This is a powerful, true life story of a personal journey from out of the darkness of sin. This book reveals, in vivid detail, how God’s grace transformed one woman’s life from one of great sin and despair into one of abundant peace and joy through a most agonizing cross.
The sun was going down on another hopeless day while I was lying on my bed suffering—what I thought was the most agonizing pain a person could possibly undergo—and I was so overwhelmed by it. I couldn’t take it any longer. As I laid there drowned in anguish, I noticed a book resting on a bookcase, which I somehow acquired, with the title “Joy in Suffering” about St. Theresa of the Child Jesus. I did a double take and then thought, “What! That’s just crazy. How in the world could someone find joy in suffering unless they’re a masochist or there is something wrong with their brain?” Nonetheless, was that saint crazy? Of course not.
Looking back, I now realize I didn’t have the grace needed to understand the concept of there being joy in suffering. Grace provides us with knowledge and wisdom to understand many of God’s mysteries and provides us with the help we need in our life. Grace is real. From my lack of grace, I was convinced that “loving to suffer” was complete nonsense. Back then, it wasn’t possible for me to even conceive how someone could love suffering. Ever since I was a child, I was convinced I was supposed to make my life as comfortable as possible and try to not suffer. Comprehending anything outside of that was utterly foreign to me.
I considered the suffering I experienced to be the furthest thing from joy. Yet today, not only do I have the grace to understand how someone can have true joy in suffering, I also live a life of continuous joy and peace, especially during suffering. Incredibly, almost all the time, I now have deep peace within my heart—even during times of great sorrow and suffering, even when I’m hungry or tired. It doesn’t matter what is happening; God’s grace is so incredible, having a bad day just doesn’t exist anymore. Of course, when I choose to sin a more severe sin or commit a sin God wishes to guide me out of, I suffer the consequences of my actions. That’s when I lose that perfect peace, because sin separates us from experiencing God’s love and the more severe the sin the greater the loss of peace. However, the majority of my life now is spent in complete peace—a total transformation for me. God is amazing!
Grace has transformed my life in such an incredible way that I now live to suffer for the salvation of souls. It’s true—I actually love suffering. I know that sounds crazy. I’m not trying to say I can’t wait to get stung by a bee or something; it is not at all like that. And I don’t go around looking for tragedy. However, when it comes, I feel blessed beyond all measure for the opportunity to suffer for the love of God and His children, and to unite my suffering with His on the Cross. In this way I console Him for all the atrocities committed against Him by trusting in Him while carrying my own cross.
I now know that everything God allows is for our good, suffering and all. He delights in those who are willing to suffer for Him. I know when I offer up my cross for sinners, just as Jesus did, Our Lord can use me to instill grace into the souls of others for their continuing conversion—so they may become a greater likeness of Christ—and heal me too. “Souls that trust boundlessly are great comfort to Me, because I pour all the treasures of my graces into them” (Jesus –St. Faustina’s Diary #1076).
God’s grace is an incredible blessing which I have experienced many many times! Understanding the merits of suffering is what drove the saints to sacrifice everything for the love of God and His eternal reward. I now fully intend to do the same and you can too.
So how did I go from a life of hopeless despair to wonderful peace…..you’ll find out from this book exactly what transpired. If God can do this for me, who, as you will read, is by far, the least among all of God’s children, then certainly God can perform such marvels for you too.
Paperback book 430 pgs