The time since my last post has been filled with physical sickness and health as well as spiritual weakness and health. I have had a hard time understanding God’s call in my life and where I fit in. During this YAV year, the house read a book by Henri Nouwen called Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World. If you have not read this book, I highly suggest it. The first time I read it I did not fully grasp the message, but the further I get into this year, the deeper the message of the book is sinking into my heart.
“All I want to say to you is, ‘You are the Beloved’, And I hope that you can hear these words with all the tenderness and force that love can hold. My only desire is to make these words reverberate in every corner of your being- You are Beloved.” -Henri Nouwen
These words and Nouwen’s book are slowly sticking with me through every situation that I have encountered since the first reading as a YAV group. I had the second opportunity to read and discuss the book at the Tuesday night Women’s Bible Study at Metairie Ridge Presbyterian Church, a local congregation I have become involved with this year. The parts of the book that are most inspiring to me are the chapters entitled, “Taken,” “Blessed,” “Broken,” and “Given.” These titles seem simple enough; however, looks are deceiving. These four simple words stem from the Last Supper. Jesus TOOK the bread. He BLESSED the bread. He BROKE the Bread and then He GAVE the bread. Theses are all important concepts that we need to grasp before we can accept the FACT that we are Beloved.
We are taken. A better word would be chosen. We are chosen by God. We are seen by God in our preciousness, in our distinctiveness and our uniqueness. We are seen as precious in God’s eyes. This does not mean that others are not chosen. It is not a “we are better than them” type scenario.
It is vital that you and I know that we are blessed. The word “blessing” means to say good things about people. We all want blessings no matter how small.
The third aspect is that we are all broken. I am broken in unique ways and so are you. I used to look at my brokenness and think that it made me unworthy of blessings. Sometimes I still think this way. To fully become the Beloved we have to accept our brokenness. I have to accept my past mistakes, relationships and transgressions. Our brokenness is what makes us who we are. We are called to embrace our brokenness and the brokenness of those around us. Sometimes the way we can accept our brokenness is to accept the brokenness of the others around us. I have come to the harsh realization that some people who I put on a pedestal are broken. No one is unbroken. If there was such a person there would be no need for Jesus and His salvation on the cross.
We are all given to the world as a gift. It is a process of healing. Only when we accept that we are people who are taken, chosen by God, blessed by God, broken in God, can we give ourselves to others. We are called to live out our lives. We have to trust in God and that He knows where our gifts can best be given.
I am coming to fully believe that I am the Beloved child of God. Through God I can do amazing and wonderful things in this life. Sometimes I think that I am the one to do thing such like being a YAV in Africa or South Korea, but God has chosen me to do something different at this moment in my life. That does not mean that it does not hurt or that I am not disappointed. I cried for a long while after coming back from Placement Event, having not been placed to serve internationally. However, looking back on it now, I am thankful for the opportunity that I was given. I met wonderful people and have made connections that will last a lifetime.
I am accepting my brokenness every day. It is hard but I have never felt closer to God than I do at this moment. God will give me where He sees there is a need for me. Right now that need is not in Africa or South Korea. I hope that I can soon see where God is calling me to continue to do His work in this world.
[This excerpt is a repost from Maegen’s blog; check it out.]