This is going to be hard to get out. This is something that I fight against and have to grip and hang on with white knuckles as the struggle pulls and shakes me from the edge that I hang onto a lot of the time with this.
My husband is an amazing, anointed man of God. One of the first things that attracted me to him (besides his piercing blue eyes and captivating smile) was his heart that was so clearly set on God. He introduced me to two terms when we had just started dating: head-knowledge and heart-knowledge.
I struggled a lot early on in my walk with Jesus believing He could ever love and accept me. I ferociously read the word of God and I truly understood and believed it. My head did. My heart was another story.
My heart had been wounded. My heart had believed in others who should have always loved me who tore and let me down. It hurts to be abandoned by those who promise you a no matter what kind of love, and fall short. My heart was scared. My heart did not want to be let down again. Thus, the battle within raged on.
I do not think that this is a unique struggle, but I do think I’m in a unique place in it. I am more thankful for that than I can say.
It started by putting that guard down and letting people in – namely, a boy named Rob who God used to tear down walls around the citadel I had built inside through him lovingly speaking the truths God had given him for me. That continues after almost nine years of being together.
The other night my heart was peeking out from behind a little wall I did not even realize I had built, and I knew I could hold on no more. I was holding on the edge of that cliff by my fingertips and felt the fall coming. I sat and cried, and was honest with Rob and with myself out loud. Oh sweet friends, there is freedom in that. Speaking it. Getting it out. Not pushing it back behind a wall or into the darkness, lets the light in.
He listened. He prayed over me. He got his bible and opened it up for me to read. How blessed am I to have a husband that goes there to counsel his wife?
Psalms 42. He knew that I would read it and understand it in my head, BUT he also knew I was in a place where my heart needed to receive and understand it. There is strength in letting people really know you. If he had not known me he could not have ministered to me in this time. I am not saying you should share your heart by laying it bare to everyone you meet, but you need to find places and people you can share it with so they can be a part of girding you up when season of trouble and doubt come.
There is reason these doubts come. There’s an enemy that fights hard to push us over that cliff to where we fight for footing. We fight just to hang on. That has been the enemy’s purpose long before we drew our first breaths and he’ll seek to continue to do this on earth long after we are gone or until Jesus comes.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:10-11
The next part of this chapter talks about how the Shepard will not abandon His sheep. Do you or have you even felt despairing and abandoned? If you belong to God through Jesus, your Shepard is always near.
I lost sight of this in my heart as I sobbed over being overwhelmed. Over feeling like there was more I could be as a wife and a mom. Over feeling defeated. To quote Louie Giglio (in regard to believers), “We start from victory!” He is speaking of the cross. I am never playing catch up or batteling from behind. My whole life is rooted in and goes out from the victory of the cross. The enemy fights hard to blind us from this. He fights hard to keep us on the edge, BUT JESUS ALREADY DID OUR FIGHTING! IT HAS ALREADY BEEN WON.
I think we get here by life not looking like our expectations. That can mean anything. Someone let you down. I do not minimize this pain as I know it well. Someone you held in high regard hurt you. In this I think we sometimes elevate people to this position between us and God. In our minds, they are somehow more than us so we put them on a pedestal. It is right and good for God to remove that pedestal you placed under them. No one belongs in a place of esteem between you and God. When you look up, there should not be someone you look at or to before God. There should be only Him and Christ in elevated places for us. When God knocked that person off the pedestal for me, He did it in a permanent way so that I would never look to anyone but Him and it hurt in that season, but there is so much joy in it now.
When life does not meet our expectations, we feel failure and doubt. We open the door to the thief that robs our strengths, murders our convictions, and destroys our hope. Do not stay in this place because remember what I said before, WE START FROM VICTORY!
God cares about these places that hurt us. He wants us to open our eyes and reach up out of the darkness. He wants us to stop being pushed to the edge of the cliff.
“I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place.” Psalms 31:7-8
This Psalm is beautiful in its entirety (please read it), but I want to focus here. I love this picture! I cling to this picture. Another word for broad is spacious (it is written that way in other translations). I think about getting to a place where I am just hanging on, and I remember that is not God. He has given me a spacious place to plant my feet in the victory that I have. I can let my HEAD AND HEART know that, or I can continue to curl up behind the walls and guilt and shame.
That is not where God wants you. That is not where He placed you. Do not stay here. Open up your heart to His truth from His word for you today. Stand tall in that place where there is room for you. The sides are not crumbling. When I picture it now, it is so spacious I can not even see edges for the enemy to drag me to.
I pray you all get to this place. I pray I become better than ever letting what I feel shout over and become more real to me than who Jesus is and His promises. That is what it is. We buy that how we feel is what is true. How we feel is real, BUT GOD SPEAKS AND ESTABLISHES TRUTH. Do not rest in your feelings anymore. Rest in Him, His work, and His word. He has already pulled you off of the edge and He will never abandon you little sheep. May the truth and peace of God sustain and guide us beyond ourselves!