Two nights ago, I laid flat on my face before the Lord. Literally and figuratively. I wept as I reflected on God’s unconditional grace for me, and how I don’t even deserve the tiniest morsel of it. But, He chooses me anyway. I re-surrendered control of everything to Him, as I suspect I will have to do many many more times in this life. It’s easy to attempt to take it back. I distinctly remember Him speaking into my desires during our conversation. He said,
“What if you could have nothing else but me? What if you’re deepest aspirations and hopes fell apart? What if your greatest fears became reality? Am I enough for you?”
I realized something in that moment. For a lot of my life, the answer would have been no. Jesus has rarely ever just been ENOUGH for me. My flesh and heart have failed me, but I have still allowed them to dictate my desires. Since I’ve earnestly and daily started to assess my heart, God has faithfully put the weight of my fear on front display. For the sake of authenticity, I feel like I should share my fears, and hopefully they will resonate with you.
When I am truly honest, my biggest fear is not being loved. Being discarded by the people I care about most. Not being of use to people. I am terrified of ending up alone, and not BEING ENOUGH for those around me. I am hypercritical of myself, thus leading to my fear of failure and not accomplishing things well in my purpose-driven life. I feel this pressure to succeed, clearly spurred on by my sinful flesh and desire to be known, loved, praised, and decorated. But, this weighty burden I feel is NOT from God. This unquenchable desire to achieve is built based on my own strength and failing flesh. This is a mindset I easily revert back to, but it plain and simple does not define who I am. It is vital to practice remembering this.
- My identity is not dependent on my successes and failures; it is wholly dependent on Jesus’ blood spilled for me.
- My identity is not lessened or changed when I grasp control back from God; it remains and strengthens each time God calls me back to Himself.
- God’s love for me does not lessen when I covet affection from anyone else other than Him, because His love for me will never fail.
- My fears are not my defining qualities. They do not make me any more or less worthy of grace than anyone else.
When I take a long, hard look in the mirror at my deepest fears and their underlying motivations, I see sin infiltrating GOOD THINGS. The desire for companionship in its roots is GOOD. The passion to succeed and do great work for the Kingdom is GOOD. But, sin steps in to the areas that God can be most glorified in, and distorts them instead. Truth be told, I see my fears becoming destructive if left unchecked.
Thankfully, that doesn’t have to be the case, because God decidedly said NO to fear ruling my life and overtaking my thoughts. He told me so. He didn’t just say no to me, but He offers all of us that same freedom from fear.
Maybe these two seemingly separate things I discussed here don’t seem to connect (my fears and God’s question a few nights ago), but they do.
God asked whether or not He is enough for me, and typically my answer would have been no BECAUSE OF my fears.
What if He really ISN’T enough? I need a husband to be happy in my future; I need career success to be fulfilled; I will never be truly content if others regularly reject me.
But this time was different. I know He’s been softening my heart in this area for a LONG TIME, but some of the pieces just started to come together once I allowed myself to be honest about my fears.
So, when He asked, I could say “yes” with complete confidence.
He is MORE THAN ENOUGH. He is the only true and safe place in my life. He is the only one in which I feel entirely content and filled. He is the only one who CONSTANTLY and WHOLEHEARTEDLY loves, chooses, and pursues me. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in this world, even if that choice leaves me with nothing except Him. He is the most worthy and the most good.
I know that because of my flesh, I will try to re-grasp control and do anything to ensure my fears don’t become reality, but I also know that God will not allow me to stay running and striving for long. I will go back again and again and again because I simply cannot resist Him. I see this as the best gift in my life. Thank you, Father.