"Freedom is the acquired power of the Spirit who lets nothing hinder it from fulfilling the will of God." ~ Foundress SSND Blessed TheresaI copied this quote down last October when I was at a journalling workshop. I learned journalling techniques that day that scared the crap out of me, techniques that bypassed my inner censor resulting in words on my page that flowed from that deep place within....the place I normally have a gate across. One technique was to record a conversation on the page with someone. To let the Spirit guide you and just write whatever came into your head. A few weeks before this workshop I saw a piece of art which showed Jesus holding a sign that said, "Take courage, I have healing in store for you." I chose to journal a dialogue with Jesus. The following is part of that dialogue:
Me: "I am scared to have this conversation with you Jesus. How full and deep your love is for me and I have such a hard time accepting it."This conversation unnerved me so much that I didn't open up my journal for over two weeks and it was another 3 beyond that before I picked up my pen again. I've been a little gun shy of writing in it ever since. Then during Lent, while facing the woundedness of my youngest son, I turned back to my journal to try and sort out my thoughts.
JC: "My child, look at how I hold your face in my hands. Look at me. Why are you so scared? Haven't I said over and over again, "Be not afraid"? That means of me, too. I love you just as you are. Right now."
Me: "But how come I can't love me as I am right now? Why? My head accuses me, my heart wants to yield. That is wearying."
JC: "A man at war within himself grows more weary than when he battles another. Can you hold up a white flag of surrender towards your own waring factions?"
Me: "I know my own inner turmoil keeps others away. It's as if I say to them "can't you see I'm busy?" Some of them only wish to hug me and give me courage for the journey. Yet I resist all.
JC: "Did you not see my note to you? "Take courage. I have healing in store for you." Do you not see my face in every Eucharist you receive? I am trying in many ways to reach you, to assure you yet you wrestle yourself away. You long for comfort and beat my chest with your fists if I come too close. What is it you really want?"
Me: "I want to feel safe within the comfort of your embrace. I want to relax and breathe deeply of your love. Here I am. Help me be at rest with who I am."
JC: "Look in the mirror with me. Let me tell you what I see. You are a woman of courage. A woman of strength. A woman who may feel beaten up by life but who will not be beaten down. You are scared to reach out your hand and take the hand of that little girl inside you who longs to run and play as if she has no cares - who is carefree. She smiles up at you tentatively ~ with hope that you will come play with her. Trust Hope, trust that I am the author of all play, of all that is good and healing in this world. Remember how I showed you that I was the Good Samaritan tending to your wounds? Remember how you jumped up and ran bleeding down the road, your hands over your ears? How the tears flowed and how painful your gait was? I am in it all. The healing, the hurt, the play, the good. Remember when you look at me that mercy will always triumph over judgement. Clothe yourself in mercy."
Me: "Is that what you were tending to my wounds with? Drops of merciful oil and wine. Opening myself up to your healing touch means making myself vulnerable. That I won't be able to stand the pain. That is my fear."
JC: "Just come to me no matter what. Hold up your head and boldy approach the throne of grace. Oil and wine will flow and cover it all. Let me tend to you. I have healing in store for you."
When I opened my journal I found my last entry had ended with this prayer: "God wrench away the veil before my eyes. Search the darkest corners of my heart. Give me the courage to do the hard work. Transform me."
And the courage, the searching and the transformation happened despite me. I am still in awe. More to come....