In the Heart of the Beloved

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me
all the days of my life
and I shall dwell in the heart of the Beloved forever.

—Psalm 23:6,
Nan C. Merrill,
Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness

A few words from the author:

The stories and poems in this book were written and published weekly on my blog, An Everyday Pilgrim ( from January 2015 to December 2016. They remain in chronological order.

As I read and revised these stories of my day-to-day experiences, I heard how often I was dogged by self-criticism and fear of rejection. Recently, friends who read my blog told me that I’ve changed. I’m much kinder to myself now. This caused some unease as I got reacquainted with the person that I was seven years ago. I winced at how often I felt the weight of my faults, mistakes, and sin. Yet, in every post, I was tenderly invited back into the heart of the Beloved.

God meeting me there in my shame has enabled me to live less disabled by it now. I can more easily join God in finding the part of me that feels disconnected and bring her back into wholeness.

So I hold that old me with deep gratitude and am pleased to honour her. In this book, she invites you to honour yourself and where you are on your pilgrimage.

Are you hounded by self-criticism? Ever feel like you don’t measure up or don’t belong? Do you wonder if you’re good enough or do enough? You are not alone.

This book is full of “me, too” stories. As you enter into the dark valley of your fears and insecurities, I hope you find God meeting you there with strength and comfort.

What readers have said about the stories, poems and reflections in this book:

“Esther, thanks for reminding us that vulnerability is worth the risk and brings life both to ourselves and to others—and that the way we see ourselves isn’t the final truth.”

“My friend Esther…I am so grateful for your courage and encouragement in each of your posts. You evoke an invitation in me through your vulnerability…being your beautiful self.”

“You have a way with words and sharing your own vulnerability opens me up to the work happening within me.”

“Thanks for the reminder to listen to what’s going on inside when stuff goes on outside.”

“These thoughts are so timely—especially when, again, I’m feeling that I am the only one! Esther, thank you for reminding me that the One who looks at me with love also desires to transform me.”

“The gentleness and grace of your reflections ministers deeply to my soul. Thank you for your vulnerability and openness as you put into language our shared journey of making peace with what it is to be human. Your words invite us to open again and again to the ever-present Life of God, calling to us over and over.”

“Thanks for sharing, Esther. Keep blogging and stretching us with your wisdom, gleaned from an open heart.”

In the Heart of the Beloved is available on Amazon or from the author.

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