You know my heart. You know me. You know where I’m going.
Have you ever felt utterly lost, even when everything inside you knows that the main lesson your Father is trying to teach you is to trust him like you never have before? Why does he seem so elusive when he wants to draw you closer?
Perhaps he’s giving us a choice.
A choice to respond to the deep ache that this feeling of loss provokes, or a choice to remain in the dark, believing that there might never be a clear path forward. It takes time, dear friends. This is what I’m learning. Sometimes it is the prolonged suffering of our souls that leads us into the most glorious freedom, the most profound breakthroughs. The secret is to keep moving forward, keying into those still, nearly silent whispers from our ever-present Father whenever they break into our awareness. Because they do. We only need to turn from the lying voices that thrive on darkness and tune in. Be still. Slow down. And give our hearts some grace, some space to breathe.
I think there are times in our lives when it feels as if we’ve made a wrong turn somewhere; but in all our mind-wracking we just can’t recall when that happened. Sure, we can think of events that triggered some major changes in our lives, but it doesn’t make sense when all our good intentions seemed to have led us to this place where we’ve lost what we once had. We used to be bold, we used to care, we used to have passion, dreams. But now going after those things has become a slow push through an ocean of tar. What happened?
Perhaps we have adopted a false demeanor, imitated a role model that our minds have conjured instead of the real one. In the process of “growing up” and becoming an adult, we’ve constructed within ourselves a standard of responsibility so high that anything we do seems to fall short. In turn, insecurities which we thought would only ever plague us in those awkward middle-school years return—stealing our energy, our motivation, our courage.
We believe things like this, often without our conscious awareness: I’ll never be good enough. I don’t have the capability to protect myself or the ones I love from this harsh world. I will never feel secure. I’ve lost my sense of direction. I can’t trust anyone, not even God.
Where did these lies sneak in? They, more than likely, inserted themselves into our hearts in moments of weakness, when we lost our sight, when that disappointment fell like a hammer to our gut, when we strove to hold onto something so slippery it really never had the potential to be grasped at all. These lies creep in over time, and, trying to put on a happy face and confront life with whatever courage we can muster, we forget that they still reside inside us until, once again, they attack with full force.
And we wonder why we feel so lost.
For over a year, God has been teaching me to trust him. I’m not talking about just with a couple things—I’m talking about with everything. With the deepest things of my heart, my greatest longings and dreams, my very security. But I’ve found that my insecurity really doesn’t want to let go. I think I’m letting go, but then in the freefall I panic again, and my fingers close around whatever I can find. Which isn’t much.
Friends, our Father is everything. He is the only stable thing in this world. Trusting him opens up a whole new life where nothing can hold an ounce of fear for us—not an uncertain future, not a relationship, not a job or lack thereof, not a disease. This is the place he is trying to take us.
Freedom. Origin. Stillness and confidence.
He is the eye of the storm. In him, our truest self cannot be touched by the winds we once fruitlessly attempted to control.
I say origin because I think we are all on a journey back to the beginning. In the beginning, when we were a glorious idea in the heart of our Creator, not any less real than the matter we are now, our souls were secure and known by a loving Father. There was never any doubt in his heart that our lives had great purpose and meaning, that we were beautiful, that we were a part of his grand plan, his incredible kingdom. It is only this life here on a fallen Earth that has told us anything different. So we must unlearn our fears, our doubts, our insecurities, and meet his breath again.
The other day God showed me something as I was caring for the children I nanny. He reminded me of this phenomenon that children so often pick up on the demeanor and the emotional state of their caregiver. They will always feel more secure if the adult feels and acts secure and emotionally stable. I’ve even noticed better behavior when the adult is happy and well as opposed to struggling through some inner emotional turmoil. Kids pick up on these things and respond accordingly. This is one of the reasons Jesus told us we must become like children. We must return to that place where our well-being and security is dependent on our Father—on his reaction to life circumstances, his emotional state. And you know what the incredible news about that is? Our Father is always completely secure, completely fulfilled, completely loved, and responds to everything with grace and with peace in his heart.
Let us return to our origin, then, and adopt the demeanor of our Father. He knows us, and he’s leading us. Tune into the rhythms of his love.