Savior of the Nations, Come: December 4, 2021

Savior of the Nations, Come: The Advent 2021 Devotional Book for St. Paul's Episcopal Church

“O Lord my God, in you I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers, and deliver me…” -Psalm 7:1 (NRSV)

What is saving my life now? Now and every day, a simple answer: Writing. Of all the places on Earth, the place I feel the most grounded is at my desk, writing. For others, it might be at the piano or in the art studio or walking in nature. Sailing or skiing. Gardening or golfing. Or lazy Sunday drives. You can feel it, that mantle of calm that settles on your shoulders as you retreat from a sometimes-ugly world. You take refuge there, wherever it is that speaks to you, from pursuers literal and figurative.

What transpired at my desk during the past 21 months during the COVID-19 pandemic was time—and permission—to revisit a very dark period in my life and write about it.

As I worked through a gamut of raw and often unbearable emotions, I finally forgave myself for holding this pain in for so long. And then I wrote a new novel based on this catharsis, with forgiveness and redemption central to the story.

It’s as if the Lord held me in His hand for as long as I needed (40+ years), and then He set me free, like a bird. But I know He is there, for whenever I need Him next.

Dear Lord, thank you for holding us in the palm of Your hand as we work through past trauma. Amen.
-Ashley Sweeney