guest post: uncontrollable

I’m beyond excited for THE Rachael Gieger’s words to grace this page. Rachael’s pursuit of holiness calls me on in so many ridiculous ways…she speaks truth with eloquence and power. Receive these words with an open heart, because there is so much beauty here.

 

If you’re anything like me, you love control. I love to know what’s going on, who’s involved, where we’re going, what I’m eating for dinner, what my weekend looks like, you name it. And when I don’t know, this invasive little demon called Panic brings his buddy Anxiety and they have a house party in my brain. It’s no fun—they’re loud, and annoying, and they don’t leave when it’s time to go to bed. It’s been this way for so long, but it’s finally clicking that it doesn’t always have to be this way.

Late at night when these questions of what’s next would keep me up, or in the middle of the afternoon when my mind drifts away becomes tired from all the noise inside—one question quietly whispers:

Is​ ​knowing​ ​what’s​ ​coming​ ​worth​ ​slowly​ ​dying​ ​for?

As I write this, I find myself in a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia. Why? Because I’m evacuating Hurricane Irma.

Imagine me—the girl who loves to know and plan—in a hurricane evacuation. Do the words “recipe for disaster” come to mind?

When my brother threw me in a car to drive 13 hours from our university in Southwest Florida—leaving behind people I loved, the kids I am a youth minister to, and not knowing when we’d be back—panic slowly started to place it’s crushing weight on my shoulders. Other people could handle this so well—why couldn’t I? I laid in the back of our faithful Honda Pilot and opened my weary hands.

Up until now, a part of me still believed I had control.

It took a natural disaster to teach me that I can’t control crap.

The radars showed a swirling mass of reds and greens and yellows barreling toward my home away from home, rushing towards those I loved, and I pressed further into God’s heart, praying for strength and trust—and friends, did He give it.

I didn’t know what was coming, there was no way to. But I survived. And so did my school, my friends, and the children the Lord has entrusted to me to minister to.

But Anxiety? He did not survive this cleansing storm.

He grasped and clung and broke me down a couple of times, but in the end–he was washed away.

Dear ones, control is simply an illusion. I can’t control a hurricane—that’s obvious—but I also have no control over my friends, my family, the way a child receives my presentation of the Gospel Message, my professor’s opinion of that paper I wrote, that one friendship that’s confusing, the way my heart longs for what I can’t explain. I can try to grasp them and mold them into what I want, I can hash it out in conversations with friends who don’t know the answers, I can daydream the seemingly perfect or seemingly worst ending so I’m “prepared,” I can beg and plead with our Lord for a sign to tell me what’s coming.

But​ ​that​ ​doesn’t​ ​give​ ​me​ ​control.​ ​It​ ​only​ ​takes​ ​my​ ​life​ ​away.

And if you’re anything like me, the realization that you don’t have control over anything but what you decide to release from your grasp into the hands of the Father might make your heart rate rise and your courage fall.

The truth is, friend, if you’re anything like me—your need to control is taking away your ability to live. And if no one has spoken the truth to you today, this week, or ever—you don’t have control.

You don’t. So stop trying. There’s One who already has control, and in trying to control, you’re trying to control Him. That never works out for the best.

Death​ ​couldn’t​ ​control​ ​Him…neither​ ​can​ ​you.

Stop trying to figure out what’s coming next, stop stressing about the grade on that exam, stop rereading the texts from that guy trying to figure out whether or not he likes you.

Stop trying to shut down your longing because it doesn’t make sense. Stop trying to write your story word for word, because you’re not the Author. Stop trying to plan every step of the way hoping that if you do, you won’t stumble.

Because​ ​you​ ​can’t​ ​plan​ ​every​ ​step,​ ​and​ ​you​ ​surely​ ​will​ ​stumble.​ ​But​ ​that’s​ ​why​ ​He​ ​came.

Open your hands and surrender whatever it is you’re trying to control, whether it’s a job, a friendship, or a natural disaster–the only thing you have control of is what you give.

Finally say the words “You have control” to the One who always has. It may hurt for a few minutes, but you’ll feel the relief sink in. Our God is good because our God can’t be grasped—so let go of your white-knuckle grip on your story. Your hands are probably pretty tired from trying to hold onto what’s not yours anyway.

And live. Live. Take in every moment for the gift of grace that it is, and praise God for whatever comes, because it’s His plan—and He doesn’t need your help.

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evil is sensible.

Verdict: dead.

Decision: bury. Then run.

Out of control, hurt, confused. It doesn’t make sense to hope. Death makes sense. It makes sense to run because it makes sense not to win. It makes sense for silence to consume and burn all possibility of understanding.

Evil makes sense.

You keep thinking of all of the reasons why not. But what if there’s a reason to stay in this wilderness? What if there’s still a reason to trust?

What if this is where God has led you? Perhaps this is the exact moment He always intended for you to be in, right now.

He died so you wouldn’t have to run. He died so you wouldn’t even have to win. In His death, there is infinite victory.

I don’t know what that means. I don’t know what that looks like. But I know that it simply is.

This wilderness is uncomfortable. It involves a lot of stillness and a lot of trust. It requires the recognition that you are truly out of control. Maybe you have been lead to this place of depravity so that He can show you rivers in the wasteland.

What if there’s a God that is pushing in on you? Maybe you haven’t felt it and maybe you haven’t seen it…but maybe His hand has been there the whole time.

Maybe there’s a situation that is so broken that you don’t even know what to hope for. Maybe you don’t even know what restoration looks like. Maybe you’re terrified of hoping because you’ve tried and you’ve been hurt. Maybe you’re afraid of opening your heart again and being disappointed, or worse, destroyed.

It’s really scary to hope in what you thought was beyond restoration. It’s really scary to not place an ending or a verdict on something that you have buried in the ground because it looks dead.

This. This is the best place to be in. Because there’s nothing left to hold onto. No expectations or demands…all He asks of you is to open your hands and receive the glory and restoration that He has won. If you don’t know what that looks like, then good. Because really, it’s so far beyond what anyone can imagine.

We worship the God of miracles who does not disappoint.

Through death’s defeat…He paved a way for hope. He showed us that nothing is beyond restoration.

“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (1Cor 15:26) Evil is sensible.

God is not. His love is not.

It made no sense for His Son to take on flesh and blood. It made no sense for Jesus to heal the sick and the lame and the deaf. It made no sense for Him to suffer and die just so we might someday maybe choose Him.

He would have been absolutely fine if Satan claimed all of us; He would have still been God. We would have been absolutely fine if He just cut His pinky finger. And yet…He choose to die the most gruesome death in history.

Evil is sensible. God’s love is not.

I don’t want to hope anymore because I’ve hoped and my heart has been broken. I’ve hoped and I’ve realized how out of control I am. I’ve hoped and I’ve realized how much my heart has been set on this.

Hope requires vulnerability. Hope requires us to depend on a wild love. What other kind of love could ever even attempt to go up against the grave?

I’m done placing labels and verdicts. I say nothing is beyond restoration…but that’s for everyone else’s lives.

I choose to believe that God is restoring and He takes beyond restoration.

My hope is not founded in what I want to happen. My hope is not founded in what makes sense.

My hope is founded in a God who radically chases me down. That same powerful love that claimed me and rose me up from the grave is present in this situation, in every situation. My hope is founded in a God whose ways are so infinitely beyond me.

Done with fear. Done with assumptions and expectations.

He’s not done. He didn’t stop when He rose Lazarus. He didn’t stop on the cross. He didn’t stop at the resurrection.

He’s still not done.

Verdict: victorious. Finished at the cross. There is more to come.

Decision: trust. Receive. Witness miracles.

dear boy, i’m sorry.

Dear Boy,

What a mystery our relationship is, and has been since the beginning of time. Fingers have been pointed and wounds have been inflicted, with each side wholly blaming the other.

And yet…we come together, time and time again. Beauty and love and goodness somehow make themselves known in the midst of the ashes of a relationship that has been cursed since the garden. Since Adam failed to protect Eve. Since Eve brought Adam into her sin.

Overanalyzation and too many words cause so much suffocation. Part of our problem is that we focus so much on each other, honestly, instead ourselves. We focus on what the other is doing wrong and why the other is reacting whatever way. I allow myself to be frustrated and then I seek out hundreds of articles or rant to friends in hopes of fixing it.

Except, they never fix it. Because the problem isn’t actually you. The problem is me.

The problem is me and my heart and my God.

We’ve become so focused on fixing a relationship that is broken that we’ve forgotten something…our relationship is broken because of another broken relationship: our relationship with our Creator. Who is the only One with the power to restore. Who is the only One who could ever possibly satisfy.

I have turned to so many good articles and friends that speak truth…but they’re not enough. Words and words and more words. Promising solutions and promising power. But how often they leave me spinning, more confused than ever before. How often do we go to these things as sort of an easy fix? Because the silence is too loud. And actually having to admit that there’s a deeper issue is scary.

I need to be chasing God with every part of my heart. I’m sorry that I expected you to be enough. I’m sorry for putting you in a place that you could never satisfy. I’m sorry for placing expectations upon you that you could never fulfill. I’m sorry for blaming you for hurt that was never totally your fault.

And mostly, I’m sorry for trying to be enough for you. I’m sorry for thinking I could ever be enough.

When I have seen you hurting, I have wanted to fix it. When I have seen the hurt that you carry, I’ve wanted to take it away just by my mere presence. I’ve wanted you to come to me to come to God. I’ve wanted you to need me.

Dear boy, I am not enough. I could never be enough because you were created for more than me.

Before there was me, there was God. You and God in the garden. God said that it wasn’t good for you to be alone.

I’ve wanted to take away your loneliness. I’ve wanted you to feel needed and loved because of me, because of me sharing my life with you and letting you in. I’ve wanted my attention to be enough and my trust to be enough.

Then He gave me to you. But don’t you see? I was never meant to take His place.

We messed up. Because you didn’t protect me and you made me into a god. You listened to my voice over the voice of God. And I put myself in the role of God in your life and led you somewhere He never intended for you to go.

You need to go back to the garden and let Him reclaim what has been lost. Let Him restore what has been stolen from you and what has been destroyed. Let Him take you back to the goodness that He created you for…a perfect garden.

Dear boy, I am not enough. I’m sorry for offering you the apple. I’m sorry for promising to be enough.

Listen. Your Father is calling you…away from the noise, away from the sources that never completely fill you up. He wants to restore your illusion of Fatherhood, your illusion of masculinity, your illusion of love.

“Love” has let you down in so many ways. But I’m taking a step back because I’m not strong enough. There’s Someone who has already taken on your pain and guilt. And won.

He’s the only one who is ever going to be enough. It’s time for me to take a step back and run to Him. It’s time for you to take a step back and run to Him.

You need to be totally seeking to find your fulfillment and satisfaction in Him before we could ever hope to be restored to where we were in the garden. I need to be seeking Him and allowing Him to fill me.

I also need to let go of the desire to battle your demons, because. I. can’t. But I can give you to a Love that never disappoints and who defeated the grave.

And that is enough. He is enough. Please, please just close your eyes and ask Him to show you what He thinks of you and what He longs to give you and please, sweet boy, expect an answer. Because He’s been waiting to tell you your whole life.

Whatever love I have to give,

Girl

the cycle of nice boys, almostships, and bitterness ends today

(Okay, y’all. I know this is a long post. I know your time is precious. I’m not claiming that these words are magical or are going to change every aspect of your life. However, I have been praying over these words for months and I believe them to be truth. Maybe you can relate or maybe not; but I would like to especially encourage my sisters striving for holiness and wholeness to please take them to prayer. I’m praying for you.)

 

I’m nineteen and I’ve never had a boyfriend.

Look into the spaces of those words and you’ll see stories of heartbreak and confusion. A relationship status is never as straightforward as it sounds.

I have struggled trusting Jesus with the desires of my heart.

When we don’t believe that God is enough to fill us, things get messy. When we take the fulfillment of our longing into our own hands, things get ugly.

And then, when you stumble into Nice Boy who lurks in every Christian circle, you’re setting yourself up for a disaster.

Let’s define the Nice Boy. He’s generally polite and engaging. He’ll laugh at your jokes. He goes to church and does the whole Jesus thing. He might include you with his friends or even single you out for a conversation of some sort of depth. He might tell you a lot about his life and you can’t stop talking about your own.

He says friendship but acts relationship. He’s unsure. He fears commitment, he fears your heart.

And he makes you feel bubbly. He makes you feel pretty. He makes you feel enough. You want him to ask you out and thoughts creep in about giving him more and more of your heart. You allow him to take over more and more of your imagination. You’re so ready to leave the friendship stage and dive headfirst into a romantic relationship.

Except…it goes on. And on. And on. The feelings are intensifying but nothing is happening. The walks are getting longer but you aren’t having the “defining the relationship” conversation. While you don’t deserve this, you’re also enabling it by not holding him to a higher standard.

The Nice Boy is responsible for a lot of almostships. Not relationships, not friendships, just weird whattheheckships. There’s a lot of confusion. It provides the perfect stage for over-thinking, over-analyzation, and a lack of emotional virtue.

The thing about the almostship: it’s not built on truth. It’s built on a hazy, confusing understanding of the bridge between friendship and relationship. A bridge was never meant to be a foundation; it’s supposed to be a gateway to more. It’s not a place to camp out.

Y’all, I have lived on that bridge for longer and more times than I would care to admit. It’s unstable. It’s scary.

I have deceived myself that that bridge is where I was created to live. That I was supposed to be there. That I wasn’t worth being honest with. There are so many conversations that I should have had that I didn’t out of fear.

When there’s no truth and no definition, it makes it even harder to move on when something explodes.

The explosion is inevitable, as are the feelings that come with it. Shame and confusion; desperation and regret. And bitterness.

Bitterness is a big one for me. It’s filled me with thoughts of “I am the worst person ever why did I ever even like him” and “wow he’s the worst guy ever can he just not”. I wanted the guys who caused me so much hurt to feel shame. I wanted them to feel regret– how dare they not pursue me? How dare they just let me go like that? How dare they not be upfront and honest with me?

Bitterness has often numbed me to feeling the full gravity of the pain of rejection. Thus, it has propelled me to the next Nice Boy to prove that I am enough. And the cycle starts all over again.

Ladies, I am SICK of the cycle. Not just in my life, but in the lives of so many of those around me. I am sick of the living in fear, of the living in chains. I am sick of the shame and I am sick of the despair.

Are you sick of it? Are you sick of shutting up the parts of your heart that carry hurt you don’t know how to deal with?

I could keep wallowing in what I do not have. I could mourn a dead relationship forever and it still wouldn’t make it come alive. Or I could stop looking for the living among the dead. I could throw off the talons of the creature that is seeking to pull me down and destroy me with regrets of what I have done and the shame of what has been done to me…and I could be free.

Let’s deal with these emotions. The captivity ends TODAY. You weren’t created to live in the shadows of relationships that didn’t work out. You are not to be defined by rejection. You were never meant to be a slave to fear and shame.

Jesus already purchased a way out. He has already died for you. It’s time to receive everything He has won for you.

First of all– YOU ARE GOOD. Simply in who you are. Sunsets and chocolate and everything else beautiful are  not made in the image and likeness of God. You are. Your worth is not determined by your actions…it’s determined by His love which deems you priceless.

I know what it is to be pushed aside. I know what it is to have someone you love want to hide a relationship with you. I know what it is for someone to be embarrassed to be seen with you. I know what it is for someone to be afraid of committing to you. I know what it is to give too much of my heart, to live on that damn bridge. But this does not define me.

Furthermore just because you were never officially dating him doesn’t mean that you don’t have baggage. It doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to hurt. Your emotions are valid. We cannot let these situations cause us to fall into a hole of self-hatred, feeling that we are not enough.

Right now, what are you silencing? What hurt has been gnawing at your heart that you haven’t allowed yourself to feel? What wounds of rejection have you invalidated?

The maker of your heart looks at you and says, “I’m not a stranger to wounds. Look at my hands. I’m not afraid of the damage. I am enough.”

You can take authority over the bitterness and shame. Jesus is filling you with power. Just as He rebuked the waves, you can rebuke them. Proclaim this over your life: “In the name of Jesus Christ, I renounce all bitterness and shame. You have no place here. I bind you to the cross where you are no more.”

It’s time to forgive them. Verbally. Maybe you’re not called to actually call them up, but claim forgiveness.  It is not up to us to uphold justice. Know, dear sisters, that your heavenly Father is far more aware of the hurt than even you are. He sees it…He sees you. By withholding forgiveness, you’re only strengthening the chains holding you back. With power and confidence, proclaim: “In the name of Jesus Christ, I forgive (name) and release him from the hurt he has caused me.”

It’s time to rest.

No more running. No more hiding. It’s time to let God work on your heart. That doesn’t mean He’s going to sit you down and bring up every past hurt to yell at you. It means that He’s going to show you what love really is.

His love knows how it feels about you.

His love is loyal, His love is honest. What His love promises, it gives. His love is constant, His love is consistent. His love does not run away, His love does not abandon. His love does not ignore. His love embraces. His love enters into the mess. His love understands.

His love is mature. His love is bold. His love is reckess. His love is jealous. His love demands a response. His love is not passive. His love is captivating, is captivated by you. His love takes risks. There is nothing His love has not purchased for you.

His love is pure. His love is selfless. His love is radical. His love pursues. His love is faithful. His love is devoted. His love goes all the way.

His love is in awe of you. His love calls you worthy. His love does not use. His love does not play games. His love is breathless at the sight of you. His love is proud to be seen with you. His love does not lead you astray. His love is trusting and trustworthy.

His love is for you.

Whatever has prevented you from falling into this love, from claiming this love as your own…bind it to the cross. Our distrust in real love often goes back beyond our encounters with guys…it can stem from deep wounds from childhood. We have a tendency to project failed human love on the infinite love of the Father.

In prayer, think of all of the ways you have been hurt. Then write out the opposite of that hurt. For example, if you have been hurt by rejection, write “His love accepts all of me, forever”. Think back on those memories that caused so much hurt and claim the presence of Jesus there, defending you.

Friends, no other “love” or illusion of love will ever satisfy.

You are not defined by the hurt or the mistakes. Let what has hindered love fade into the background as Jesus runs to you.

You don’t have to run anymore. You don’t have to fight for love anymore. It’s yours. You don’t have to justify your mistakes anymore. They’re gone. You don’t need to prove your worth anymore. It’s been confirmed.

The old has passed away. I have been made new.

I’m with you on this journey. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any prayer requests or more info about any of this.

Let me leave you with this: you are worth giving everything for. It has been given. You are worth so much more than a guy who isn’t sure how he feels. Let go and fall into the arms of a Mighty Lover who has been pursuing you since the beginning of time.

I’m praying for you.

 

 

 

 

wanting to be well.

How much of your time is spent looking at impossibilities? 

Once there was a lame man sitting at a gate. Within the gate was Bethesda, a sacred pool where many found healing. The man was at the gate…so close to healing and yet so far. He had no way of getting inside; everyone else keep getting there faster.

How much mind space have you given over to all of the reasons why not?

There was a lot between the man and healing. But then Healing came to him. Healing came and He asked the lame man: “Do you want to be well?”

Do you want to be well?

The man didn’t respond with a yes or a no…instead, he responded with all of the reasons why not. Healing wasn’t possible because he was too slow, because everyone was too fast, because he could never get there in time.

Sometimes, I think we get so caught up in the brokenness of our lives. We’ve settled in it and we think that it’s actually the way life is supposed to be. Sometimes, we don’t even see a need for healing. We just think we’re not supposed to walk or see or hear.

We think that maybe that relationship is just never supposed to be fixed. Maybe we’re always supposed to be lonely. Maybe we’re always supposed to be fearful. Maybe we’re never supposed to pray with power. Maybe we’re just supposed to stay here in this spot.

We accept defeat, we accept despair.

And sometimes, we do it under a false sense of faith. Does this sound familiar? “Oh, Jesus, this is just the cross you want me to carry my whole life.”

Here’s what Jesus says to that: “Do you want to be well?”

Do you want to be well? Because Jesus wants you to be well. He wouldn’t offer you something He wasn’t going to give you. Maybe you’ve been asking and asking and asking and nothing is happening. Nothing is changing.

Are you putting healing in a box? Are you imposing what you think that healing looks like on the reality of what it is? Maybe you think you’re only healed if x,y, and z happen.

His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.

Maybe healing starts with our eyes being able to see what healing actually is, our minds being able to know what healing is. Healing starts when our hearts actually encounter who healing is.

Do you want to be well?

The man is sitting at the gate because he wants more. He wants more than whatever he’s been settling in. He wants to be healed. However, he’s so caught up in that desire to be healed how he wants to be healed that he doesn’t even recognize Healing.

Healing wants to encounter you. Jesus wants to encounter you.

Stop telling Him all of the impossibilities, stop telling Him all of the reasons why not. Instead, let’s ask that our eyes be opened to see Healing and our hearts open to expectant desire.

I’m praying for you.

more.

Enlarge the space for your tent, spread out your tent cloths unsparingly; lengthen your ropes and make firm your pegs. -Isaiah 54:2

What size tent do you have God in?

Are you praying without expectation? Maybe there’s a specific need that you’ve been giving to the Lord constantly and you’re just not seeing Him move. You’re feeling frustrated and maybe seriously doubting the power of prayer.

If you want to see God move radically in your life, expect Him to move radically.

Expect more.

Whatever you’re expecting right now, expect more. It doesn’t matter what the situation is. Expect more. Wherever you’re at in life, expect more. Expect Him to do more.

Jesus Christ could have saved us from our sins by cutting His pinky finger. But y’all, He chose to die the most horrific death. There was no suffering that He did not experience, emotional or physical. Why?

Because He wanted to show you how much He loves you. He loves you more. So He endured more.

He goes all the way. But He loves you so much that He wants you to be a participant in His miracles. He wants to use your faith to bring it about.

Why don’t we hope for more? Why do we become satisfied in our dissatisfaction, with the bare minimum?

Is it because we’re scared? Are we afraid of longing? Have we allowed fear of wanting more and not being satisfied paralyze us?

We project our experience with human love onto God sometimes, don’t we? We’ve all wanted more out of people…parents, spouses, friends. And we’ve all been left wanting. We’ve all been let down. We’ve all be rejected. We’ve all been abandoned.

So, subconsciously, we often assume that God will do the same thing. What if we long for more…and it never comes? Because we’ve longed for more before this and we’ve been disappointed.

Disappointed? Actually, utterly crushed. Heartbroken. We don’t want to go back.

So we build walls around our hearts. We tell ourselves that we’re content with our little isolated world the way it is. We stare at the dirt because we’re afraid that we’ll look up and there will be no sky.

Maybe the reason why we’re so wounded isn’t that we’ve hoped,  but that we’ve placed our hope in the wrong things.

We’ve hoped in people. We’ve hoped in events. We’ve been left wanting.

But God is different. His love is bigger. His love is better. His love is more.

God wants to break out of the boxes we’ve put Him in. He wants to break out of the illusions that we’ve confined Him to.

If any part of you wants to long for more…follow that.

Because here’s the deal, friend: you were created for more.

Spread out your tent cloths unsparingly.

He will come into whatever space we have for Him and He will fill it. He might not fill it with what you think you want, but He will fill it with what you actually want.

Stop being afraid of looking at the sky. I don’t know if the sun is there or not; if it’s not, there’s a beautiful night sky.

He doesn’t introduce a desire without having the means of fulfilling it. If you have a desire, He is going to satisfy. It might not look how you think it will…but He will satisfy you with the absolute best.

So let’s start expecting more. He’s God. He can handle it.

Let’s allow ourselves to long. God longs to show Himself in our lives in glory and power. Let’s approach the Throne of Grace admitting that we are lacking. There is space that needs to be filled. There are limitations that we are sick of living with. He already knows our needs…let’s invite Him into them knowing that He has the power to change everything.

And then, step back and watch what happens. Widen your tent. Open your arms. Expect more than you have ever expected in your life. Expect more than you could possibly imagine.

The time for miracles is now. The time for wonders is now.

He’s just waiting for your tent to be big enough. Invite Him to rip open the tent and then expect Him to. He wants to.

Why? Because He doesn’t do things by halves. He goes all the way. He goes to the cross. He goes to hell and comes back.

Because He loves you.

the way the wildflowers grow.

 

Learn from the way the wildflowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them.  If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry… -Matthew 6:28-31

 

Simplicity. Even the word itself is simple.

So, of course, I complicate it. Because that’s what I do.

“Keep it simple,” is the number one piece of advice my friends give me again and again and again, relating to everything from friendships to guys to work to school to God. Every time this piece of advice is bestowed upon me, I vow with renewed vigor to “keep it simple”. But what is simple? I start thinking about all the ways that something can be kept simple– what I need to think about, what I need to not think about, what I need to say, what I need to not say, what I need to do, not do– but what if I don’t do x, and then y happens and then what if I do actually have to say this and I don’t so then–

Complexity. It’s been an addiction of mine. It masks a much bigger addiction: control. Which hides an infinitely bigger reality of my heart: fear.

I have had a fear of resting and just being. I have had a fear of letting things just stand as they are and admitting that I do not have control over anything.

But I liked to deceive myself into thinking I have control. And so I tried to piece together and I tried to force and I tried to stretch and I tried to come to conclusions and have my life wrapped in a pretty little clean box, tied up shut. Because even though I complicate everything, I’ve been afraid of complexity, too.

This fear, though. We’re all afraid. We’ve all bought into lies. What is it though, really? What is this fear that drives us? What are we truly afraid of?

We’re afraid that we’re not enough. We’re afraid that we’ll never be enough.

We’re filled with fear that everyone will leave us, that we’ll be totally abandoned. We’re consumed by fear that we will live in our brokenness forever, unhealed and unrestored. We’re living in the fear that even if we really let go and give everything to God, we’ll still be left unsatisfied. We’re crippled by the fear of being seen and being seen as not enough.

We project how we have experienced love onto how we view God’s love. We’ve been abandoned, abused, used, rejected, misunderstood. We have serious trust issues, understandably so. We’re locked up in fear, living in our brokenness, having convinced ourselves that it’s how we’re supposed to be. We don’t even admit wounds are there anymore, because there is no point. We talk around real issues because we’re afraid of the cost of being honest. “It’s fine” has become our chorus.

“Fine” is the worst word.

Learn from the way the wildflowers grow.

Okay, Jesus, that’s cute but what does that actually mean? What does that mean to a heart that is so alone and is never enough? What does that mean to a heart that’s been bruised and rejected? Nice little wildflowers blowing in the wind. Simple and pure and perfect. None of those words describe me. What do I have in common with wildflowers?

They do not work or spin.

We work a lot, don’t we, y’all? I know I’m not alone in this. We work to be seen, we work to matter, we work to be significant. Actually, let me rephrase that: we work to be seen as we want to be seen. We work to be identified as we want to be identified. Not as we truly are.

Here’s how the wildflowers grow.

They just do.

Simply, they exist. They don’t try to be what they’re not. They don’t hide from the sun. No, they turn and they face that sun with all that they are. And when they don’t see the sun, they’re still facing the sky, demanding a reappearance because they know that it is up there.

Brothers and sisters, I am SICK of hiding from the sun. I am sick of hiding the reality of the fear that has gripped my heart under a mask of complexity and control. I am not in control. I don’t know what is going in my life most days, what is going on in my heart. I don’t have it together. I have days where I feel so lost and abandoned.

Surrendering to God means this scary admission: I am not enough.

I am not enough.

But I am not going to dive back into the dirt. I’m not hiding from the Son. He came to seek and save the lost. He didn’t come to the healthy, but for the sick. I am going to stand here and let Him see me as I am.

For Lent (and forever), I’m giving up the fear of the reality that I am not enough. If I was, I wouldn’t need a Savior.

We need to cry out to Him in our poverty. We need to stop hiding our brokenness from Him, our wounds. We need to stop hiding the fact that rejection and loneliness has scarred our fragile hearts.

Y’all. Jesus desperately wants to satisfy you. He wants to fill you, He wants to restore you. He wants to be enough for you. It’s not just a passive desire. It’s a radical desire that lead Him to leave Heaven and walk where you walk and feel your hearts and be crucified and come back. There is nothing that He wouldn’t do for you.

Maybe you’re like me and you’ve heard these things your whole life. But how much do you believe them?

When we cry out to Him from the most broken parts of our hearts, He does not turn away. When we keep calling and calling and open ourselves to allow Him to work in an uncontrollable way, in a way He wants to work…He works. He heals. He restores.

You are precious. You are priceless. You are loved. There is no fear that He cannot conquer and no heart that He cannot restore.

I’m praying for you.