Above is a picture (that I now know is by an artist named Jean Guichard) that my husband and I have been drooling over for some eight years now. We keep seeing it at Christian bookstores, framed very nicely and fairly expensive (which is why we haven't bought it yet) At the bottom of the picture is a verse from Psalm 27: "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?" Of course, the next verse in that Psalm is, "the Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?"
I give God all the credit for getting me through my parish experience, and for bringing me to this place of healing. In the darkest times, when I felt so very alone and couldn't reach any of my clergy friends (for I had several who really encouraged and strengthened me), I imagined God holding me and keeping me safe in the midst of the storm. The thought of God being the Light who would show me the way, and the Rock on whom I could cling when all else failed, kept me going.
I'm very blessed in that I haven't experienced a crisis of faith as a result of my parish experience. I supposed I should clarify and say that my faith in God has not suffered. My faith in God's children certainly has...and I'm sure I'll talk about that at some point. However, I seem to have been gifted with a strong faith that is not easily tested. I am supremely grateful for that gift, because it has gotten me through many a tough time. Since I am only 32, I imagine that I will experience more difficulties in life, and my faith may be tested in new and different ways. I hope that the images I've mentioned here will continue to sustain me in my faith journey.