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  • Writer's pictureshelisloterbeek

Uncovering Layers: Becoming the Beloved

As I laid on the table at physical therapy she said the words "You might not be able to do that ever again."

Tears came to my eyes and I quickly blinked them back. But the thought didn't leave me.

What she was referring to was a yoga pose that at one time I was able to move freely and openly in. But then her words, I may never be able to do that again. Herniated discs. Bulging discs. Recovery for back injuries especially, is slow. I had become okay with the fact that there was a long journey of healing ahead. Well, most days at least. Some days I still call it stupid. But I did think that at some point I'd be back where I'd started.

"You might not be able to do that ever again."

Each time I begin a yoga class one of the statements I say is "try not to judge what your body can or cannot do today." Each practice we come as we are, with whatever has happened during the day, with our present bodies, minds and souls. But I was struggling with the words that I might not be able to do what I had been able to do, ever again.

And then the Spirit whispered the words to me: "You are beloved."

And that message is for you, too. You are beloved.

If you read nothing more than that and go on your way that's fine with me.

I'll say it again: You are beloved by God.

Can you say it out loud? "I am beloved."

My understanding and experience of belovedness has been deepening for a number of years. Perhaps you've noticed this as well, as we journey through life we come around to ideas, beliefs, situations or difficult places that perhaps we thought we had already "taken care of" or made concrete in our souls. We're not just on a straight path of achieving a new step or level. We come to these places in our soul again and again - touching them in a slightly different way. Our journey isn't linear - it is multi-dimensional - integrated, evolving. Beloved.

The word beloved in the old testament in the Bible is mainly found in the Hebrew word 'ahebh, "to breathe" or "long for,". What is it that sustains your breath? Did you know the creator of the universe longs for you?

In the new testament in the Bible the word beloved is used exclusively to refer to Divine love birthed in Christ.

Hear these words from Desmond Tutu:

“We don’t need to prove ourselves to God. We don’t have to do anything at all to be acceptable to him. Jesus came to say “hey, you don’t have to earn God’s love. It is not a matter for human achievement. You exist because God loves you already. You are a child of divine love.”

To be beloved. To be known and loved. To be beloved - not for what you do, not for what you have, not for who others say you are (to paraphrase Henri Nouwen), but just as you were created to be. Beloved as who you are today. Beloved whether you can or cannot do this or that. Just beloved. Just be loved. Just be. Love.



How does it feel to say the words "I am beloved?"

How have you experienced your own belovedness?

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