It was late at night. I was on the phone with my sister, in tears. I knew I was going to make the painful decision of breaking up with a man because I did not have peace moving forward. "I don't even know what to pray right now," I whimpered, "All I can say is Jesus, help me."
"That's okay, Patty," she gently affirmed. "Just go with that."
The next day while cleaning out my old car before purchasing a new one, I found this tattered, coffee-stained prayer card with an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I turned it over, and the title was "Jesus help me." After each invocation throughout the prayer it said, Jesus help me.
It felt like a little love note from Jesus. He was letting me know He saw my sadness and pain. I felt like God personally heard and answered me. I am reminded about that reflecting on today's Psalm, Psalm 69.
What I love most about the Psalms is that they convey the depth of human experience and emotion: pain, joy, passion, anger, betrayal, loneliness, hope, grief, and many more. They speak to our unique joys and sorrows, the highs and lows of what we experience in life. The Psalms give us permission to bring our real feelings and emotions before God in prayer, not just our shiny, put-together selves.
King David cried out to the Father, "Lord, in your great love, answer me. I am afflicted and in pain; let your saving help, O God, protect me" (Psalm 69:30). God was not put off with King David's vulnerability and honesty.
I do not know how God will answer the prayers and desires of your heart, sister. But I do know even in the messy moments, He hears and see us. Bring all your emotions and feelings to Jesus in prayer, and then ask Him what He wants to say to you about them.
Do you pray the Divine Office or Liturgy of the Hours? It's simpler than you think.
Patty Breen is a full-time lay minister who finds joy in running, strong cups of coffee, and all things Ignatian spirituality. A Midwestern gal from the mitten state, she is constantly learning to find grace in all things. She is passionate about ministry, writing, a great lipstick color, and smiling is her favorite. Find out more about her here.