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Lift Me Up, Lord

Building a sense of safety requires trust—not reliance on others, but trust in the strength and beauty of our innermost selves, made in the image and likeness of God.

For me, this has been one of the most difficult parts of healing from prolonged trauma. Everything I thought to be true turned out to be an illusion, or so it seemed. After such a blow, how can I trust anything again? If I can no longer rely upon my own intuition and perceptions, what can I trust? Who can I trust?

My foundation had been built on sand, and I didn’t even realize it until the rains came crashing down, washing everything away. What I came to realize is that there is no way to rebuild self-trust through my own intellect and rational effort.

St. Catherine of Siena, in her inspired book The Dialogue—as well as in many of her letters—speaks of Christ as a bridge stretching from heaven to earth—Divine and incarnate. This bridge, in Catherine’s theology, has three stairs that we must climb in order to reach a knowledge of how tremendously we’re loved by our Divine Bridegroom.

St. Catherine teaches that we must start at our Lord’s feet. In my mind’s eye I can see myself there—bereft, broken, in a heap at His feet, my tears drenching them, my hair drying them (Luke 7:38). I imagine myself crouched there, longing to reach upward, to reach further … Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth … (Song of Songs 1:2).

But I feel too weak to move upward from my hunched position. The only thing I’m capable of doing is asking for the grace to progress in my healing and my spiritual life, because of my own self, I can do nothing else. In a mystical vision, St. Catherine heard God the Father tell her: “Do you know, daughter, who you are and who I am? If you know these two things you have beatitude in your grasp. You are she who is not, and I Am He Who Is. Let your soul but become penetrated with this truth, and the Enemy can never lead you astray.”

I truly am she who is not. That realization brings me much hope, and relief. I must ask for the grace to heal, to rise upward in His love. Our precious Bridegroom, ever the gentleman, will never impose Himself on us—which is why asking Him for His graces is so crucial.

Jesus, I trust in You, yet I don’t trust enough. Help me to trust more. I am too weak to move. Lift me up, Lord. Lift me up to You.

And He does. “Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find” (Matt. 7:7). He lifts me up, to His pierced side—the second step on Catherine’s metaphorical bridge. In my exhaustion, my Bridegroom invites me to repose in the clefts of the rock, a Rock He has created from His own wounded side. His left arm is under my head, His right embraces me (Song of Songs 2:14, 2:6). Rest, my beloved, He whispers to me. Rest. You are safe here, with Me. Rest.

And so I do. And so I rest.

Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth (Song of Songs 1:2).

After resting in the clefts of the Rock, safe within His arms, I finally feel strong enough to strain upward, to gaze into my Beloved’s loving, merciful eyes. Let Him kiss me! And suddenly, blessedly, I’m no longer afraid of that kiss. I no longer shudder at the thought of touch, because the touch of Jesus is safe.

His kiss is healing. His love is more delightful than wine …

Draw me in Your footsteps! I cry within the depths of my inmost self. Draw me in Your footsteps, let us run! (Song of Songs 1:4). My urgent prayer is eager, insistent, critically important. Now that I’ve come this far, I realize how much further I have to go—how much more my Beloved is desiring to reveal to me.

And I’m eager to receive. The embrace of His footsteps is the safest place I can be.

Yes, safety starts with trust—yet self-trust begins with trusting Jesus, completely and without reserve. This begins with the realization that we are the ones who are not. Only God Is. It’s only through Him that we can find our grace and redemption. We can’t heal ourselves, except through His mercy. Yet He’s so eager to give that to us—if we just ask!

He’s calling to you now, right this moment. How beautiful! All you have to do is answer. Give your fiat, a simple yes. Yes, Lord, let it be done. But I can’t do it myself. I am she who is not. You are the One Who Is.

He longs to take us into His banquet all, raising the banner of love over us all (Song of Songs 2:4). Ask, and you shall receive. Rest in His shadow, let His fragrance surround you.

Rest, and heal.

Rest until you hear Him sing to you His call of renewal. The season of glad songs has come, the cooing of the turtledove is heard in our land (Song of Songs 2:13).

That day will come, and it will be glorious. All resurrections are resplendent with His Light.

Copyright 2024 – Jenny duBay

As a domestic abuser survivor, advocate, and author, Jenny duBay knows what a huge impact intimate partner violence (IPV) has on an individual. She founded Create Soul Space to help cultivate awareness of domestic violence within a Catholic setting. Jenny is associated with Catholics for Family Peace and works with various organizations within the Catholic Church to spiritually support victims and survivors of domestic violence. Author of the Create Soul Space and Prodigal Parishioner blogs, Jenny also writes for Missio Dei along with various other Catholic publications. Her book, Don't Plant Your Seeds Among Thorns: A Catholic Guide to Recognizing and Healing from Domestic Abuse, is available on Amazon and through her website at https://www.createsoulspace.net.

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