Relationships and the Examen

holding hands in friendship - photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

I’ve been lonely lately.

This time of COVID has taken a toll on my relationships. Some are not yet comfortable. Some friends have learned to get along without a social life and no longer need me. Some have severed our friendship due to differences of opinions.

I know I am not alone. I know many are feeling this pulling and pressing on their communities and relationships.

Whenever I feel a change in my spiritual health, I return to the Examen to get me back on track. I feel like the Examen always reveals to me what is really happening, so I decide to pray the prayer before bed.

As I sit in God’s presence, I already feel less lonely, knowing God is here with me. I ask him to show me where he has been present in my day and where he is working.

As I review the day, I think of the people with whom I have interacted. My eldest son had a trumpet lesson today. Each week his teacher comes out to the car to say hello to me. He doesn’t have to do this, but he does. He too loves Jesus. He doesn’t even realize how much his little hellos encourage me.

At school pick-up, there was a mom who said hello to me and asked me how my day was going. At lunch I had a call from my sister. We ate lunch together, two states between us. I heard about each of her kids and what they are up to.

This morning, after my husband and sons left for work and school, I got a text from my closest childhood friend. She had read a Scripture passage that morning that she thought I’d like and had sent me a picture of it.

And this morning at the gym, I saw a lady I hadn’t seen in a long time. Noticing I seemed discouraged, she said to me, “I’m telling you the same thing you told me a few weeks ago, ‘Let your light shine.’”

As I look over my day, I realize that God was there, working and loving me through these people. I realized I am not alone.

I also remember one moment in the morning as I got the boys ready for school. My oldest was grouchy; I was grouchy back. I wasn’t patient or kind with him. I made the situation worse.

In God’s presence, seeing how God was trying to get my attention all day, my shortcomings and my sin become more obvious—but so does God’s grace. I ask for forgiveness and the strength to move through tomorrow with more grace.

I know my son is still awake. He is reading in bed when I peek in on him. I remind him of my rudeness with him that morning and ask him for forgiveness. “Oh, Mom, I already forgot about it!” He laughs and gives me a huge hug.

I know I am not alone. I just need to keep my heart open.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels.


  1. Beautiful message Shemaiah, helps to put things into perspective and be attentive to God´s grace throughout the day. Thank you so much,

  2. Thank-you for your thoughts. They are a comfort to me in the sudden and unexpected loss of a friend of many years who was my soul mate.

  3. Relationship is at the heart of our faith and even though difficulties arise I am so grateful for the people in my life. Our love for God is the cornerstone.

  4. Thank you for this reflection… had the same sentiments… but light shone after chewing on the well-needed reflection. Grateful!

  5. I appreciate the honesty in what you say. It’s relatable and it helps. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. How lucky we are to live in the legacy of St Ignatius. Thanks be to God.

  6. Thanks for sharing this. What a beautify day you had and a lovely ending to it too. I always struggle with the Examen, by the end of the day I can’t even remember what I did, but I liked the way you approached it. I’m inspired to try again tonight. Thanks.

  7. So true! It really helps to remember that God is all around us. When I take time to do the examen I am usually struck by other people’s kindness to me and the beauty of nature.

  8. Thank you so much for this, it’s been a rough couple of weeks. I am very good at focusing on all of the hurt/sad feelings and actions and forget to look for God in my day. I know he is there. Thank you so much again!


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