An Encounter with Jesus

It’s Monday, and in-person schooling for my second and fourth grader are finally underway. Schedules are set, school devices charged, extra masks in backpacks. The house is quiet. There is nowhere I need to be and no one who needs me. Then…

My mom messages that she has been in a car accident. She’s okay, just frustrated. I call her immediately. When talking with my mom, I feel the need to earn her approval, to do something to help, so I text my siblings to inform them she’s been in an accident. The thought crosses my mind, “My siblings think I’m superior to them.” Brush it off; they needed to know. Didn’t they?

Ten minutes go by, and my dad texts to say the truck that was just repaired isn’t working. I respond in a way that is comical yet understanding. It’s important to communicate in the way that he can relate.

Other people start to come to mind. Is she mad at me? Does she think I’m mad at her? I text a friend to encourage her and make sure she knows I’m not hurt at her abrupt dislodging from the ministries I oversee.

I log onto Facebook and make several comments and likes on friends’ posts so they know I see them. I am here. I care.

I sit down to read a daily Bible devotion, which turns into four devotions. No comfort is found in consuming words meant for comfort.

I decide to take the dog for a walk without earbuds. Being present and aware of all of my senses will surely bring calmness. After coming home, I do a seventeen-minute guided meditation. It goes by in a blink. I pray, “God, reveal my heart, shed light on the darkness of this coveted quiet.” Your grace is sufficient. I say it, but I don’t feel it.

I start to feel frantic so I go upstairs, open my bedside drawer, and take out a device designed to bring comfort to me. But comfort still evades me. 

I’ve got hours before I need to pick up the kids from school. I’ll medicate, start a bath, and romance myself into comfort that I desperately need. I get a piece of dark chocolate, pour myself a glass of water, and even drop in a bath bomb into the water to really show that I see me. 

I sit in the hot bath and notice the quiet again, but this time it doesn’t make me restless. I look down at my body—every curve, hair, and stretch mark. Normally I avoid looking at this battle-scarred mom-bod; it doesn’t measure up to society’s standard of beauty. But this time the voice resonating within my mind and soul says, “You are made in the image of God.”

While admiring God’s creation, I think of a quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer that goes something like “the whispered prayer that causes us to waver or horrifies us is a hint that someone else is here praying: Jesus Christ himself.”  Recalling these words, I realize I’m not alone.

Jesus sees me, and I feel seen by Him.

I have a fleeting thought to be ashamed at my naked state, like Adam and Eve after they ate the forbidden fruit, but I am not. I just feel deeply seen. Sitting in complete vulnerability, He tells me, “You don’t need to try and fix everyone’s problems.”

Sitting in the tub, trying to relieve my anxiety, Jesus offers me relief, just not in the way I expected. I breathe deeply, and as I exhale, people flash through my mind—those that needed help I couldn’t give. Rather than entertain the usual sneering voices of disappointment, I turn my gaze toward Jesus, who knowingly smiles at me. I inhale His smile, which brings warmth, comfort, and understanding. Of course, He understands. He was tempted, tortured, and killed by the very people he was there to save. He knew that relationships are hard.

Only Jesus could break through the cacophony of voices in my mind, bring wounds to light, and then gently guide me back to Himself, where that visceral comfort I had been searching for is found.

What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. – Philippians 1:18-21

Krysta Orona is an Albuquerque native who wouldn’t trade real green chiles and the hot-air balloon-speckled vistas for anything. She loves Jesus fiercely along with her best friend and husband, Nathan. They are raising two video game-loving boys who dream of becoming YouTube stars one day. Krysta comes to life with good stories and raw honesty. She hopes to inspire others, build community, and live whole-heartedly. She believes that all of life, even in and because of its brokenness, is beautiful. You can read more from Krysta here: