Jan 27, 2023 955 Betsey Sawyer Estrade

The Sea of Mercy

“Have mercy on me, O Lord, a sinner.”

These words have been the battle cry of my life. Even in my earliest years, they were my motto, when I didn’t even realize.

Mercy. If God had a middle name, it would be “Mercy”.

Mercy held my hand every time I walked into the confessional.

Mercy saved me time and time again, while enveloping my soul and pardoning me.

My faith journey began decades ago when my parents chose for me what I couldn’t yet choose for myself—baptism into the Catholic Church.

I was raised to know right from wrong. And I suffered the consequences when I veered off track. My parents took their roles seriously and took pride in teaching me about Jesus and the Church. They were God’s hands in my life, forming my conscience through His grace.

As I grew, I hungered and thirsted for more of Him. Yet, the world and my own struggles with fear and anxiety got in the way.

Vacillation between good and bad plagued my life for years. I called it “walking a tightrope between heaven and hell.” During college, I recall standing drunk at 1 AM in a bar bathroom, downing my drink while I prayed the Rosary, afraid that I would miss even a day of praying it.

As I look back on moments like this that illustrated my internal tug of war, I am reminded of Mercy. I knew who I belonged to, but I was tempted to wander.

An innate struggle caused by original sin permeates our lives whether we can name it or not:

Our deepest desire for Christ is opposed by the allurements of the world and the evil one.

Yet Mercy has pulled me out of the gutter of sin, cleaned me of the muck and washed me anew.

Mercy has waited for my call, sitting by the phone at all hours of the night until I was ready to be picked up and brought home.

Mercy has pulled me from going under, supporting me like a life vest.

Mercy has listened to the screaming, the tears, the angry words, and held me close as I settled.

Mercy has held me patiently as I fought back again and again.

Mercy is the end. The beginning. My everything in between.

The God of Mercy has waited for me, pursued me, and forgiven me for as long as I have known him.

And by His grace, He has assured me that He is always there, arms outstretched, loving and forgiving again and again.











Betsey Sawyer Estrade

Betsey Sawyer Estrade is a licensed financial advisor and life coach on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Her greatest joy this side of Heaven is being a wife and mother.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Articles