She is a woman of the Word who lived several decades ago. She was married to a preacher from Scotland, Peter Marshall, who died very young. Then she married again and became a wife, and mother or stepmother to 4 children, and was an acclaimed Christian author. Then came a time of great difficulty: Their first grandchild was born with a genetic disease which took her life in a matter of weeks. The second grandchild was born with the same condition. Catherine and others prayed diligently and fervently for healing in this child’s body. But the baby died. Then Catherine went into a depression and a “dark night of the soul.” She said: “all above me, it seems, is a heaven of brass.” It seemed as if God was not present or listening to her heart’s cries.
Here are a few other quotes from the book, Light in My Darkest Night about this period of her life. They tell a story of darkness and light, of depression and restoration.
“This terrible feeling of lostness… must reflect my separation from God. When one has lost one’s way and can no longer feel the Shepherd’s hand, when the Valley of the Shadow is dark with the light of faith withdrawn, what does one do then?” She answered her own question: “Trust God in the dark and wait and hope and hang on…”
“Though my prayers are hollow and uninspired, I am receiving instruction from His Word.“ In other words, she was reading the Bible, regularly, even if reading and praying seemed dry and lifeless activities. In doing so, she began receiving insight from the Author.
“I asked God to [do this]. When He didn’t, I proceeded to sulk like a child. A petulant child who failed to get her own way.” She had “assumed I had a right to [be given] understanding. What arrogance! What presumption!” God is God and we can’t tell Him what to do. We get to choose to yield to His God-ness, or not, and suffer the loneliness.
“When life hands us situations we cannot understand, we have one of two choices. We can wallow in misery, separated from God. Or we can tell Him, ‘I need You and Your presence in my life more than I need understanding. I choose You, Lord. I trust You to give me understanding and an answer to all my “Why’s” – only if and when You choose.’”
The restoration of Catherine’s spirit dawned as she began to let go of her demands and expectations and let God be God. She learned that she could seek the Giver, even if the desired gift was not given. Then Light began to shine in her darkness.
May you be blessed as you practice yielding to His love for you.