Extract from a discussion at the book group of Through The Mists – chapter 11. Part one of full discussion
[01:07:50.03] Audience: (Teresa) That brings me to a question I had about that chapter. About my motivation for seeking God. This is something I’ve thought about before; and I thought : does it matter if the only reason I’m looking for God is so I don’t hurt anymore; or is it I can use it to be more, I don’t know, have more pure desire? Does it matter if it’s just to get out of the pain?
[01:11:12.15] Mary: Very much so. You’re wanting from God – as lots of you pointed out, very eloquently – you know, there’s an addiction, actually, you’re wanting to set up with God. And it will backfire (laughter). You’re not going to get far before God’s going to want to confront you with : It’s not going to work, my daughter; you’re going to actually embrace pain in order to grow. What do you feel about that?
(conversation picks up a bit later)
[01:11:41.16] Audience: (Teresa) I feel, and I’m getting rid of that feeling of pain, but it still feels like that’s the driving force behind it; just to be happy; and I’m not sure of the pureness of that desire – maybe not so much to get out of pain, but to just be happy, is that…..
[01:12:04.09] Mary: Yeah. Can I put to you a different desire? Rather than desiring to be happy, could you desire to be whole? Could you desire to be all of Teresa? Whether that’s painful or pleasurable or joyful or fearful; and whether that takes you in a direction that you never have gone before. Down a path of desire of creativity that you never thought would ever be a part of you. That’s the sort of thing… that’s the desires we’re going to have if we’re going to have a relationship with God. This feeling that : I’m going to trust you, God; and I’m going to desire to not only know you but to know me. Both desires we really need if we’re going to grow towards God. And right now, me is not that happy; or happy sometimes, but there’s sadness sometimes. And, yes, it’s true, when we really grow in this relationship with God, sadness will be a thing of the past. So, it’s not bad to want joy, you know, it’s not. But if that’s your only….for example, if you want to be happy without being whole, it’s impossible in a true sense. By using the word ‘whole’ I mean to really know yourself; to really embrace everything that’s in you right now, but also the potentials of things, the great things that are in you. You have to be willing to face your fear of those things. You’re not going to have a desire for them : Yep, I’ve got that, you know, because otherwise you’d already be experiencing them. So there’s going to be fears to face as we do that, to embrace everything that’s within us now; and everything that we have the potential to be, that’s also scary sometimes. Yeah. But that’s the kind of desire that will carry you very close to God. So, I agree with what the girls said about being real with where you’re at, and just engaging God in that right now and saying : look, this is what I feel right now. Can you give me truth about this. Can you show me how this is going to work and be beautiful. But I don’t think you’re alone in that feeling, Teresa. I think a lot of people feel that it would just be good to be out of pain; and feeling like there’s a lot of pain. But as we develop humility, we’ll develop the willingness to not only experience the pain, but just experience what God is bringing to us. You know. Good question.