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When God Is Silent

When God Is Silent

 
By:  Amazing Nation Guest Writer January 17, 2021
#Encouragement, #Faith, #Strength , #Suffering

God does not ordinarily speak in thunderbolts, unfortunately. So, what happens when God is silent?

I was a classroom teacher for 26 years in public schools. I loved my job and felt God had called me to be there, at least in part, as a witness to Christianity in the midst of a secular institution. Sometimes a student would see me at a weekend Mass and bring it up in class. Then I was free to talk about it with my students, giving witness to my faith and how it sustained me through the ups and downs of life. For some of the children, I was the only connection they had to God, whom they desperately needed in their troubled lives.

In mid-summer, I happened across a notice from our local Catholic school for an opening as a music and religion teacher. It must have been the Holy Spirit prompting me to consider the position, because a few years before, I would likely not have given it a second thought. And My husband’s first response when I told him about it? “You’ve never wanted to be a music teacher!” He was right. And middle school? It was vastly different than 3rd grade! And yet, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

In our family we’d been through a lot of hardships, unemployment and life-threatening medical conditions in several of our children to name a few. In every circumstance, God’s grace sustained us, so I knew that He would assist me with whatever He was calling me to do. The problem was that I had no idea what He wanted!

It was July. I didn’t have much time to make a decision whether or not to apply, so I did several things. First, I called a priest friend to ask his advice. He was immediately enthusiastic about the idea. I also began a novena to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, since it was near that feast day. I was in nearly constant prayer; this decision was on my mind all the time: “Lord, what do you want me to do?” I listed pros and cons: a deep cut in salary, but a great opportunity to develop a sacred music program at the school, for example.

The novena passed, but I had no answer, so I talked to my pastor. He suggested being alert for small things like doors opening or people suggesting I apply. I hadn’t told hardly anyone about this job opportunity, so those were helpful ideas. But God was still silent. I had two objectively good callings to consider, and I felt that God had abandoned me in this decision.

Slowly, little things began to happen, so small that I didn’t notice some of them until later. We refinanced our house. Later, I realized that made up the difference for the decrease in my salary! A Catholic school parent stopped me after Mass, told me about the position, and said I should consider it. I talked with several people about the opportunity, and surprisingly they were all very enthusiastic about it. My priest friend also directed me to an article by Msgr. Charles Pope on discernment, which was very helpful. My constant prayer continued.

The final tipping point, though, actually came via Facebook. I happened across two posts that reminded me of situations, which could come up in my current position, situations over which I would have to quit my job. One was seeing a young woman posting about going through a gender transition. The other was one of the local school principal, who was very supportive of issues contrary to the Catholic faith. I realized that it was very possible that I might soon be required to teach morally problematic ideas, and that, although I was very sad at the prospect of leaving my current students and colleagues, God was offering me the opportunity to go to a position teaching two things I was passionate about: my faith and sacred music. What a blessing to go to this new job rather than just having to leave my current job over a moral conflict! My prayers were answered; I finally knew what I had to do. Once my calling was clear, things began to move quickly and fall into place. I applied, interviewed, and was hired within a week.

Then a few weeks later, one of our priests preached about the Syrophoenician woman in the Gospel of Matthew. He pointed out that Jesus could have just granted the woman’s request. But He didn’t. First, He ignored her, then He seemed to insult her, and then He finally granted her request after she persisted in her pleading with him. Perhaps she benefited from Jesus’ “push back”. Perhaps it caused an increase in her faith, because she had to exercise that faith in continuing to plead her cause. It struck me that maybe this is why the Lord doesn’t speak in thunderbolts, why He didn’t just tell me what to do. He wanted me to learn what it means to pray constantly. He wanted me to learn what it means to seek His Will no matter what and for however long it takes. Dom Augustine Guillerand, in “The Prayer of the Presence of God,” says “When it is a question of the real good, of such things as He always wills…our persistence pleases Him…He loves our persistence; He wants us to appeal to him, to ask of Him, so that He can be sure of our love…”

May God grant us the grace to seek His will with persistence! We may be confident that He will answer, in His own time and in His own way.

Photo Credits:

https://unsplash.com/photos/fMD_Cru6OTk
https://unsplash.com/photos/MPD-EarOBro
https://unsplash.com/photos/448CvmC_f2I
https://unsplash.com/photos/MPD-EarOBro
https://unsplash.com/photos/OyCl7Y4y0Bk
https://unsplash.com/photos/EtyBBUByPSQ

 



About the Author Amazing Nation Guest WriterAmazing Nation Guest Writers have submitted their blogs to us in hopes of encouraging others who may have had similar life experiences. They want to share hope and wisdom with every person who read their blogs.  


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