In my darkest hour…there was Light…
There was nothing easy about going through a divorce. The guilt, shame and darkness was debilitating. Just as overwhelming were the insidious temptations to comfort and appease my pain with the immediate gratifications readily provided by the world.
When I gave up the self-defensive, victim posturing I was left to face my immense shame alone. That was when it happened.
One afternoon I could not move from my bed. My heart was heavy and I felt paralyzed by the darkness. I could not move a muscle. Breathing became difficult as the heaviness bore down on me. It felt like I was suffocating in my shame. The only movement was that of the racing and pounding in my chest. I could not speak. I could not justify or defend. I could not retreat into the Silence.
I could not even cry out for help. I could barely think. Nothing made sense.
Though I felt like God was far from me I managed to allow my mind say the name of Jesus. I have been saying the name of Jesus as my ‘prayer word’ since I was a small child. Now, it was all I could muster up. I was too weary to speak but I let my mind repeat ‘Jesus’ just as that frightened little girl did decades ago. I cannot say that I saw a blinding Light pierce through my darkness, nor can I say I felt any semblance of peace. What I was able to do was breathe that was all. As I breathed in and out and in and out the miracle took place.
In one brief moment I let go of my ‘white knuckle grip’ on my reality and God wasted no time revealing quite a different Reality. I became conscious of Christ. I couldn’t see or hear anything different but I could feel the Presence supporting and sustaining each breath holding my heart and soul. The anxiety and shame did not spontaneously dissipate. The miracle is that this loving, conscious Presence was right there in the midst of the debilitating feelings, thoughts and pain. Christ was present precisely in my woundedness, my darkest, most self-incriminating hour. Christ came as the Presence of no judgment, no condemnation and unconditional love. ‘How could this be?’, I thought. I remained there. I have no idea how long. After a while the freedom from this truth of ‘no condemnation’ started settling into me and the heaviness began to lift.
That is how I knew it was not my own mind or ego but the Reality of God breaking through. I could not create this feeling of freedom for I never felt it before in my life. I had no idea it even existed and therefore had no frame of reference. The miracle was organically experiencing the meaning of the words, ‘for there is no condemnation…I did not come to condemn…but to free you…who is here to judge you?’.
I experience that freedom to this day.
Who is Maria?
Maria Gullo is the founder of The Deeper Connection, a ministry dedicated to bringing individuals to inner peace. She is an ordained minister and has spent the past twenty-plus years delivering the message of contemplative Christian spirituality through centering prayer, retreats, workshops, and lectures. Maria’s guided prayer and meditation tools include audio downloads and CDs, available here online as well as on the Insight Timer mobile meditation app. Learn more about Maria.
Maria offers virtual online and private one-on-one Spiritual Direction sessions to help individuals develop a deeper connection, clearer understanding and authentic relationship with God, self and others.
Maria wants to hear from you! Tell your story or where you are in your journey.