Hi friends and welcome to the Arise, Beloved blog. We have an amazing team of writers behind this blog and our desire is to speak truth into the lies that cripple us and shine light into the darkness that isolates us because we believe that now, more than ever, the Church desperately needs women to be restored so that the world can be set ablaze. Our hope is that you find comfort, solace, and peace in knowing that you are not alone, you are not too far gone and there is ALWAYS hope to be found.
I recently picked up the book I Believe in Love by Fr. Jean C. J. D’Elbee, and what providence that the Spirit led me to pick up this book, because Jesus has led me into a space of complete abandonment. I am not sure that I would have understood this radical call to let go unless I had discovered these gentle words: “But if, in receiving Him, we grant Him, by perfect abandonment, all the controls, all the keys to the house, that He may be Master in us with full liberty to act, then, oh! what marvels will His omnipotence not accomplish in our souls in the service of His love!” (I Believe in Love, 83).
Reading those words brings great desire to be faithful to them: to let Him be Master, to let Him be Lord. But sister, this letting go? This abandonment? This surrender to divine providence? It is deeply painful. It calls me to hand my whole heart over to Him and trust that He is good when I am naked and undone, standing in the light. And my heart wonders, how long will I be here? How long will I have to stand here, exposed and vulnerable, emptied and dry, with nothing to hold and nothing else to give?
And all I am met with is silence.
Just keep trusting Me. That’s what the silence seems to say. I am still present, but I am not speaking, for I am doing something and I need you to trust Me.
And of course, the serpent makes his way in and the doubtful questioning surfaces—what if You take more away from me? What if I am unsatisfied? What if I never receive what my heart so deeply desires? What if You aren’t good? What if You don’t will my good? What if You have abandoned me?
Sister, my heart aches for the Lord to speak and to give and to lead me into the promised land. But in the book, Fr. Jean quotes this thought of St. Augustine as he realizes why some of his mother’s prayers were not answered: “You did not do what she was at that moment asking, that you might do the thing she was always asking” (102). Maybe this is why the Father continues to be silent and at work—to accomplish in me what I have always ached for.
He remains Good—He has not left me alone.
In the midst of learning to abandon myself to Him, in the midst of standing naked and empty, in the midst of deafening silence that begs my trust, I have been invited into the gaze of the Mother who crushes the head of the enemy. Her mantle of truth has been the only thing to surround me, and her gaze is gentle, and her touch is sweet. She is just a Mom, just with me, just holding me, just drying my tears, just lifting my head to look into her eyes. She is just there, and I think for the first time, I am recognizing that her presence is more than I ever could have asked for.
She knows what it is to love. She knows what it is to abandon herself. She knows what it is to ache and to feel the lack. She chose Him in it all—and I pray that she might help me do the same.
Most of my prayers have been simple, childlike pleas: “Mommy, are you still there? Mommy, please be with me right now. Mommy, I need you.” And she hasn’t said much, but she has shown up every time. I’ve felt her peace bring a withness. I’ve felt her comfort soak up my tears. I’ve felt her expansive heart welcome me in. She is so gentle. So kind. So humble. So willing to go where she is called.
As she waits with me in the space between it all, she reminds me that He is good. I look at her witness—the Bethlehem birth and the escape to Egypt and the quiet Nazareth days and the pain of Calvary and the waiting at the tomb. And I see that in it all she never once moved her gaze from the Light. Even when it hurt so deeply, even when the sword pierced through, even when the Light was dark, even when it all was taken from her, she never once let her heart be moved. Steady and faithful, she lived His will all the way through.
Sister, I pray you and I might live His will that way. That even when He calls us to abandon all, to let it all go, to give back the gifts He has given, I pray we might do it with eyes continually fixed on the light. That in the silence of radical vulnerability, in the nakedness of our poverty, we might remain steadfast and humble before Him, our eyes bowed down in abandoned trust.
May we echo: Fiat voluntas tua. Day in, day out—Your will over mine. Let it be done.