At the beginning of Lent we heard God claim Jesus in his baptism and God called him, “my beloved.” During this season of the calendar year, we tend to feel a little more tired and run down. Our energy is lower which causes us to not feel as good emotionally. During these colder months when we are just longing for spring to fully kick in, it is good to have the reminder that we are beloved.
When Ingrid, my oldest daughter, was baptized her Godmother made her a banner that had the passage from Isaiah in which God is reminding Israel that they are a loved community. God told the Israelites, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.”
You are God’s and you are beloved. I feel the need to keep reminding people of that right now. In my other jobs, chaplain and therapist, I keep encountering people that feel they are at the end of their ropes. The heaviness of the past year is taking its toll. I am hearing a lot of hurt, anger, exhaustion, despair. It is normal for these emotions to heighten in us toward the end of winter, but this year the emotions feel more extreme. We are all just plain exhausted and we are not getting our souls refilled, and this is when people need faith.
We need to be reminded that someone calls us by name and claims us as their own. You belong to God. We need to feel like someone cares for us and our loneliness, our sorrow, our hurt. You are beloved.
If the rest of the winter is weighing on you and you feel you have nothing else to give, first, know that you are not alone. These feelings are heightened right now. And, also know that God is with you, God named and claimed you, God considers you beloved. (And, so do I).
There are some numbers we have hanging around the church in case you feel the need to reach out to a professional. I will share them below. And, also remember, that I am a licensed therapist and I offer 3 sit downs with each of you and if you find that you have more to sort through I will give a referral.
You have support around you, even if it doesn’t feel that way. This is part of our Lenten journey, to find our way back to God. May you use this season of Lent to hear God’s voice that is claiming you as Beloved.
National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-2433
Depression Hotline: 1-630-482-9696 (not 24 hours)