Last fall, I participated in a women’s retreat at which Judy Nelson Lewis was the speaker. She led us through an exercise in writing a Beloved Charter — a handful of sentences, adapted from Scripture, that remind you of your own belovedness in God’s eyes. Since that time, I have read that charter over myself probably at least 3 nights per week — “my nightly pushback against the forces of un-love and shame in my life.” The war isn’t won, but the old enemy is softening, her hateful weapons losing their power steadily as I offer her a better and gentler way.
There are different kinds of darkness — my own fear and feelings of inadequacy as a mother, and especially as a mother abroad, threatened to drive me mad, the darkness felt so complete. Right now, Aubrey and I are in a season where we feel a bit in the dark — there are some huge question marks who’s shadows blacken the path before us. Our nation and world shudder beneath the weight of injustice and brokenness.
But you know what? The same Light lights up any kind of darkness.
Jesus, the Word, in whom is the life that is the light of humanity and who gave us the right to become (beloved) children of God (John 1).
Our days can be pretty noisy if we let them. Voices from within and without bombard us, often with chaos and hatred and fear. They don’t get the last word.
Below is my current Beloved Charter. I highly recommend visiting Judy Nelson Lewis’s website for her free resource on writing your own (judynelsonlewis.com/resources).
Laura, dear heart, my face is on you — shining and smiling upon you (Numbers 6:24). I delight in you, I sing over you, I want to drive out every fear with my love (Zephaniah 3:17).
I love you, I gave myself for you completely (Ephesians 5:1-2) and nothing will ever separate you from my love (Romans 8:38).
Slip your hand in mine and I will lead you along paths of righteousness (Psalm 37:24, 23:3) for your good and my glory.