Hope in the Darkness

The Triduum:  Holy Saturday

A Prayer for Holy Saturday

The most dominant emotion in our modern society is fear. We are afraid of losing the things we have worked hard to buy, afraid of rejection and failure, afraid of certain types of people, afraid of criticism, of suffering and heartache, of change, afraid to tell people how we really feel.

What was the dominant emotion of Jesus’ followers on Holy Saturday? Fear. Fear that they had been misled. Fear that God didn’t have a plan. Fear that God had forgotten them.

We all have fears, too. And sometimes, we let those fears paralyze us.

Today, on Holy Saturday, take a few moments to reflect on the fears that are stopping you from living your dreams, the fears that are making it hard for you to trust fully in God, and pray for the courage to overcome those fears:

You are courage incarnate. As you hung on the cross for my sins and the sins of the world, you showed me that all things are possible. You knew that life did not end on the cross. It was only the beginning of a new and glorious eternal life.

Jesus, there are areas of my life that make me feel stuck. There are areas of my life I feel like you have forgotten. There are things I have asked for for years, and it seems that you have no answer. I bring all of these things to you today, and I ask you to renew my trust that you have a plan for all of it.

Fill me with courage, Jesus. And give me strength to face all of the difficulties and uncertainties of this life with hope in your wonderful dream for my life.
Amen.  Dynamic Catholic: Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday...a day of despair. Silence in the darkness.  Hope????  I can only imagine how Jesus' followers felt the day after his crucifixion.  The shock...disbelief...paralysis...fear. 

I know, because I, too, experienced despair/shock/disbelief after being betrayed by somebody I allowed into my mine and my children's lives.  There have been days and weeks over the past two months where I was completely paralyzed by shame and fear.  

The clinical term for this type of emotional response is "betrayal trauma".  This level of trauma is deep and ongoing.  As explained in the attached YouTube video, it is far more complicated than mere infidelity. It isn't a moment's lapse in judgment...it isn't a couple drifting apart after years of marriage together. Betrayal trauma is typically a betrayal that involves a complicated web of deception that has been going on for months or even years.  The cognitive dissonance (where your brain is trying to make sense of what you lived and believed to be true with the REALITY of what is true) is unreal.  

As Dr. Ramani explains, a person wakes up to find that what their life once was is no more.  But even worse...what once was...NEVER WAS.  It's been a lie from the start.

As time has passed, I can look back on February and March with much clearer understanding.  Although this doesn't lessen the pain or mitigate the betrayal itself, the passage of time has put this into perspective.  

As I try to make sense of the red flags that I missed...accept responsibility for my part in being deceived...I am reminded time and again by my parents, in-laws, girlfriends, and most importantly law enforcement...that NONE of this was my doing.  Nor did I contribute to it.  My children and I were deceived by a very slick individual.  

When you live a life of integrity, and strive to raise children with integrity (my father has always told me that your reputation and last name should be upheld with honor), you don't THINK like someone who lies, thieves, and deceives.  It doesn't occur to you question or assume someone is feeding you lies, stories, half-truths...

But, as a woman who always tries to find the silver-lining in a "tragedy", I believe that this experience has only grown me in emotional strength, independence, financial prowess, and motherhood.  

I have so many in my life that I feel indebted to for helping me through the darkest days of my life since Chris' passing. In addition to those mentioned earlier, my employer, my personal physician, the detective assigned to my case, a victim's advocate with our local DA's office, and my grief therapist have all provided resources necessary for me to regain a sense of safety, emotional security, and well-being.  

One thing that is common for victim's of betrayal is the need to discuss it over and over and over...often causing burnout for their support system.  I AM SO VERY GRATEFUL to those in my life who have listened to me ad nauseam cry, get angry, express frustration, feel fearful, etc. over the past couple of months.  

I am in a better place because of your love and support.

And always, because of my dedication to be the best mother I can be for Mary, Ben, and Luke, I refused to abandon my three children.  While my heart breaks for bringing someone into your lives who said such ugly things about the four of us...just know YOU ARE SO VERY LOVED BY OUR COMMUNITY OF FRIENDS AND FAMILY.  I hope you know that I only ever intended to ADD to your life...not subtract from it and I am so sorry.  As children, especially children of parental loss, you deserve nothing but to be surrounded by individuals who have your best interests at heart.  I want people in your lives who want to model and mold you into young adults of CHARACTER.  

YOU THREE were the reason I pushed through my darkest days. YOU THREE were my HOPE IN THE DARKNESS.  




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