Survival mode: trials make and reveal us

One of my favorite writers, Dr. Peter Kreeft, is fond of quoting Rabbi Abraham Herschel. The quote? “The man who has not suffered–what does he know, anyway?”

This is a deep truth: the truth that our sufferings and trials make us, in a real sense, who we are. They reveal who we are.

Dennis Prager sometimes says that he doesn’t think you can know a person until he is tested. I think is true, for sure.

I mentioned yesterday a period of 18 months after I left religious life when I felt disoriented, confused, and, to a degree, depressed.

While many questions and challenges remained, the worst of the disorientation lifted for me after a silent retreat, when–after days with God that reminded me starkly of the monastery–I understood that He was telling me that I was going through a trial. I was “passing.”

  • I wasn’t passing perfectly , not by a long shot
  • But I was pressing on in life
  • I was clinging to prayer and striving to walking with God through my darkness
  • That was passing
  • And I should take joy and peace in that

Now, three years after leaving the monastery, I can look back on those first eighteen months and see so much.

  • I can see how God used me in ways He never could have in religious life, as beautiful as religious life is
  • I have PROOF of His faithfulness and power in my most vulnerable and grief-stricken moments
  • I can see how that trial has taught me things and strengthened me in ways I never would have thought.

It gives me a new perspective on my characters in the fight for their lives and the fight for hope in a magical civil war that really takes them to their limits.

Read my latest posts below, and mark your calendars for the release of “The Crimson League: The Fight for Hope” on June 15!


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