Take Me as I Am

by Becky Eldredge

The graces of my silent retreat continue to deepen in my life. One gift continues to occur in the form of simple yet profound song lyrics that we sang multiple times as the reflection song after Communion: “Take, O take me as I am. Summon out what I shall be. Set a seal upon my heart, and live in in me.” (Lyrics by John Bell.)

While on retreat, I found myself praying these lyrics about myself, begging God to take me as I am—broken, tired, exhausted, yet with a heart desiring to be in a relationship with God. God met me in all of my brokenness, tiredness, and exhaustion. God took me as I was and reminded me of all the ways God loved me and continues to love me. God helped me understand how God continues to create me moment by moment to summon out what I shall be.

Now home, these lyrics continue to seep into my life and in my prayer for others. As a mom, I find myself asking God to take my children as they are and to summon out what God desires them to be. I pray for my children to know God lives in them. At the same time, I pray the more challenging prayer that I can take my children as they are and accept fully who God intends them to be, not who I want them to be. This prayer turns from my children to my husband and then to family members and friends. As a spiritual director, I find myself praying these song lyrics for the people who open their lives to me and allow me to witness the intimate work of God in their lives. This song finds itself in my preparatory prayer before they walk through my door, and I find the lyrics in my head as I listen to the sacred stories of their lives.

My prayer for all of us is that we can trust that God, who lives in each of us, is taking us as we are and continually summoning out who we shall be.

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Becky Eldredge is a writer and spiritual director in Dallas, Texas. She holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Education from Louisiana State University and a Masters in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University New Orleans. She has her Certificate in Spiritual Direction from Spring Hill College. Becky has been involved in ministry for 15 years, with the majority of her work in retreat ministry and adult faith formation. While ministry is one of her passions, her greatest joy is sharing life with her husband, Chris, and her children, Brady and Abby.

Latest posts by Becky Eldredge (see all)

December 6, 2013

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Lynda December 6, 2013 at 8:40 am

The words of this song are so powerful and so deep if we truly pray them. You have presented us with the challenge of being Christ for others in being able to take them as they are. When I pray for my children and grandchildren the fact that strikes me is that God loves them far more than I do so I am able to leave them in God’s hands and worry less than in the past. Your directees are very blessed.

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tom December 6, 2013 at 9:48 am

Becky, you’ve done it again. You’ve provided just the words I needed when I need them. This song has meant so much to me in the past. I recall a time when it was a constant and welcome companion (as opposed to hearing tunes like “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” in my mind all day long), and your post today brought me back to that time and those desires. This is just the Advent message I’ve been waiting for–a powerful soundtrack for this time of waiting and longing.

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WriterLinda (Linda G) December 6, 2013 at 9:30 pm

I never heard the reindeer one!

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Tom December 7, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Count your blessings!

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James December 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Becky, great post. I plan to share with my wife tonight when we are unwinding from the hectic work week.

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Maureen December 6, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Becky, I agree wholeheartedly with Tom.
“You’ve provided the words I needed when I need them..”
Just perfect.
Just beautiful.
Thank you, for sharing such a holy and reverent moment.
You have named the perfect prayer for me and for all those I love…
Lord take us, as we are!

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Suzanne Marie December 6, 2013 at 10:39 pm

WOW! Just what I needed to read. The lyrics are just beautiful.
And your prayer,”continually summoning out who we shall be”…..
Our God is so trustworthy.
A blessed Advent to all, Suzanne

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john chege muigai January 16, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Becky thanks for the encouragement and for the revelation
yes we are broken,tired,down trod end ,and worn out and exhausted
but God take us as we are and form us the people you wants us to be .
Amen Becky God bless you so much this assurance i needed most at this time .peace to you Becky .

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Susan January 19, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Today is my first chance to read this dot Magis. I hate to read it in a rush. After Mass I went for brunch to read Fr. Martin’s chapter on Vocation, job, career since I’m on a tipping point at work. I already knew this song from my parish and it always has made my heart sing. Now I can listen anytime. Many thanks!!!
Becky, thank you for the reminder to pray in this way for my young clients–different task, same journey. The Lord is my Shepherd but I am His sheepdog…

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