Here’s the “middle passage” from Margaret Silf’s, Inner Compass:
Every life is shot through with little deaths. At the time, they seem only to diminish us, but over time, if we look back reflectively, they may reveal themselves as the very moments when we really came alive. The bucket becomes a pipe. The few liters of grace we might have held in our bucket turn into the possibility of a constant stream that – at last – is free to flow through our open-ended hearts.
We can no longer bracket ourselves with neat beginnings and endings, and when God removes our brackets and leaves us feeling naked and bereft, he is actually throwing open our limiting barriers and exposing us to the pain and the glory of eternity. We experience pain because we cannot bear lightly the truth that we are not the purpose of it all, but only the provisional containers through which the Purpose flows; and glory, because that Purpose is so infinitely greater than anything our blinded hearts could ever have imagined.