Maybe there are some of you who still feel that way. Catholic guilt is very real! Our images of God from childhood as a stern judge or a scolding parent stay with us through the years. As I matured in my faith, I no longer saw God as an administer of shame but as a source of mercy and forgiveness. Now it gives me incredible comfort.
The act of surrendering all that I am to God feels like the strongest safety net. The firmest foundation. A picture of God waiting to dole out punishment. Challenge this view and spend some time with the God who created you, chose you, blesses you, and calls you. No one can possibly add them all up. If I could count them, they would be more than the grains of sand. If I were to fall asleep counting and then wake up, you would still be there with me. You were created to be loved by God. When you are feeling alone, and hopeless, God is there…loving you still.
Nothing you confess could make God love you any less. God offers us prodigal mercy and radical grace. More than we deserve or could ever earn. When you struggle with doubt or fear, bring those feelings to God, who will not flinch from your angriest thoughts or your most desperate questions.
To be known more deeply than others can know us. This is the knowing with which God knows us.
But do not be afraid…for He loves us wholly still. To be fully known and still fully loved is an incredible gift. God wants to know each and every one of us. We are His beloved children. His chosen ones. Our names are written on the palm of His hand. As you ponder this amazing thought, my prayer for you is that you will surrender to God, who knows you and loves you unconditionally. A love that is beyond measure. A love that is faithful and unshakable.
Live in that love. Background photo by Frank Mckenna on Unsplash. A few years ago my husband and I spent an amazing week on a tropical island in the Caribbean. The weeks leading up to the vacation were stressful for me. I was tired from work, pale and washed out from the long winter. I was fighting a cold, and my lower back had a consistent ache from sitting for long hours at work.
And I had not reached my ideal weight for wearing a bathing suit. This was a trip of a lifetime and I wanted everything to be perfect. I could come to our vacation exactly how I was. Let the sun, the ocean, and the tropical air work its magic on me. Wounds, regrets, scars, bruises, and doubts…God wants all of it.
We just need to show up. All I needed to do to enjoy the healing benefits of that tropical vacation was to get on the plane. In the words of C. Bring your deepest wounds to God and let the healing begin. You can find rest—and profound peace—in God.
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Where do you find yourself? Outside the closed door…afraid to open it and come in? Very few people are! There is so much to know and to experience.
And you will be astounded by the divine moment called love. Our faithful God provides all the love, healing, and rest we could ever need. All we need to do is show up. After a week of lying on the beach, sleeping late, and feeling the warmth of the sun—I was transformed. My cold faded away, my skin lost its winter pallor, my aching back was healed from long soaks in the hot tub and a massage. The healing and restoration my husband promised me would happen, happened that week. I simply needed to trust that it would.
For the next week I ask you to trust in the faithfulness of our loving God. Trust that God will welcome you with open arms. Open the door and come inside. Just simply show up…and let God take care of the rest. The beginning of a new year is a season marked by change. We come up with a list of resolutions…things we want to change about the way we live our lives. Our health. Our habits. Our goals and dreams. One of my resolutions is to be more consistent with posting to this blog! But the passage of time can also bring un welcome change. Sickness, job loss, a change in relationships or circumstances.
When this happens the ground shifts beneath us and we feel unsteady—unsure of what lies ahead. Change that is unplanned can lead to stress, anxiety, and a host of other uncomfortable feelings, all of which are rooted in fear. During times like this, it helps to remember something that will never change. One of my best friends experienced a great deal of loss in her life over a short period of time—losing two dear friends to cancer followed by the death of her father. Not knowing how best to comfort her, I sent her a card with one simple phrase:.
I wanted her to know that she could count on me. That I would be there for her.
The solid ground she could cling to when so much else was slipping away. I could be loyal and steadfast. I texted her several times a day for weeks on end, hoping she would trust in my promise. God is just like that. The one who will always stand by you, no matter what. The one who always tells you the truth, sticks up for you, and loves you exactly the way you are.
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Now all those who flee to him to save them can take new courage when they hear such assurances from God; now they can know without doubt that he will give them the salvation he has promised them. Life throws us a lot of curveballs.
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