Monday October 24, 2016
by Dale and Juanita Ryan
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
Abandoned. Neglected. Alone.
Many of us share these painful struggles. Unfortunately, many of us have struggled with them from very early in life. People from dysfunctional families often feel that they were never acceptable to their parents. Many struggle with the feeling that they can never be good enough to receive attention. If reinforced by rejection or abandonment from friends, colleagues, or other significant people in our lives, we can easily conclude that we don't really 'belong' at all.
Humans have a deep longing to belong, to be emotionally bonded with others. Social isolation can be very painful to us. But social isolation may have felt like the only option open to us as children. Attempts at closeness may have meant experiencing control, abuse, rejection or loss. We may have pulled away to protect ourselves, even though it left us lonely and afraid.
God comes to our lonely, anxious hearts and whispers our name. God says "I see both the fear you have of closeness and the deep longing you have to belong. I have come to comfort you and to respond to your need. I have been seeking relationship with you. You belong. You belong to me. You are my child."
It may frighten us - this invitation to belong to God - even though we long for it. It may frighten us because we expect pain and disappointment, over-control and rejection. But gradually, as we continue the healing process, we can allow God to meet this deep need. We can allow ourselves to belong more and more to God.
Help me, God, to allow myself to belong to you.
Thank you for calling me by name.
Thank you for saying 'you are mine'.
I want to belong to you, God.
Help me to heal, Great Physician,
So that I can accept my place in your family.
Take away my fear, Father,
give me the courage to belong to you.
Copyright 2016 Dale and Juanita Ryan
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