Jackie Ly

I Am.



I am.

By Jackie Ly

Adapted from a piece written in spring, 2018

I find myself searching for personal connections to the biblical women who walked this earth centuries before. Who were they, really? What can they teach us now? How are we alike?

I am like Ruth.
Widow, a title I never wanted or imagined. Like Ruth, thrust into a new land with nothing but love and perseverance, I refuse to let circumstances define me. I admire her strength to carry on when inside it was probably the last thing she wanted for herself.
Daughter in law, who must somehow hold it together for the sake of others. I find strength in relationships and take responsibility for my own healing to help my loved ones. We are not meant to walk this painful path alone and thankfully I don’t have to.

I am like Sarah.
Heartbroken, a life spent imagining a different future, just to watch it slip away. I see her inner pain, made so public by her perceived inadequacies. She must have felt so alone, and yet there was a promise, a promise for which she had to be patient.
Surprised, that after all this time, God could deliver, and bring joy and a new future for her family. Kindness shown to me throughout my life but particularly through my grief journey has surprised and wow’ed me, each gesture or gift a sign that God will never abandon us.

I am like Lot’s Wife.
Bystander, as the action unfolds but I’m not immersed in it. Sometimes it’s easier that way, to be a listening observer instead of always taking charge. I think she must have paid close attention, made a plan, and executed her plan with the information at hand. I hate that she didn’t have all the details. Like her, I hate being left in the dark.
In control of my own destiny. I’m certainly not alone, and quite often I lean into others for advice, but it’s empowering to consider that whatever happens, I’m assured a guardian angel is watching.

I am like the Virgin Mary.
Shocked, when the picture-perfect future shatters into a million pieces. OK God, didn’t see that one coming. Those million little pieces, they aren’t going to be rebuilt into the life I had before. But one by one I learn from each shard, what it means to evolve, keep moving, and trust that the new normal will be ok.
For it is with God’s help that we can do all things, no matter the obstacle, or fear of uncertainty.

Do I see my own identity in some of the women of the bible?
Yes. Yes, I do. But most of all I claim this title.
I am a Beloved Child of God.

Simple, revealing, and most of all, it requires no action or emotion to be true.
I like the sound of that.


Jackie Ly has been a member since 2009. A lifelong Episcopalian, she has found St. Mary's to be a warm, welcoming and supportive place, particularly since the loss of her husband in 2017. Grief and loss are a lighter load to bear because of God's love and the love of community.

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