In these or similar words ...  

Dear Lord,

Last week brought powerful, unexpected memories. When I prayed with the photo of the mother holding the child, I thought of the love you have for me, and the way you hold me close, protecting me from harm. It’s an image I sometimes struggle against because I like to be free and independent, not needy.
Now as I pray with this week’s photo, I think of your indi­vidual care for me, as an individual. I look at the young girl listening to the child in her mother’s womb and I am flooded with a sense of the love and care you had for me even before I was born. The words in the Psalm move me: “You created every part of me, knitting me in my mother’s womb.” How can it be possible for you to have that much love for me — then and now?

I go back to places in my photo album that I looked at last week, places where I really felt you so strongly in my life. Isn’t it odd that most of those times really are the difficult, pain­ful ones? Why is it that I don’t turn to you in the joy and the triumphs? Is it then that I delude myself into thinking that I’m in control of my life? That I don’t need to rely on you — or anyone else?

When everything is going well, I have this vision in my head that I have to be perfect for you — and I’m not perfect. So I wait to really turn to you, thinking I will somehow correct all my flaws, by myself, before I come before you to speak.

But I look again at the photo album. When I’m in pain or in trouble, I fly to you for help. Later, when the pain eases, I don’t always go running back to you. You are there waiting patiently, but somehow I keep thinking that I need to be a better person before I turn to you with my life. If I can just fix this one thing about myself — if I can just make this part of me better — that’s when I will turn this all over to God. Suddenly I am aware, dear Lord, that now, in all of the things that are wrong in my life, in all of the things that I want to make better, now is when I need to turn to you.

Please hold my hand and go with me to the places inside me where I am afraid. Be with me as I look at myself with all of my flaws. Stay with me when I am afraid of my anger, my sadness, and my grieving for the pain in my life. It’s the part I want to avoid the most, and yet it’s where I need your love the most.

Thank you; thank you for being with me today, this week, and always. I am so grateful for your love and care. Help me to know how to repay your love.

Week 2 | Online Retreat Home | Creighton's Online Ministries Home