Rosanna is studying for a PhD at the University of Nottigham
Everyone has bad days. Today was definitely one of mine. I woke up out of breath from screaming so much at my nightmares, and although they faded so fast that I couldn’t even remember them, I started the day still feeling a bit rubbish; it was nothing major, it had just already begun to feel like a ‘bad day’.
About an hour after I had woken I spoke to my boyfriend and when I told him that I was still feeling a bit down he told me to remember that I was God’s princess, and that He was holding me safe in His arms. Now that is wonderful advice, but at the time I didn’t really pay too much attention to his words, because I’d heard them a thousand times before, and they were just words, how were they supposed to make me feel better?
However, after returning from Mass and still not feeling 100%, I began to actually dwell on that advice a little more. I asked myself, “what does it actually mean to remind myself that I am God’s princess?” An answer sprung into my head pretty quickly: “start living like you believe it.”
But then I laughed at myself, wondering what on earth that answer actually meant in a practical, real-life sort of way. I realised that the problem wasn’t reminding myself that I was God’s beloved, because I had never forgotten that fact in my head, but the problem was that I had forgotten how to feel it in my heart.
Isn’t it true that from time to time on our Christian journey we get so caught up in the intricacies of theology, or the business of our serving, or we just have a down day, and we forget how to connect with the fundamental basics of our faith: that God loves us, that Jesus died to reclaim us, God’s daughters, God’s princesses, from every power of darkness in our lives?
And of course, faith is not all about feeling things; we can still choose faith even when we can not feel that love and that joy for one reason or another. But sometimes it can be good for us to remind ourselves of how loved we are, and for us to reconnect with God’s love for us in a way that we can feel.
So, thinking about all this, and being a practical and creative sort of girl, I decided that the only way for me to ‘live like I believe that I’m God’s princess’, was for me to scratch the ‘like I believe’, and actually spend some time ‘living as God’s princess’. So I put on a pretty dress, and put flowers in my hair and built myself a castle (ok, so really it’s a child’s den, but in my imagination it’s a castle!), and just generally, in a really practical, obvious way, taught myself how it feels to be a cherished, loved princess of the greatest King! And it may seem silly and childish, but God loves it when we are childlike with Him, when we strip things back to the simple things and just invite Him in. As I lie inside my den now I know that my day has turned around into a good day, and that I feel safe, and loved, and comforted– and it’s not because I’m between two sofas with a bedsheet over my head, but it’s because I found a simple way to reconnect my heart with God’s love for me.
What I want to say to you is that everyone has bad days, or bad weeks, or bad months, but never be afraid or ashamed to admit that you need to go back to basics with God again. If you’ve lost sight of the basic message of God’s love, or if you feel like you’ve been over it time and time again but you still haven’t got it, don’t be frustrated with yourself, just be willing to be vulnerable and childlike with God again.
When I crawled into my den today, I opened up a book, and this was what was written on the page in front of me:
‘My child, let My peace enfold you… not looking at yourself but at Me! Consciously and frequently rest your spirit in that peace; it brings true healing, and is all that you need. …Do not ‘analyse’ whether you have My peace; just know that it is there… My Name – the Name of Jesus – brings peace; Say it to Me – in love; say it to yourself – to comfort your heart, unfailingly.’