Continued from previous posts: So, when you come to the Wall, you will need to cooperate with the crisis as a gift of grace, as painful as it may be, as demonic as it may seem. For behind it (while not necessarily orchestrating it) is the Hand of God, guiding you to a new awakening to your life in Christ.

Again, as in Stage Four (in fact, all the higher or deeper stages), you will need guidance, spiritual direction from a competent friend, counselor, or pastor---someone who's not threatened by your questions and frustrations, who won't try to fix you, but who knows there's a mystery at work within you and who can hold you in faith as you journey forward past your fears into the newness of God. But here at the Wall, it's your spiritual practices, especially interior prayer, meditation, and contemplation that will see you through to the new you that awaits you on the other side.

When you emerge from this confrontation stripped down, leaner, cleaner, and more open to love---and if you have found a way to release your need for control and to play God---you will be able to say: "What I thought, I needed I don't really need. What I was sure I couldn't live without, I can live without. With God alone I am content." You will be able to say with Jesus, "Lord, not my will but yours be done" (Luke 22.42), and with Mary, "Let it be with me according to your word" (Luke 1.38). This is true spiritual freedom and readies you for the new outward engagement with mission and ministry that is Stage Five.

Facing the Wall doesn't mean that you're now free from the impediments and distractions, the temptations and seductions that hinder your relationship with God. But it does mean that you now know how to face them when they come.

to be continued . . .