Hope for the Tangled Soul

When I started to poke at the idea of blogging, I assumed I would write about homeschooling. I sat down with my laptop and stared at the blank screen for a long time.

All that would come out was a reluctant disclaimer on my struggle with anxiety and depression.

Months passed and I kept writing and waiting, hoping to be able to add the words “used to” in reference to those struggles before I officially launched into blogging. But that day hasn’t come yet and I can’t wait anymore.

This blog has become my story of coming back, again and again, to a humbling reality:

I desperately need Jesus every single day.

The truth is, deep down, we’re all a hot tangled mess. We can dress ourselves up and try not to digress in public, but we know. It can often feel like a hopeless chasm between where we are and where we want to be.

I’ve struggled on and off all my life, and debated going to counseling for at least a decade.

A few years ago I finally broke down and went, which turned out to be one of the better decisions I’ve ever made. She and I met weekly for quite a while.

The great thing about counseling is that it brings a lot of problems to the light, things like deep bitterness, envy, and bad thought patterns. This is also the difficult thing about counseling. Now I could see what a mess I was. I could see my dark underside playing out in my life in real time. And of course, I just wanted to fix it.

The patterns ran deep. Seeing my own weaknesses play out over and over again left me frustrated and discouraged. Why couldn’t I just get it together?!

One day my counselor said something that turned my mind inside out.

“God’s goal isn’t for you to be stronger. He’s looking for your dependency.”

It hit me like a life raft.

The only thing worse than freaking out all the time is having anxiety about freaking out all the time. In my head I had this picture of who I wanted to be. Someone who trusted her God and lived like He was big enough to handle it all. Someone who had a firm grasp of who she was, who wasn’t plagued with anxiety over who she wasn’t.

A Life at Rest: My World in His Hands! That felt so very far from where I was.

I couldn’t just be stronger. I’d been trying that for decades.

But maybe I could be dependent.

Here’s the funny thing. Right now, God is literally holding our molecules together. Everything that exists He is currently sustaining, from the planets in their orbit to the heartbeat in our chest. The changes of the seasons and the dancing of the galaxies, all directed by His hand.

We can’t do anything on our own. You and I are completely and utterly dependent upon God for everything! We desperately, pathetically, ridiculously need Jesus every single moment of our lives, not just when we think we do.

The testimony of “I can’t do it:  I need Jesus” is not an admission of failure. It’s an admission of reality—and possibly the world’s greatest understatement, one I’m daily learning to embrace.

The irony is, it is possible to be in God’s hands, the safest, most “found” place you can be, and at the same time have moments where you feel completely tangled up and lost.

I have those moments. Maybe you do too.

Can I make an appeal to you? Just because you can’t see, doesn’t mean He can’t.

Sometimes it’s all we can do to whisper to the Lord in the darkness. But He hears you, and is very near. The God of the universe is the one who holds you.

Read the words of Psalm 139:1-12.

“O Lord, you have searched me and know me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.

You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.

If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”

There is not a place too dark where His Spirit cannot find you. Even if you feel tangled up and lost, God knows where you are. (You are in His hands.)

Hold on, Tangled Soul.

There is hope.

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