"But you, Kristin, you should have seen so much now, methinks, that you might trust in God Almighty with a surer trust. Have you not yet understood that He bears up every soul so long as the soul lets not go its hold on Him? Think you, woman, child that you still are in your old age, that 'tis God punishing the sin, when you reap sorrow and humiliation because you followed your lusts and your own overweening pride over paths that God has forbidden His children to tread? Would you say that you had punished your children if they scalded their hands when they took up the boiling kettle you had forbidden them to touch, or if the slippery ice broke under them that you had warned them not to go upon? Have you not understood, when the brittle ice broke beneath you - that you were drawn under each time you let go God's hand, that you were saved from out of the deep each time you called upon Him?...Have you not understood yet, sister, that God has helped you each time you prayed, though you prayed half-heartedly and with feigning, and helped you much beyond what you prayed for? You loved God as you loved your father, not so hotly as you loved your own will, yet none the less so that you ever sorrowed much when you forsook Him - and therefore His mercy toward you suffered good to grow, admidst the evil harvest you must needs reap from the seed of your stubborn will."
Kristin Lavransdatter (The Cross) by Sigrid Undset