of everything I do know God loves me. :thumbsup:


#2

aw hugs for you :hug1: I wanted to let you know that God is not directly behind everything that happens to us… suffering is the result of sin in the world, and as people say, “stuff happens”. It’s not like God is “doing this to you”. The question is, perhaps, why did He allow this and not stop it from happening… I don’t know for sure, of course, but based on my experience and what I’ve read, there can be several explanations… for example, maybe He wants you to learn trust in Him first… maybe He wants you to learn a lesson that will be best for you spiritually… try to trust God that His will would be done and that He has the BEST plan for you, but right now, it might not make sense. This might also be a cross to carry for a while… maybe, as hard as this sounds, God might be teaching you about rejoicing for others. I know sort of how it feels cause some of my friends are really successful and don’t have some of the problems I have, and sometimes it’s a battle to not be envious, but maybe this is a battle He wants us to fight. God has out ultimate happiness in mind, and sometimes we have to go through a ‘valley’ to get there. The Saints even considered this a blessing, but of course it’s understandable that we don’t always see it that way… Jesus told St Gemma, if it doesn’t feel like a cross, it’s not a cross :wink: try to surrender to Him with trust. And…don’t feel like your life is over !! There are people who get married a little later in life but have happy marriages and children. There are also people who go back to school (like college or university) and start their careers in their 30s or 40s. I know in our society it can seem like everything’s a “race”, like you have to be successful ASAP or else you’re a failure… but God doesn’t see it that way. I’m sure He loves you and He’s not punishing you, or laughing at you, or ANYTHING like that. He doesn’t love you any less than your friends or anyone. I’ll leave you with this verse…

Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life**? 26Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

32"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Luke 12**


#3

‘Every morning as soon as you get up think of all the most disagreeable things that could happen to you during the day. Your house might be burnt down, you might lose your job or all your savings, or be run over, or sudden death might come to you or to a person you love. Accept these misfortunes should it please God to allow them; compel your will to agree to the sacrifice and give yourself no rest until you really feel prepared to wish or not to wish all that God may wish or not wish.’

St. Claude de la Colombiere, ‘Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence: The Secret to Peace and Happiness’

From my experience, the holier you are and the more you pray the more you will see success in the good endevors you enter into in life. The less you pray, and the less you do for God and merit, the less successful you are in life.

God has a plan for your life, and it might not be what you have for it, and that’s for the best, because His plan is the best plan. :slight_smile:

Try to be happy whereever you’re at. :slight_smile: As long as you are united with Him you will be.


#4

SeekingWisdom,

In your situation I would ask myself: what is God saying to me regarding my present circumstances?

This happened under the will and providence of God, and while it may be stressful and worrisome to you, remember that no matter what, God is in control.

4everhis has quoted a beautiful passage from Sacred Scripture and please read it slowly and prayerfully, try to relax for a few moments, try to put the worries aside, close your eyes, take slow deep breaths and immerse yourself in the presence of God. Talk to him. Tell him your predicament, not that he needs to know from you, of course, but it will help you.

Trust in Jesus above all else, including friends on earth, who, no matter how friendly and loyal they are, will never be as loyal as Jesus, who is your Eternal Companion.

Finally, I ask you, if you have not done so already, to try and pray a Rosary, if you can. It is a tremendously powerful prayer. Our Blessed Mother is only waiting for you to confide in her. So let her help you as well.

And don’t blame yourself for what has happened. Try to pray about it. It happened under the providence of God for a reason. Ask Him in prayer what is He saying to you in your present circumstances.

God Bless, SeekingWisdom, and I will pray for you as well.

Zebedee


#5

for some reason, whenever I read the words of St Padre Pio, I always feel calmer and God points me in the right direction… I wanted to share the quotes with you:
padrepiodevotions.org/wordsoffaith.asp

God bless


#6

I sometimes think that when we suffer, we are in a way more priveledged than those who do not suffer in these ways (remember that everyone has a cross to bear even if their lives look perfect on the outside.) Because through this, we are given a share in the Cross… God is giving us an opportunity to help other souls by offering our suffering up to Him. Jesus is leading us to Heaven through the valley, but in such times we should surrender to His will and keep in mind that someday it will all make sense. God bless


#7

Thank you everyone :), I think I will go take a walk in the park and pray the rosary and reread and contemplate some more on your responses. :gopray:


#8

“Don’t allow any sadness to dwell in your soul, for sadness prevents the Holy Spirit from acting freely.”

“Our present life is given only to gain the eternal one and if we don’t think about it, we build our affections on what belongs to this world, where our life is transitory. When we have to leave it we are afraid and become agitated. Believe me, to live happily in this pilgrimage, we have to aim at the hope of arriving at our Homeland, where we will stay eternally. Meanwhile we have to believe firmly that God calls us to Himself and follows us along the path towards Him. He will never permit anything to happen to us that is not for our greater good. He knows who we are and He will hold out His paternal hand to us during difficulties, so that nothing prevents us from running to Him swiftly. But to enjoy this grace we must have complete trust in Him.”

“The more you are afflicted, the more you ought to rejoice, because in the fire of tribulation the soul will become pure gold, worthy to be placed and to shine in the heavenly palace.”

“Keep your eyes fixed on Him who is your guide to the heavenly country, where He is leading you. What does it matter to you whether Jesus wishes to guide you to Heaven by way of the desert or by the meadow, so long as He is always with you and you arrive at the possession of a blessed eternity?”

“You must concentrate on pleasing God alone, and if He is pleased, you must be pleased.”

“Let us keep before our minds that which makes up real holiness. Holiness means getting above ourselves; it means perfect mastery of all our passions. It means having real and continual contempt for ourselves and for the things of the world to the point of preferring poverty rather than wealth, humiliation rather than glory, suffering rather than pleasure. Holiness means loving our neighbor as ourself for love of God. In this connection holiness means loving those who curse us, who hate and persecute us and even doing good to them. Holiness means living humbly, being disinterested, prudent, just, patient, kind, chaste, meek, diligent, carrying out one’s duties for no other reason than that of pleasing God and receiving from Him alone the reward one deserves.”

“You ought to ask our Lord for just one thing, to love Him. All the rest should be thanksgiving.”

“Jesus permits the spiritual combat as a purification, not as a punishment. The trial is not unto death but unto salvation.”

“One day when we are able to see the full midday light, we will know what value and what treasures our earthly sufferings have been that have made us gain our everlasting Homeland.”

“Give yourself up into the arms of your Heavenly Mother. She will take good care of your soul.”

“In darkness, at times of tribulation and distress of the spirit, Jesus is with you. In such a state you see nothing but darkness, but I can assure you on God’s behalf that the light of the Lord is all around you and pervades your spirit. . .You see yourself forsaken and I assure you that Jesus is holding you tighter than ever to His divine Heart.”

“Jesus himself wants my sufferings; He needs them for souls.”

“Don’t worry about tomorrow because the very same Heavenly Father who takes care of you today will have the same thought tomorrow and always. . . What does a child in the arms of such a Father have to fear? Be as children, who hardly ever think about their future as they have someone to think for them. They are sufficiently strong just by being with their father.”

St Padre Pio


#9

“Pray, hope, and don’t worry. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.” (St Padre Pio)

“I can testify to this from long experience, so we should not stop asking Him for what we need”

“Pray, pray to the Lord with me, because the whole world needs prayer. And every day, when your heart especially feels the loneliness of life, pray. Pray to the Lord because even God needs our prayers.” (St Padre Pio)

“Tell Me all, My child, hide nothing from Me, because My loving Heart, the Heart of your Best Friend, is listening to you” (Jesus to St Faustina)

…whenever you’re really upset about something, or worried, don’t be afraid to come to Jesus and be really honest with Him, and tell HIm everything that’s on your mind. Remember He understands you. If you do so with trust this opens up many graces.

…there’s also this quote, which is difficult to accept, but I think it’s very true nonetheless:

“The Christian’s motto is the cross. You will recognize God’s love by this sign, by the sufferings He sends you.”


#10

Thank you everyone! And especially 4EverHis, you are a kind kind soul to take so much time out of your day for me. :hug1:

I do feel much better now. :thumbsup:

I think maybe I am, yes, I really am :smiley: a control freak, and I know I need to trust in God more. I think, though, I got too much into “I must do this, I must do that” to have a good life and even among my friends we took entirely much into our own hands regarding God’s plans for us. I don’t mean this in any uncharitable way, but having been clueless for much of my dating life, I think I may have fallen into the control freak trap with the encouragement of my friends and always tried to take their advice and control situations to my advantage, which, of course, never works. :ouch: I really just think they thought they were giving good advice. :nope: I should have given it all over to God a long time ago!

Anyway, thanks everyone! :smiley:


#11

:hug1:


#12

All I can say is that I will say a prayer for you as you walk through this struggle. I can also say that you are NOT alone in this world as related to giving up your life to God and letting Him take over. I am dealing with the same thing right now. I know in my head that God is in control and I need not worry about anything; yet, I still stress.

I think the best advice I’ve gotten is also the simplest. Focus on the core parts of our faith while you just keep going. Sometimes I know it’s hard to understand how you’re going to get through the next 30 minutes more or less the next month.

I know that God does not disappoint or forsake us. That is what keeps me going even when my faith is not as strong as it should be.

I will pray for you and I’m sure things will look up for you eventually. Hang in there. Eternity is a lot longer than any cross we will bare here on earth.


#13

I know what it’s like with this. You feel like a total failure because you are in the situation you’re in. I have been struggling with depression and other mental illnesses for many years. And, yes, I felt like I was in a totally black place with no sign of light for years. I have been getting better treatment, finaly, for a few years now. But that didn’t happen right away. I was first hospitalized in Oct. 1994. I got out in Dec. 1995. So, a little over a year there. Since then I’ve been living on disability, but I hope to change that soon.

Does your town have bus service? If so, that would be an alternative form of transportation. I’ve been riding our bus system since I got out of the hospital. Yes, it’s a big hassle. But at least I can get to most of the places I want to go. Also, look into unemployment. It might help to give you the financial boost you need right now. Give a good look around at some other jobs you might do. Whatever you do, don’t give up. Perhaps letting your friends know about why you need prayer may help them realize just how bad your situation is. But don’t hold out for any money. Try to not give them that impression. Just tell them the circumstances and ask for prayers. If they don’t respond, I’d be wondeing what kind of friends they are.

Don’t mean to give you any more downers that you’ve already got with that last bit. But look around you at other people as well as other occupations. People who you meet now would better understand your current situation.


#14

SeekingWisdom - a hug for you.
Many of the greatest Saints had lives full of frustration and obstacles. They didn’t always know what to do or how to overcome but what they did know was that God was there and that they must follow him even when it doesn’t feel good or when he feels so far away. Also, many of them were mocked and disgarded in their lifetimes and only came to be appreciated by society and by the Church after they had passed.
I know it can be hard when you feel so mentally and spiritually prepared for great things but they never come. However, God is the greatest of all things and he is here with you already. Are you familiar with St. Therese and her little way? We can never be happy when we live for ourselves, only for God. Easier said than done, I know. Just because people are materially comfortable or appear chipper doesn’t mean they aren’t hollowed out inside. They may be suffering more than you because they do not know God as a recourse. Think of all the movie stars and millionaires who kill themselves with drugs or pollute their souls in empty things like sex or gambling. They are far from happy.
As far as friends praying for you…some people just aren’t comforable with publicizing their spirituality and perhaps they were praying for you but felt uncomfortable talking about it outloud? I am often shy about prayer for some reason…yet I spend a lot of time praying for people without mentioning it to them.


#15

#16

Sorry everything sucks right now. I definitly know the feeling.
My advice to make it through this:

  1. pray to kow, love and serve God and His Holy Will, pleasing HIim in everything and accepting the bad as well as the good.
  2. act with prudence. You need money. get any job you can for now and keep searching. there is no shame in working at Walmart or mcdonald’s to make ends meet or even if you’re able to find a job just for the health insurance.
  3. Trust God and stop the self-pity. Self -pity is a sure ifre way to miss out in God’s gifts because when we are so busy looking at our own hurts, fears, doubts and sorrow we not only miss out on prime opportunities to help others, but we can’t see the good things that God is giving us because we are fixated on ourselves. Sorry if that sounds kinda rough, but everyone (including myself) needs to be reminded of that.
  4. be grateful and enjoy what you do have. ok, you’re not married, but you do have a great companion in your cousin. Even if you were married, it’s not without its headaches (which, I believe, are worse than having single heartaches). If the grass is always greener in the other lawn, you’ll never mow and water your own. Appreciate and care for the things that God has given you and He will add what He sees fit according to His holy will from there.

I hope this advice helps. I will keep you in my prayers.


#17

I can’t add anything to be replies you’ve already gotten except to say I’ll say a prayer for you, and I can relate. :slight_smile: I’m single, have a job but it’s horrible, am working my way out of debt, and sometimes feel like stamping my feet too! (For instance, my husband left me two days after my mom’s funeral, and that’s the least shocking thing about the things he did that month. He’s since gone on to remarry and have kids, while I, post-annulment, sit here with my knitting. Totally not fair! :wink: Even if I like knitting.)

So I’m working on this sort of thing as well, and send my empathy as well as prayers!


#18

I hear you, especially on the foot stamping! Hang in there as well. :slight_smile:

And to the person who asked about bus service–no, the nearest bus stop is 5 miles away! I live in the country. I do have a bike, though, but I need to patch a tire. :smiley:


#19

Thanks! :slight_smile: The sadness around relationships has gotten easier – I’d like to remarry, but for the most part I do like my life now, and I try to appreciate the positives of being on my own, since that’s what I have right now, and maybe always. (Although there are days of mentally stamping my feet, still.) The angst around the job has not eased. I have a couple of new possibilities out there and might try to get myself organized enough to say a 54-day novena about them.

I have noticed in in my life that sometimes when it just seems like I *really *can’t take another second, there’s a break for me. And there are things I look back on and say, “Wow, that was horrible, but things really have improved and I survived!” I pray it will work out that way for you as well!


#20

Please forgive me for not being religious about this situation. I don’t think you can pray yourself out of this hole. You are already praying genuinely. Stomping your feet at God is a good prayer for this situation. However, prayer is also seeking concrete help. Action is as much prayer as talking to God. If there is not a spiritual director available, try a Catholic/Christian therapist to help with the depression and anxiety over this situation. A person can’t problem-solve when they are overwhelmed. If you have concrete needs: food, shelter, bills… try St. Vincent de Paul in your area. They could possibly put you in touch with other resources. God works in this world too.


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