Today’s blog explores the process of divorce in the journey of spiritual growth and the invitation to enter into the spiritual desert.
Moving through this transition of divorce has brought up surprise after surprise after surprise. On March 15th (I know, “Beware the ides of March”), I moved from my home of 12 years into a new temporary living situation. Making this transition has presented many unexpected surprises and unanticipated challenges. On Sunday, March 20th while contemplating these unexpected challenges during yoga class, I heard the following words:
“40 days in the desert.”
HHHMMM….hearing these words immediately brought to mind the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert. The story, as it is told in the Christian scripture, is that Jesus, when confronted with his Divine call, fled to the desert for a time of personal retreat, fasting, prayer and that during this time he was tempted by the inner obstacles to his spiritual freedom and to his ministry (as represented by the figure of “Satan” – which means obstacle or adversary).
So, I guess I have entered into my own desert time. So, what comes with being in the desert?
- A Change in routine.
- A foreign environment and atmosphere.
- An end to what we have known and thought we knew.
- Potential dangers
- An opportunity to come face to face with fears, illusions, false perceptions
- An opportunity to explore your truth and to face the temptations to doubt your truth
- A feeling of being lost and without direction
- A lack of landmarks
- Exposure to the elements
- An invitation to be cautious of the environment, the potential dangers, etc.
- An invitation to be watchful but also to trust
I image that these are the same struggles Jesus faced during this time in the desert and are the same struggles we all face when we are invited (or seemingly forced) into our own desert time. In the desert, we are really without the usual supports, securities, etc. that we are used to and are tempted to think that we are alone in this time of desert solitude. If we look to scripture, however, we are reminded that during his time in the desert, Jesus was not alone. Scripture tells us that he was ministered to by the angels. I find comfort in this as I face my own desert time. In this, I am being invited to trust in Divine providence and to trust that even in this God is here, ministering to me. I also find comfort in the knowledge that the desert does not last forever. If the words of the Divine that spoke to me in yoga are to be taken as truth, then my time in the desert will be but 40 days. And the coolest thing?? 40 days from the ides of March is EASTER SUNDAY! How appropriate!
When have you been called to enter into your own desert experience?
Where did you find strength and comfort?
What was the new life you found on the other side of the desert?
Authentic Freedom Ministries