Deep borings, even down into darksome depths, often precede the supply of unfailing springs of refreshing water. Thus my dear sister knew much of doubt and gloom, so that she might be able to comfort others and reveal to them God’s deep teachings in the darkness. Then, when she afterwards found much joy in the wells of salvation, she drew forth these teachings, refreshing other weary and thirsty ones with her words of sympathy both in poetry and prose. . .
Her own words will continue the record of her inner life in the year 1866.
. . .Oh, that He may make me a vessel sanctified and meet for the Master’s use! I look at trial and training of every kind in this light, not its effect upon oneself for oneself, but in its gradual fitting of me to do the Master’s work. So, in very painful spiritual darkness or conflict, it has already comforted me to think that God might be leading me through strange dark ways, so that I might afterward be His messenger to some of His children in similar distress. My ill health this summer has been very trying to me. I am held back from much I wanted to do in every way. . .
I suppose God’s crosses are often made of most unexpected and strange material. Perhaps trial must be felt keenly, or it would not be powerful enough as a medicine in the hands of our beloved Healer; . . .but, among the best gifts of God to me, I count a certain stormy petrelism of nature, which seems to enable me to skim any waves when I am not actually under them. I have an elasticity which often makes me wonder at myself, a power of throwing myself into any present interest or enjoyment, though the sorrow is only suspended not removed.
But once I seemed permitted to suffer mentally in an unmitigated sort of way, which I never knew before. Perhaps to teach me how to feel for others who have not that stormy petrelism which bears me through most things. For that forsook me utterly, and I felt crushed and forsaken of all or any help or cheer, to an extent I never felt before.
I wished I had rejoiced more, not only on my own account, but if I may so say, on His, for surely I should praise Him more by both lip and life. Mine has been such a shady Christian life, yet “He led them forth by the right way” must somehow be true here, though I don’t see how. I ought to make one exception; I have learned a real sympathy with others walking in darkness, and sometimes it has seemed to help me to help them.
–Excerpts of Maria V. G. Havergal from MEMORIALS OF FRANCES RIDLEY HAVERGAL