So many times, as we look at the world around us and the difficult things we are experiencing in our lives, we see only the bad, and our hearts get caught up in fear and dismay. We may see ourselves or others around us in negative or untrue ways. Sometimes getting back to the basics and remembering how big our God is and how we are His beloved children can heal those fearful, wounded parts of ourselves. The other day I was listening to a podcast by James Finley, and he told a story that struck me as profound.

A hermit heard a knock on his door. And when he opened it, it was a mother and a father with their little girl. The parents apologized for intruding on his solitude, but they said, “As you can plainly see, an evil wizard has turned our daughter into a donkey, and we would like you to pray over her so we could have our daughter back.” The hermit said, “I see. Come in, come in, come in.” And he had them sit off to the side. And he asked the little girl if she was hungry and would like something to eat? She said she would like that. So, he was talking to her while he prepared a meal for both of them. And they sat down, and he asked her about her life and so on. And as the parents were watching how lovingly he spoke to the little girl, and how attentive he was to her, they suddenly realized the evil wizard did not cast a spell on their daughter, turning her into a donkey. The evil wizard cast a spell over them to believe that their daughter was a donkey. When they left, they were so relieved and grateful to have their daughter back. And the little girl was so relieved cause it’s very hard to be a little girl when your parents think you’re a donkey, especially if you are a child and to avoid the confusion you start believing it yourself. There is a shame based traumatized place within yourself that you don’t know what to do about. The deep healing that the little girl and her parents experienced is like the deep healing we experience when we stop seeing our value and worth through the eyes of the world and start seeing ourselves through the eyes of Jesus.

When I heard this story I felt a stirring in my soul, and I was reminded of what God says in His Word about who we are.

“Every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm has already been lavished upon us as a love gift from our wonderful heavenly Father, the Father of our Lord Jesus-

all because He sees us wrapped into Christ.

This is why we celebrate Him with all our hearts!

And in love He chose us before He laid the foundation of the universe!

Because of His great love, He ordained us, so that we would be seen as holy in His eyes with an unstained innocence….

The same love He has for the Beloved, Jesus, He has for us.”

Ephesians 1:3-4, 6a (emphasis mine)

The Passion Translation

Reflecting on the story and the verse above, let us ask ourselves to pause and let the Holy Spirit speak to our hearts. What stands out to you? How does the above story and the verse speak to you about who you are? Have you been believing that you are a donkey, when in truth you are a child of God?

For me, this summer and into the fall has been a season of transition and new beginnings. My oldest two daughters both had babies six weeks apart and my oldest grandson turned 2. My youngest daughter started high school and was faced with the challenges of adolescence. Somewhere in the midst of all of the wonderful busyness and blessings, I succumbed to fear and self-reliance and began trying to control everything around me. Hearing this story and finding the verse reminded me of who God is and His great love for me. I heard Him say, “I love them even more than you do! Will you trust them to Me?” What a joy and relief! There are moments when I want to revert back and micromanage things because I am anxious, and if I pause and listen, I can hear that still small voice saying,

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;

I have called you by name;

You are Mine.”

Isaiah 43:1b


May the God who made you fill you with His love and comfort you with His grace as you continue to walk in truth, and as you trust in Him may the peace of Christ guard your hearts and minds.

Betsy O’Callaghan