gifts in the rubble

Yes, I’m still a redhead. No, I’m not planning to change my haircolor. I did rename this blog, formerly known as “The Redhead Report” however, because I wanted a title that is more congruent with what I’m feeling the urge to write about these days. Like many others I know, I’ve been through what, I guess, is a lot in my forty years (some days it seems like more than others!) but I’ve come to find that there many gifts that come with the healing process.

(Note: The following is taken from my grad school application essay.)

Sometimes, we find the greatest gifts in the rubble and detritus of our broken, shattered dreams. Grace, I have discovered, has a way of catching us unawares. We are all called to sainthood; each of us is designated to do the thing that we alone can do in this world to help bring about the Kingdom of God and spread the Gospel. Yet it may be that it is only through our encounters with the deepest, darkest depths that we can begin to see, clearly, the light, to discover our place in the pattern, and only then that we become filled with gratitude for God’s love and grace.

I was diagnosed with severe post traumatic stress disorder at the age of 19. I was a consummate over-achiever in college–honor society, merit scholarships, a coveted internship with Senator Ted Kennedy–and I guess I assumed the world was mine for the taking: the sky was the limit. Then the flashbacks began, followed by the nightmares, the depression. My grades dropped, many of my friends turned away, my dreams of law school faded, and, it seemed, my world turned to ashes.

Yet as so frequently happens with God, the very weakness I despised led to my greatest discovery. For in my vulnerability, my brokenness, my comprehension of my complete, utter powerlessness, I gradually came to accept my total dependence on God, and God alone. It was only as I clutched desperately, in my despair, to the God who was all I had left, that I came to glimpse God’s boundless, infinite love and compassion.

I was painfully forced to re-imagine the God of my childhood: the benevolent traffic controller who lived up above the clouds, in heaven. One by one, I discarded all of the platitudes I’d always heard during bad times, such as “everything happens for a reason” and “well, it must be God’s will.” Examining these old assumptions, I decided, firmly, that they didn’t meet the test of child rape (which is what happened to me). I could not love or even respect, I knew, a God who could will something so evil, so destructive, to happen–for any reason. Forced to let go of the omnipotent, all-powerful God of my youth, I have slowly come to embrace, with surprising joy, the Christ of the Paschal Mystery. The thoroughly immanent God who chose to become one with us for no other reason than His immense love for us, and desire to call us to Himself.


Author: Barbara Marincel

My spiritual journey is all about finding the grace in the everyday—and the not so everyday—while living a full and creative life that includes chronic illness, PTSD, and depression. I'm a writer, blogger and photographer, live in lovely Minneapolis, Minnesota and am happily married to George and doggie-mama to Piper. I’m a Benedictine Oblate candidate of St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, MN. My creative inspirations include nature, good books, Lake Superior, my flower garden, and my faith. More than anything, I cherish spending time with friends and, especially, family.

4 thoughts on “gifts in the rubble”

  1. Truly beautiful, Barbara. WOW! I know that is a very inadequate expression, but it’s what I’m left with after reading your post. Your new blog title is absolutely perfect for what you have written here. There is a deep source within you — keep this up. Emilie’s spirit is with you strongly right now. Thank you for sharing that with all of us.


  2. What a beautiful essay! Part of it reminds me of Rabbi Harold Kushner’s work – I really love his “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” (trite title, good book). He talks a lot about how you can believe in an omnipotent God or an all-loving God, but not both at the same time. He must have been channeling you. :)Tell us more about this intriguing grad school opportunity!!


I'd love to know what you think, please feel free to comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Oblate Life

A Benedictine Oblates Take on Life


The best longform stories on the web

Crock Pot Chaos

It's my chaos and I'll cry if I want to. And laugh. And cackle like a lunatic. Depends on the minute.

There Will Be Bread

The intersection of faith and life.


All things skincare, green beauty and beyond!

Our every encounter leads someone toward beatitude or away from it

Minute Meditations

Presented by Benedictine University, Campus Ministry

Where the Middle Ages Begin


We are what we think.

PTSD and beyond

The good and the bad of having an illness

Lavender and Levity

Laughing at myself, and learning to love (live with) it!

A New Day: Living Life Almost Gracefully

Photography and Thoughts About Life and Aging

Living A Fibro Life

My life with Fibromyalgia

Ramblings of a now 60+ Female

Scotland, Fibromyalgia, Sleep Apneoa, Mental Health, Endometriosis, Osteoarthritis, Nature.

Invisibly Me

Live A Visible Life Whatever Your Health

Melissa vs Fibromyalgia

loving, living and learning with chronic pain, chronic fatigue and insomnia

Women With Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia Support for Women

image into ikon

exploring creativity and spirituality

Being Benedictine

Jodi Blazek Gehr, Oblate of St. Benedict


Just a Mom that loves her family, coffee & blog.

%d bloggers like this: