No One Is Immune From Suffering

By Katie Trudeau

Jesus, use me without consulting me. (Mother Teresa)

Have you ever said this prayer? Terrifying, isn’t it? To freely give Jesus the opportunity to completely hijack your life!

Some would call this absolutely absurd…I agree. Only someone radically living out their faith would pray this. Yet, here I am, praying it each day as I walk into my workplace. 

What would happen if you prayed this prayer? Well, anything! I am here to encourage you and tell you, this too shall pass. 

After graduation, I had big decisions to make. Do I go home? Move to a big city? Or… choose to follow Jesus? Surely, some decisions are more comfortable than others—but I believed there was always an intrinsic good to follow. 

I had an offer come in and I remember specifically kneeling on the rough cement in a Missionary of Charity soup kitchen at Mass. My interior was welling up with emotions, and I thought to myself: “How can I glorify God in this moment?” 

Glorify a man that is making me anxious? Glorify a man who won’t tell me what to do?

I fought those lies with the truth. Glorify the man who listens to me and speaks to my heart. Glorify the man whose gone before me and is there when I don’t always follow him. I prayed in that soup kitchen: “Jesus, I thank you for going before me. I thank you for the job you’re going to give me in your time.”

I was given a sign mid-novena to take the job and a week later I was already packing up to start a new adventure. 

Life was great and I never felt better! False. Following Jesus isn’t all smiles and rainbows. I felt so alone. No matter how many times I reminded myself that Jesus was there beside me, I felt alone. 

It was my desert. It was my Garden of Gethsemane. I dug deep into my faith and understood that those who are closest to Jesus sometimes suffer the most. Suffering is a way that we can be united in Christ. 

I went to adoration every night for weeks, crying and crying, until I could finally walk home calmly and start a new day. I would write my feelings out. I would speak to Jesus so clearly about what I was going through. I told him how I felt abandoned. I told him how his silence was literally hurting me. 

I had only one prior time such as this back in high school. The experience I had years ago with a dark night of the soul helped me manifest enough trust and courage that when it came back I knew that this too would pass.  

What I learned, in five years difference, is that “this too shall pass” isn’t a comfort to fast-forward through the trials of life. Instead, we are called to embrace the suffering we are given and find the lessons in that season. It is a time to be pruned until everything is raw. Then the Great Healer can help us heal and be made new. 

 None of us can get away with a life without suffering. So choosing to unite it with Christ is wise. 

True humility. True surrender. True discipleship. 

In the words of Mother Teresa: “Love to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self.”