Marcy S., age 47, North Carolina

I can’t believe that God refuses to set me free — that it is His will for me to be eternally burdened with the sick need to punish myself. His will is good and loving and affirmative. And so I can’t blame Him for my albatross — He wants me to be free but He won’t forcefully remove it — I have to let it go. And in spite of the pain and misery it inflicts, my albatross has been there so long it’s comfortable — and that’s why it’s so difficult to imagine myself free of it.

But when I’m able (ready) to lift it off and put it in His hands, He will take it and give me His own burden, which is light and easy to bear. It’s the same thing that happens, or should happen, at Holy Communion — we give, He receives; then He gives and we receive. But I still believe that the grace to let go and trust comes from the Holy Spirit. If we only ask — even without faith.