Sarah Swafford: The Father’s Love Revealed

As she began her talk tonight, Sarah put a picture-perfect image of her family on the big screen for all the teens to see. Her hair was perfect and full, the kids were all dressed adorably and looking at the camera, beaming like perfect angels. She then told us that for this one picture that turned out great, there are about 30 that didn’t. And then she said, “I want to be real with you guys”, and proceeded to show her kids with messy faces, battling in plastic sword fights. She also showed images of her own selfies with double chins and without make-up on.

She then cautioned all of us, “Don’t compare another person’s highlight reel with your behind-the-scenes reel.” Sarah said she went through a difficult time in middle school when she questioned her self-worth, wondering if she was pretty enough, good enough and if she would ever be truly loved. She said she became a chameleon, changing her personality to suit whomever she was with at the moment. She needed the approval of others to feel loved.

It was a powerful moment in Confession that changed her life. The wise priest advised her to put everything she was struggling with into a box and place it at the foot of the cross. She had been looking to other people to be her savior and her God – and people can only disappoint us. He invited her, “Fall into God’s arms and let Him love you.“ For her penance, the priest told her to go to adoration and let God love her like she has never been loved before.

Gazing at the monstrance in Adoration she asked God, “Who am I?” and he answered, “You are mine.”

She reminded us, “God doesn’t love you because you are perfect. He loves you because He is perfect. In Adoration tonight, I want you to feel the love of the Father without dodging His gaze. No one can tell you you’re unworthy, because He gave you your worth.”

Written by Missy Naumann
Missy Naumann lives in St. Charles, MO with her husband Ted and their four kids; Sam, Abby, Ben and Mary. Since her kids are now all teenagers and older, she keeps up on their activities by stalking their SnapChat accounts. Her day job is working for a social service agency in St. Charles, Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service. In her free time she loves spending time with her family, photography, and the great outdoors!