By Jeannie Ewing
I don’t see myself as God’s beloved daughter most days. Time and again, I read about His mercy in Scripture, and I believe His word—just not for me. What is the origin of my doubt? Maybe it can be found in my brokenness, fraught with the age-old wrestling God and instigated by human betrayal.
Yes, I’ve been Jacob wrestling with the unknown, dark figure, and I’ve had my share of Judases in my life. Why, then, do I protest His tenderness when He offers me a reprieve in the midst of my doubting desert? All too often my heart’s well has run dry with no life-giving water left.
When others hurt me and I turn to the Source of life, He often responds with silence. And this seeming heart-wrenching rejection leaves me feeling forsaken and lost once again. No, I cannot be His beloved daughter, for He has forgotten me just like old friends who have faded away.
But what if this excruciating silence is really a hidden, paradoxical token of His love? Am I missing the big picture of my life? Yes. It’s not so much that my broken heart repels Jesus. It in fact draws Him all the more to me.
But I am incapable of fully comprehending His love because the barriers I’ve built around my heart are too thick to penetrate. They can only be annihilated by His love, His own wounded heart that shed blood for me. Me.
And annihilated they are. Bit by bit, the light of His mercy creeps through the aching crevices of my crushed spirits. It is not by way of feeling, but instead a certain confident knowing, that I begin to believe that I am cherished. I realize that His silence is not a form of rejection as it’s always been from my human companions. It’s a beckoning, a longing from Jesus for me to lean in more deeply, intimately. I cannot love Him as He loves me without relentlessly pursuing Him.
In order for me to realize that I am His beloved, He must become my Beloved. And this is the endless chase of a love that supersedes human conditions placed upon it—that I seek Him as He pursues me, that I draw myself, press myself against Him and rest in the wounds of His heart. These wounds bear the scars of my own brokenness. And my brokenness makes me all the more loved and cherished by Him.
About the Author:
Jeannie Ewing believes the world focuses too much on superficial happiness and then crumbles when sorrow strikes. Because life is about more than what makes us feel happy, she writes about the hidden value of suffering and even discovering joy in the midst of grief. As a disability advocate, Jeannie shares her heart as a mom of two girls with special needs in Navigating Deep Waters: Meditations for Caregivers and is the author of From Grief to Grace: The Journey from Tragedy to Triumph. Jeannie is a frequent guest on Catholic radio and contributes to several online and print Catholic magazines. For more information, please visit her websites lovealonecreates.com or fromgrief2grace.com.