Day 34: Living Her New Creation
By Amber Wheeler
DSM Asst. to Exec. and Asst. Directors
Editor’s Note: TOB is the abbreviation for Pope St. John Paul II’s book “Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body” Pauline Press
‘Broken.’ Add to it ‘abused’, ‘worthless’, ‘used’, ‘not good enough’, ‘unloved’, ‘helpless’…I heard these whispers constantly, and I agreed with them in spite of a shiny exterior.
Though I rejected relating to God in my deep wounds and needs, He pursued me to restore me.
The Holy Spirit invited my authentic broken self to Jesus. He only loved me there and became my defining Word. Pope St. John Paul II reminds us of the incarnation and how Christ fulfills our hope of redemption in word (teachings) and action (His death and resurrection). ‘Thus, the redemption of the body has already been completed in Christ. In Him, the hope in which “we were saved” has been confirmed’ (86:3).
His suffering summons my brokenness and fake identities. My hope? I am redeemed by His resurrection! The Cross--always surrender and always new life—invites me to redemption constantly.
I continually exchange old identities, lies, brokenness, and vulnerabilities for His living Word. I no longer hate my brokenness or am defined by it. In the power and help of the Holy Spirit, I can see the ‘new creation’ that Christ has redeemed.
At one of our recent Living Waters trainings I experienced fear about my future, stirring up familiar labels. A few friends prayed with me. As they began to pray, the Lord asked me for the old labels and for the fear. Upon releasing it, He offered a picture to my friends of me as Rapunzel, stuck in a tower of fear and control for a good portion of my life. In the picture it was clear that the Lord had freed me from the tower. Upon following His lead, they both saw me going into the vines and thorns below the tower. Others were held captive there, as I had been, and my long hair became a conduit of freedom for those still entrenched.
A greater purpose in my suffering! Jesus reminded me of this purpose and assured me that He will take care of all the details in route. I am not worthless, unloved, not good enough. I bring freedom to others as He is faithful to sustain mine.
JP II encourages us, ‘What is at stake is the hope of everyday, which in the measure of normal tasks and difficulties of human life helps to overcome “evil with good”… In his everyday life, man must draw from the mystery of the redemption of the body the inspiration and strength to overcome the evil that is dormant in him.’ (86:7).
‘Jesus, rouse the gift we are. Help us to attend to the treasure you summon from the trash. Free us from our constant faultfinding and free us for vestiges of paradise in our memories and in our lives today. We refuse the liar who tries to rewrite Eden out of our histories. Unite us to the home of our original dignity.’
‘Jesus, have mercy on us as Your Church. We have abused weaker members, including children, and protected ourselves. We have violated the most vulnerable. In Your mercy, free us to superabound with justice. Grant us Kingdom discernment and courage to reform ourselves. May our repentance grant us Kingdom authority to strengthen the weak, discipline violators, and restore the violated.’