Silence is powerful. I was reminded of this again last night, at a prayer workshop at church. We were led into an imaginative, contemplative reading of the ‘Road to Emmaus’. Encouraged to just “let our imaginations go”, I found myself six years old again, and on Jesus’ hip, fully aware of who He was. As He walked and talked with others on the road, I buried myself in His shoulder, and found that my thirty year-old self was fighting back tears. As He entered the house in Jerusalem, I clung to Him, and sobbed. He held me, stroked my hair, let me cry. He said that He loves me.
Today is the Feast Day of Mother Julian of Norwich. One of her writings is about a hazelnut. God told her it is everything that is created. And even though it seems fragile and small, and we can feel like that, too, we were made by God, we are loved by God, and we are kept by God, as is the hazelnut. And all God’s creation. Before my psychiatrist appointment today, I am still. Again, in silence, I repeat made-loved-kept. My heart slows, I breathe deeply and, unusually for me in prayer, I am filled with warmth. I feel truly held.
I go into the appointment. And the options are discussed, and the content of them, and the fact that my symptoms are very deep-rooted, and I need more intense support than talking therapy. I cry then. I cry because the psychiatrist explains my symptoms as a disability, a mental illness. Something that I must not blame myself for. That, as an illness, with support, it gets easier to manage with age. I cry from relief, both for support that will be offered, and for hearing that.
” God loved us before he made us; and his love has never diminished and never shall.” Mother Julian of Norwich
I am like Julian’s hazelnut, and all creation. I am made, loved, and kept by God. And He wants the best for me. Always.