I've struggled with knowing how to wrap this series up. Do I go on, detailing every twist and turn I've taken over the decade that has passed since I fell in love with Jesus Christ? Do I attempt to describe the incredible redemption I experienced through a friendship, engagement, and marriage to a man filled with God's love and possessed of the purest of hearts? Do I share anew how being an adoptive parent has dramatically formed the way I see and relate to God and other people? Do I give an account of my journey from a nondenominational church into Catholicism?
Certainly there is still much to tell. But I think there will be time to tell it.
In this specific series, my desire was to share the "life changing" part of my story. And the absolute core of what changed my life was the bomb-drop realization that Jesus enjoys me. Marriage, parenting (both adoption and childbirth), and becoming Catholic have each been extraordinary graces in my life: things that have shown me a fuller picture of the character of God and His heart towards human beings, me included. But if none of those things had ever happened, I have an unwavering confidence that I would still be typing this story out for you. I would still be telling you how very, very good He is. I would still be telling you with flushed cheeks and a twinkle in my eye how much He loves me. Because in doing so, really, I am preaching about how much He loves you.
So I think I've decided there is only one way to wrap this series up: I bring it back to Love.
We live in a religious climate that can be skeptical about emotionalism, myself included. We don't want to be duped, or self-deluded, or seen as fanatical. Approaching spirituality from a purely intellectual or tradition-focused lens can feel safer; if we don't make it too personal then we don't risk going off the deep end. It feels awfully safe to keep God right where we want Him- usually about an arm's length away. It's the easiest way to maintain order, or at least the allusion of order.
But we were made in the image of a God with deep emotions, and it would seem He likes us that way. We were created with a holy longing to let the depth of our need and desire touch the depth of the Divine Experience. I believe this is true for every human being, regardless of personality or religious affiliation.
Saint Augustine wrote, "Thou hast formed us for Thyself and our hearts are restless till they rest in Thee". But what does is it mean to rest in Him? That's the million dollar question, isn't it? Often we act like it means settling on a certain religious expression or submitting to Him as a benevolent dictator.
I'm still on the road (obviously) but in my experience as a restless heart the answer is, unsurprisingly, this:
we let Him love us.
Every day, every day, every day. Until we believe we are loved.
We sit and we listen for His voice to speak tenderly to us.
We bring Him our wounds and our fears and we let Him comfort us.
We bring Him our offenses and we let Him replace them with forgiveness and love.
We ask Him what He really thinks about us and we believe what He says.
He, the God of unsearchable emotion, longs to connect with ours.
He is waiting to give rest to our restless hearts.
He is whispering the words that we've always wanted to hear.
You are loved.
You are wanted.
You are precious to me.
We need only sit and listen.