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Faced with a loved one who is filled with despair and far from God, Jen Scheuermann cries out to God for guidance.

I see your pain. Your suffering. Your struggle. My heart breaks as I watch you. And I feel so helpless. 
I pray each day that God shows me how to love you. How to reach you behind that wall you’re building. How to avoid being hurt by your prickly outer shell. How to not fall into the trap you’re setting for me—one where either my words or silence become weapons endorsing your negative view of self. 
As I sit in prayer, again crying out to God for guidance, an image flashes before my eyes:  

A dark room with a dimly lit bulb. 
An image, Lord??  

This isn’t the sort of response I was hoping for. I wanted a more concrete answer.  

God, You’re his Creator! You must know the exact steps I should take to reach him. The specific tasks I could add to my To-Do List. Tasks that would ease the pain in his heart. I’d follow them perfectly, scratching them off one at a time. You know I’m good at that, God. You’ve watched me tackle that list for years. But You answer only with a vague image of a light bulb??? 


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God is silent, but again I see that dimly lit bulb. Defeated, I stop arguing, and instead, sit with this image, giving Him the silent space I know He’s asking for. And slowly, I begin to hear Him: 
“My daughter, you’ve been shining with the light of my love. But a bright light will only accentuate his darkness. His eyes will hurt, and he’ll look away, closing them tightly. If you’re too bright, he’ll only retreat further, trying to escape the blinding light. 
“Let your glow be soft. Barely perceptible, at first. Give time for his eyes to adjust. It will take a while for him to notice the glow of My love, as it slowly seeps through the cracks in the wall he’s built. It will be even longer before he can stand to look at the light for any length of time. Longer still before he’ll feel its warmth and notice that gentle pull on his heart. But that’s okay, because My timing is perfect. 
“And remember, even a dimly lit bulb will go dark when not recharged. You must come to me regularly, so My love can recharge you.  
“My daughter, I see sometimes you’re tempted to hide your light from him, believing this approach may be easier. But stay strong and resist that temptation. Keep your light on, glowing softly. And keep trusting that I’m in charge. That I have a plan. And that I’m taking care of him.” 


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Keep your light on, glowing softly. And keep trusting that God is in charge. #CatholicMom


If I’m honest, I’d rather that list of step-by-step instructions. Checking off boxes seems easier than figuring out how to be a dimly lit bulb. But that’s not what the Lord has for me right now, so instead, I’m hanging on to this image, trusting that each day God will show me how to glow softly. In a way that is warm. And comforting. And inviting. While I wait for His perfect timing. 



Copyright 2023 Jennifer Scheuermann
Images: Canva