advent reflection ~ day 12

I am the Lord, your God, who grasps your right hand; It is I who say to you, “Fear not, I will help you. Isaiah 41:13

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In the moments that followed the birth of our first baby, the doctor placed her in my arms. In quiet awe, I watched our newborn curl her hand around my index finger. I was shocked at the immediate love I felt for this little person. In that instant, I knew I could lay down my life for her.

Most new parents can relate to this image. The clasp of parent and child is an image of God’s love. Surely, Mary and Joseph were moved as they held the tiny hands of Jesus.

Each day, the Lord reaches out to us. We can choose to ignore the tenderness of his touch.

Or, we can let ourselves be loved.

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Nancy Jo Sullivan

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Nancy Jo Sullivan is an inspirational author and speaker. She has published with Random House, Guideposts, Readers Digest, and the Huffington Post. Her newest book, Small Mercies, was recently released by Loyola Press. In the book, she writes about God’s presence in motherhood, family, and love. Through poignant reflections, she recalls how she found God even in her darkest moments, especially in the months that followed the death of her daughter with Down’s syndrome. She reminds the reader that God is present in “every mess, burden, and blessing.” The mother of two grown daughters, Nancy Jo resides in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She loves hanging out with her daughters, teaching writing classes to kids with special needs, jogging, making spinach smoothies, and of course, writing about her imperfect life.

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