However, as is true of our Lord, nothing is all brimstone and irritation. I feel as though I've learned a few lessons through this frustrating silence.
The first, of course, is to use my tongue for charity, not negativity. Regardless of the fact that my irritation was justified, I had no right to speak out in such annoyance against someone.
Secondly, I took some "creative" parenting techniques out for a spin. Since I wasn't able to correct Vincent verbally for things like screaming in a restaurant, trying to dismember our Christmas tree, or jumping on the couch, I had to rely on angry stares and repeat physical restraint (picking him up and placing his butt on the floor every time he attempted to "power bomb" onto the couch). I exercised much more patience than I think I normally would simply because I knew frustration would be pointless as I couldn't give him a stern "VINCENT!" anyway. Heh.
Finally, and most meaningful to me was my lesson in loneliness. I've read time and again that feeling abandoned is when we are most like Christ. I never understood how Jesus could feel abandoned, especially when He, as God, fully knew that His Father would never, ever abandon Him. Even saints, who have been told by Jesus, "When you feel most alone, it is then that I am closest to you" had their bouts with loneliness and abandonment.
For as much as I tried to grasp that, it didn't make sense. I didn't understand how it could be possible to feel abandoned when you KNEW God was with you.
Well, I understood this weekend, at least to a tiny extent.
Having been under intense emotional and psychological pressure in recent months, I relied heavily on a dear friend of mine to buoy me through the storm I find myself in. Normally I'd have at least 2 or 3 "hands on deck" to help steer me through the desolation, but through circumstances that were decreed by God, I was simply meant to go this one (mostly) alone.
This weekend, as I readied myself to endure whatever tsunamis were headed my way, I was given the grace of unloading some baggage to my best friend who I hadn't really spoken to for the last few months. Mind you, we've talked, but Thursday evening was the first time I caught her up-to-speed on all the fun. I think God knew what was in store for me this weekend and allowed me this much-needed respite.
However, when the tsunami hit Friday, I was without voice and no means to communicate with anyone. My best friend was in the middle of having her wisdom teeth out (hope you're feeling better, BTW!), and my spiritual director... the one I've been relying so heavily on these last few months... isn't the type for e-mails, texts or chat. I understood, even in that moment of desperation, that God wanted me to feel alone. Well, not exactly alone. God was being a bit selfish, I think. :)
He knows how heavily I've been relying on these two people. I think that He wanted to remind me that first and foremost, I should turn to Him with my problems. Sure, I offer Him the nod of "Okay, you take this since I don't know what to do with it" prayers, but when I'm feeling really down and out, I call one of them to "make me feel better." I rely on THEM instead of on HIM.
I've noticed myself doing that for the last few weeks. Instead of turning to Him in prayer, I turn to my cell phone in an attempt to gain a break from the burden I carry. While I understand that God works through people, I should never substitute people for God. To an extent, I know I was doing that, and I think this was God's gentle way of reminding me Who exactly the Source of rest is. Ha.
It worked. My silence afforded me ample opportunity to rely more heavily on God through prayer. So, yes... I guess now I do understand (again, to a small extent) the importance of abandonment and loneliness, and how those feelings do lead us to be closer to Christ.