I have some places I don’t let God go.
Maybe you just did a double take and had to reread that sentence again. Maybe you’re wondering how that’s possible of me since God is God and He knows all and He is always present. How could I have places I don’t let God go? Well my friend, you would be right in asking those things. God is God and He does know all.
He knows what I struggle with, what I desire, what I fail to surrender to Him, and He knows the places of my heart that I don’t really want Him to go into. Don’t we all have those places? There are places in our hearts too tender for Him to touch. Too close for comfort. Too dark to let Him shine a light on. I’ve got my places I don’t let God go and I’m willing to bet you have them too.
I wish I could tell you that what I’m going to share with you today is in my past. I wish I could tell you that I’ve been healed from it and it’s not something that’s a part of my life anymore, but that just wouldn’t be the truth. The truth is that God is in the middle of doing a great work in my life, and in those places in my heart I don’t often let Him go. There is a certain area that I have long struggled with and I am finding myself relying more on what I know to be true of God than ever before.
Something I know to be true of God? I know that God works everything together for good. Always. There is nothing He wastes in our lives. Nothing He can’t redeem. Nothing He can’t bring good from. We can see that promise right here in Romans 8:28.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Romans 8:28 NLT
I believe this so strongly because I have seen it in my own life and in my struggle with anxiety.
I can trace this struggle back to my childhood years. It continued throughout my teen years and college years and followed me right into the sweet season of mothering little ones.
Can I be honest with you? I hate it. I hate living with anxiety. It is a daily struggle for me and it’s an area God and I are working really hard on together. I’ve been doing some soul work that should have been done long ago, but I’m seeing the good that God is working in and through this hard season.
We recently discovered my oldest daughter struggles with anxiety too.
Even typing those words makes tears pool in the corner of my eyes and a little piece of my heart chip away. There is nothing I want more than for my girls not to struggle with the same things I have struggled with. Self-confidence and body image issues, self-doubt, feeling unloved, and definitely struggling with anxiety. One of my greatest fears has been passing that on to one of my girls. I don’t want to them to live a life feeling chained by something like anxiety. I want them to walk in freedom.
I noticed the signs but was secretly hoping it was just a phase. I noticed the reactions she would have to feeling something was out of her control and I noticed the constant fear that seemed to loom around her. It went far beyond monsters hiding in the closet. It was something much deeper. I understood it because I had experienced it myself as a child.
After a particularly hard night with her, I got down on my knees in desperation for answers. I didn’t know how to help her because I hadn’t really even helped myself yet. I wanted to fix it, but I couldn’t. I wanted to stop it, but it wasn’t in my control. So I prayed to God for help. For hope. For an answer.
“Please God. I don’t even know how to deal with this myself. It’s still a struggle for me. Please don’t let her struggle with this too. I can’t bear it. Why are you letting this happen?”
God was so kind to me in that moment of desperation and Romans 8:28 came alive for me. I felt Him prompt me to remember Psalm 139. He prompted me to remember how He had intricately designed my daughter.
He created her. He knit her in my womb.
He knew what strengths she would have and what she would struggle with and that being more of an anxious person would be part of her story.
Most importantly, she would need a mother who understood all of that.
I had never considered the connection between the two. I hadn’t considered the possibility that He would allow me to walk through this journey of living with anxiety because He knew I would one day have a daughter who would have it too. She would need someone to understand how she felt and would need someone who would walk it out with her. It doesn’t make it easy, but I know God will work it all together for good; for her good and mine.
You know those places I mentioned earlier? The ones we don’t want to let God into? We’ve got to let Him in. We’ve just got to. We’ve got to let Him dig deep into those tender places and do the good work He wants to do in us, and do it for His glory. For us to see Romans 8:28 come alive in our lives, to be in accordance with His will, we’ve got to let Him in. We’ve got to surrender those places we don’t really want to.
God can work in the messiness of our hearts.
He can redeem any past pain we are still carrying. He can give peace about any anxieties we have about the future. He can work everything, and I mean everything, for good. If we love Him, if we surrender our lives to His will, we’re going to see the reaping of that beautiful harvest.
Will you let Him in today?