May 06, 2022 1815 Dr. Anjali Joy, India

Turn Back to God

Make a choice to take a chance and your life will never be the same

As family prayer concluded, we took up the Bible to read from the prophet Jeremiah, chapter 3. As I was reading, my thoughts flew back to the dark days when I fell into depression. Those were the days when the voice of the evil one echoed crystal clear in my head, insinuating that I was so unworthy of love, that even God would reject me. Sadly, I thought it was true. In the midst of my sorrows and tears I would go to church, not because I thought I was loved but because my parents wouldn’t let me stay home. Half-heartedly going through the motions as I reluctantly loitered in the church, I didn’t realize that Someone was constantly beckoning me to return with a whole heart. God persistently called me to repentance.

God Speaks

It’s so true that God gives us a multitude of chances to make the right choices. He spoke to me through priests, laity, dreams and quotes. Over and over again, I received the same message—God truly loved me. He didn’t want me to fall prey to Satan’s lies. He wanted me to know that I am His daughter, no matter what and He relentlessly called me back to Him. During one of those difficult days, I picked up my Bible and it fell open at Jeremiah, chapter 3. Tears glistened in my eyes as they alighted on these words:

I thought how I would set you among my children, and give you a pleasant land, the most beautiful heritage of all the nations. And I thought you would call me, My Father, and would not turn away from following me.

Jeremiah 3:19

I read it over and over again. Tears rolled down my cheeks and fell unchecked in fat drops onto the open pages of my Bible.

Realm of Truth

“What’s wrong with me?” I wondered to myself. “Why did these words touch me so deeply?” It was as if my heart was being pierced with the burning dart of God’s love, breaking through the hard shell that had formed around me, awaking me from my cold indifference.

God had given me so much, but what had I given back?

And I thought you would call me, My Father, and would not turn away from following me.”

The sorrow in those words is palpable. “I thought you would call me, My Father.”

A loving Father, bewildered that His daughter has turned away and refuses to call on Him, yearns to hear her say, ‘My Father’.

My God, my God, why did I abandon You? He is my Father. He has always been my Father and He never stopped loving me and cherishing me, even when I refused to call Him ‘My Father’.

And I thought you would call me, My Father, and would not turn away from following me.
I had turned away. I had taken my eyes off Him and stopped following Him. I had let go of my Father’s hand, strayed from the path on which He could lead me safely through my troubles. He trusted me, but I let Him down. My loving Father in Heaven was heartbroken that I, His beloved daughter had abandoned Him.

Loved Beyond Measure

I sobbed uncontrollably, overwhelmed at the realization that my Father had been there for me all along, patiently waiting for me to call Him. I had been so blind, obstinately closing my eyes to ignore His presence. Now, I finally opened them to find Him right there, waiting to meet me with open arms. I felt enfolded within His embrace at last and I felt a great weight lift from my shoulders.

We are so familiar with Jesus, that we don’t often reflect on God, the Father. Close your eyes and picture Him, not as an old man with a beard, or a distant monarch, but as the loving Father waiting for all His prodigal children to come home.

This is the Father who loves His adopted children so dearly that He sent His only Son to redeem us from our sins. He is One with His Son. Every hammer blow, every stroke of the whip, every rasping breath that Jesus suffered on the Cross was shared with His Father. Through all eternity, He knew what suffering Jesus would willingly bear for our sake.

In the movie The Passion of the Christ, right after Jesus death, a single drop falls from the sky with a mighty splash. To my heart, it portrayed the silent tears of my Father in Heaven, who suffered silently with His Son through the whole ordeal. Why? For me. For you. For every last sinner. The Father is waiting for every last one of us to turn back to Him so that He can accept us back into His warm embrace where we will always be welcome. He stands waiting to wipe every tear from our faces, to wash us clean from the mire of sin and to wrap us in the cloak of His Divine Love.

Dear Father, thank you for helping me to finally realize that You love me unconditionally. For all the moments of doubt and disbelief, I beg Your pardon. Open the eyes of every single one of us, that we may come to know Your love for us. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your most beloved Son. Amen.


Dr. Anjali Joy

Dr. Anjali Joy is currently pursuing post-graduation in medicine. As a Catholic, she is constantly learning to live true to the faith, under the guidance of her loving parents and her parish priest. Anjali lives with her family in Andhra Pradesh, India.

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