This I know to be true: Jesus desires a relationship with me even more than I desire one with Him.
I also know that the foundation of all relationships is frequent honest communication; speaking and listening heart to heart. My relationship with my Lord must be no different than any of my other relationships. In fact, I realize now that how Jesus and I communicate, (speaking, listening, and sitting together in silence) needs to be my model for how I communicate with everyone.
Honest communication with my Lord means I am safe to share all my thoughts, emotions, desires, and fears. Jesus longs for me to talk to Him about every detail of my life including my inner self-talk and painful emotions. He can even patiently listen to me tell Him that I am angry with Him, that I don’t understand Him, that I don’t trust Him or that I am afraid of Him. This surprised me! I had not encountered such patient loving acceptance of my emotions, especially ones like anger, distrust, and fear.
How powerful it was to see that Jesus, my Lord, did not flinch, did not lash out at me, did not turn His loving gaze from me even when I kicked and screamed like a child throwing an angry tantrum! I don’t know exactly when it happened, but eventually I learned that of course Jesus knew all along, before I had the self-awareness, that I was angry, confused and afraid to trust Him. He was waiting for me to tell Him. Being my Lord and Divine Therapist, He knew part of my healing process, the beginning of restoring trust, was being able to express all my difficult emotions and to say, “Jesus, I am afraid to trust You!”. Jesus knew I needed to give voice to my fears so He could have the opportunity to show me I have nothing to fear. Once I took this risk, He delighted in the chance to prove His trustworthiness, steadfastness, and patience!
My spiritual director encouraged me to begin keeping a journal of my heart to heart conversations with Jesus. I am so grateful for his wisdom! My journals have become my own eyewitness account of the workings of Jesus in my life and my heart. When fears, doubts, and hopelessness led to feeling abandoned I searched my journals and recent memories to find evidence of how Jesus had been with me, caring for me, in other similar moments or situations. Then I began to wonder, “If Jesus has been right here with me, working all things for good, this past year then was He with me even before? Was He with me in those moments and times of utter darkness?”
I had a new prayer, new conversation starters with my Lord. “Jesus, please show me where You were when…” and “Jesus, please help me see how You have used that tragedy or that time of suffering for good.” And He did!
And I wrote Jesus into the stories of my life. As I remembered my history with a new main character, Jesus Himself, all my memories, even the traumatic ones, were sanctified. And I found anchor moment after anchor moment to hold onto, to write on my heart, and firmly plant in my mind.
When darkness comes again, as it surely will in this earthly life, and fears leave me questioning, “Has my Lord forsaken me?”; I will only have to recall any of these memories to know the answer…
My God never has and never will abandon me. Remembering the unfailing love and trustworthiness of Jesus in my past gives me the confidence to meet His gaze, open my hands, and wholeheartedly say, “My Jesus, I trust in You.”
A closing prayer: Dear Jesus, I know you desire frequent and honest communication with me because You love me. Increase my faith and my trust in Your love for me so that I might truly believe that my heart is safe with You. Teach me, Lord, how to speak, to listen, and to sit in silence with You so we might speak intimately and freely… Heart to heart.
Copyright 2019 Laura Ercolino