God whispered, “You endured a lot. For that I am truly sorry, but grateful. I needed you to struggle to help so many. Through that process you would grow into who you have now become. Didn’t you know that I gave all my struggles to my favorite children? One only needs to look at the struggles given to your older brother Jesus to know how important you have been to me.

Compassion is even more powerful than courage. Sure, with courage you can conquer a world – but only with compassion can you heal and build it.

It was painful to contemplate the distance between the future of accomplishment I’d imagined for myself twenty years earlier…it was painful to understand that the cushion of exceptionality invoked by the drug had made me oblivious to my inertia. And it was painful to have to define myself again, at an age when most people are happy in their own skins.

The sad part was that everything I said was true but I was going about the healing in entirely the wrong way. As I was to be taught later, you can’t heal the sick by force-feeding them with ideas they’re not ready to accept; you can’t cure people by the simple imposition of your will. It’s the power of the Holy Spirit that heals, not the power of a would-be wonder-worker trying to play God.

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