I hope that you are not feeling between a rock and a hard place. Please know that you are in my prayers.
By the way, you said "I pray for God to show me His will, so that I can make it my own." May I suggest instead praying the Lord's Prayer, with emphasis on "Thy will be done" ? Sometimes the Lord wants us to proceed on faith, to put our trust in Him in faith...
Thanks... I didn't think of it like that. It occurs to me now that it might be prideful for me to want the Lord to show me His will directly. Before I was brought into the Orthodox church, I was an unwilling atheist because faith seemed impossible for me to attain. And it's still one of my main problems, right up there with pride... but at least now I actually am capable of faith, as opposed to before, when my heart was a sealed, seemingly impregnable fortress against God's love.
However... When I asked my priest for advice as to how I might better understand what God's will is for me, he advised me to pray to the Lord by stating to Him, clearly and simply, what my
will is, but at the same time accepting with my entire heart that it is The Lord's will which will be done, and not mine. Then I was to ask in prayer, humbly and with humility, if it were possible that this cup, which I feel as such suffering and pain, might pass from me; but again, at the same time, also accepting with my entire heart that it is The Lord's will which will be done, and not mine. I should then ask that He might reveal some part of His will to me so that I can accept it and act in accordance with it.
I have been praying to God, asking Him to show me some sign of what I should do, for some indication of His will to be revealed to me, for almost three weeks. Wednesday night during catechumen class was when I talked to my priest, and starting that night I have also been praying according to his suggestion.
I like to take long walks around town while reading a good science fiction book, sometimes late at night with a flashlight. For the past few weeks, since the onset of this trouble, I've been using these walks as an opportunity for prayer, sometimes for hours at a time. Lately, on two separate occasions while taking one of these long walks, I have had experiences that seem to be more than just coincidental; experiences that could actually have real meaning and seem to relate significantly to my current situation. The first of these experiences occurred about two weeks ago, and although it did contain some ambiguity, it was significant enough to seem like more than just a mere coincidence. I had no problem accepting the possibility that it might represent a meaningful indication of God's will for me.
The second experience went way beyond merely significant or just coincidental. What happened astounded me, leaving me in a state of shocked disbelief for a moment or two. When realization started to sink in, the shock gave way to a giddy, almost childlike sense of joy, and hope. What I experienced contained elements which related directly to aspects of my situation in ways that were almost exact. WERE exact on some levels. The possible meaning which could be gleaned from this occurrence seemed unavoidable to me - it felt like something that had been planned, arranged, and executed with purposeful design. If it is possible to be absolutely sure that God is making His presence known to you, that He is taking an active interest in your life, that He has just answered your prayer, then I was absolutely sure about all of these things last night. Now it's the next day, and although the immediate feelings of elation have worn off, I am still convinced that these occurrences are unmistakable indications of God's will.
The reason why I am relating this is because I want to hear what other people have to say. I didn't go into details because they aren't really significant to relating the essence of the experience. However, I don't mind explaining if anyone wants to know exactly what happened. What I'm interested in knowing is if anyone else has ever had an experience or experiences like these, experiences in which you were presented with almost miraculous evidence of God's involvement in your life. I am still a very recent convert from 25 years of being a miserable atheist, and my belief and faith in God is still a new experience which continues to surprise me as it unfolds around me every day.
So... is it common, or extremely rare, or completely unheard of for God to make Himself so visible to us? Is this experience completely unique? And also, I'm almost ashamed to wonder... is there anyone who would be more inclined to view this kind of thing as a deception engineered by the enemy? I would hate to think that something which brought me such joy and hope could be a lie.