I used to love roller coasters. The step-to-the-edge adrenaline rush was exciting and scary all at the same time. There was a certain element of fascination with not knowing what was ahead. The expectation of steep climbs, breathless drops, and out-of-control turns made the experience exhilarating.
But somewhere along life’s road, I lost an appreciation for exciting and exhilarating and breathless. Not knowing what was ahead was no longer fascinating. And out of control? Well, let’s just say that was dropped from my vocabulary.
Somewhere between babies born and bills due, I got bogged down in needing to know and plan. I unapologetically commandeered the controls in the name of being strong and capable — until the only thing that left me breathless was the constant flurry of trying to make sure my life went exactly as I planned.
Waiting on God to provide and bless was the furthest thing from my mind.
As a young child, I learned that provisions were contingent upon acceptable actions. That love came with strings attached. That waiting meant I could be forgotten.
So I did what came naturally: I dove headfirst into self-sufficiency.
It wasn’t until after my third child arrived — unplanned — and I couldn’t keep up with my own demands that God intervened and showed me how the need to control is rooted not in strong and capable, but in fear and distrust.
Perhaps you know first-hand this need to grip every day tightly? The constant spinning and arranging and tightening of boundaries for the sake of safe and comfortable and expected?
Many of us learn to trust fear at a very young age. We sink into its mire with no knowledge of how it will affect us later — when life gets topsy-turvy and unpredictable. Fear drives us to feel and think and behave in ways which make complete sense at the time. But in reality, the roller coaster ride screeches toward a destination filled with darkness and confinement.
Sometimes our greatest destination involves the journey of renewal.
By a God who desires to free our hearts of fear and control. By a tender summoning of all our unplanned moments. By a renewing of our minds to an everlasting love.
It begins as a whisper of assurance, coaxing our hearts to believe in something other than ourselves, to rest in a provision beyond our own abilities. And when our need for control silences its voice, this Divine Whisper, not willing to be stifled, continues to press through our fear and doubt.
Relentless, the truth trickles and seeps into our heart’s crevices.
Revealing the lies we were never meant to believe.
Releasing the burden we were never meant to carry.
Stilling us . . .
To reclaim the message we were created to always embrace.
I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3)
When we finally allow the truth to envelop our core, we are left breathless to the wonder of such grace. That a love so profound and eternal could have a plan for all of our yesterdays, our todays, and our tomorrows is a roller coaster ride like no other.
This love whirls and spins and climbs and dives through our moments, all the while keeping us grounded and secure. We no longer turn our ears toward fear, but listen intently to the voice of unfailing kindness. We no longer follow the urge to commandeer the controls, but rest in complete abandon to everlasting Love.
And we once again give ourselves permission to anticipate what’s ahead. To be fascinated with the possibilities that lie beyond our own reach. To release control and throw our arms in the air with certainty that no matter the destination and no matter the stretching beyond our comfort zone . . .
We are held.
We are loved.
We are never forgotten.
Related: Need a daily reminder that He is your everlasting light? Hang this print and cherish the verse that speaks hope to the soul: The Lord will be your Everlasting LightLeave a Comment
Crystal, thank you so very much for this encouragement in Christ. Just yesterday tears streamed down my face as I felt Him tell me: “My love is big enough for you too, to hold you as well”…yet I let that little voice yell: “No, you’re not worthy of this love. Your pain and suffering is not as bad as others’. You’re all alone in this.” Now, I’ve taped Jeremiah 31:3 and Romans 8:38-39 onto my fridge to remind me that I do not need to earn His love, I have it already and NOTHING can take it away.
Anna, I am so glad you were encouraged by God’s promise which has
instant and ongoing power over all the lies we harbor in our hearts about our
worth and God’s desire for us. We can be
in awe of how vast and forever God’s love is especially during those moments
when the little voice screams for our attention. I love that you have chosen to take your
thoughts captive by placing these lie-fighting scriptures on your fridge! You are never alone, and no pain is too great
for our God to carry and hold us at the same time. Praying you find moments to let this
everlasting love wash over you and draw you closer to the truth.
A familiar journey, but I could never put it into such beautiful words. I lived too many years in Doubt and Fear. Now I am living with Truth and Trust. Thank you for sharing.
A familiar journey for many women Kim, and one from which I know
God longs to free us. Sometimes it takes
a defining moment to pull the clogged filter from in front of our eyes, and
then it all becomes clear. We learn to
recognize doubt and fear, and we choose to walk on by and take the hands of
truth and trust. I think of each of
these being a hand of God as he calls us into everlasting love. You said it so
well! Thanking God for the discernment
and strength you have found and the choice to live in freedom.
Penny Doremus says
“Many of us learn to trust fear at a very young age.” What a profound statement. I’ve never thought of myself as trusting fear , but that’s exactly it. I have chosen, since I was a tiny little girl, to trust fear over God. I always thought I needed to control things, because I was the strong one, the capable one, the only one who could manage things, even from my childhood. Reading that the need for control comes not from being strong and capable, but from fear and distrust was a completely new thought to me. The more I think about it, the more I believe you are right. Oh my. Thank you for your words. I will be reading them, and reading them many times until they sink it.
Oh Penny, it was profound for me also when I realized the hold fear
had on my marriage, mothering, friendships and so much more. Our child hearts
long to trust in something, and so much gets twisted and warped. It is exhausting and debilitating and not at
all what God has for us. I think fear
and distrust hinder us from seeing the depth of God’s love for us, and choosing
to release control has allowed him to overwhelm me with his love and care in
even the smallest pieces of my life. I
know what you are experiencing, and I pray God will speak truth and security
into your heart. He never calls us to
April Windsor Box says
I want you to know how the Lord used your writing to start applying healing balm to my hurting heart. The issue of control is huge in my life, and I need to have a plan and want to control my surroundings (and sometimes even the people in my life). But today I took a pregnancy test. It was negative. After 3 years of trying for a second baby, visits to the fertility specialist, and our first failed IUI, I’m trying hard to swallow all of these emotions and process and trust the Creator of Life. Its called “Unexplained Secondary Infertility”, meaning, “we don’t know what’s wrong with you and the reason you can’t have more children”. My husband and I planned to have children close together in age. That is not God’s plan. Our first child is special needs…..something else I am not in control of. I could name countless examples of things the Lord is showing me I’m definitely not in control of, but what it boils down to is this….will I trust Him even when I’m hurting and feel forgotten, or like I got the rotten end of the deal? Right now, I’ll have to say its more like a wrestling with my faith and working it out in raw emotions.
April, don’t you just love how God reaches into our hearts and
knows just how and where we need healing!!!
I understand how consuming control can be and how difficult it is to
just let go, but the healing does come in the letting go and embracing the
truth of how much we are loved by God and all he has for us beyond our ability
to understand. Wrestling with your faith…it’s a journey for
all of us to walk, when we come to the end of ourselves and realize we never
were in control. I remember my own
wrestling, trying to reconcile God’s sovereignty with his love for me in light
of my scars and unfulfilled expectations.
It was a huge brick to the forehead when I realized my tight rein on
control was hindering my journey of renewal.
If I could reach across this expanse of cyberspace and give you hug, I
would remind you that God will meet you in your wrestling and through your raw
emotions, and he will show himself to be the Lover of your soul, even in your
questioning, when circumstances make no sense.
He has a plan, and maybe right now it is simply for you to release your
grip and rest confidently in everlasting love and loving kindness…let Him
whisper into your heart. Lifting you up
in prayer April~
Audrey Hackett says
I too, like the other ladies who have posted, believed in self sufficiency. I have always had to be the strong one both in my family after my father had a serious head injury from which he did not receive healing in 20 years. Now married I fulfil the same role as the wife of a partially sighted husband and four adult sons. One of these sons has just had a major car crash and is in intensive care high dependency two weeks on from the crash. Mercifully through the prayers of the saints I am being upheld but I am eagerly searching among our emails for ones such as yours to encourage me at this time. I can say that for the moment I am holding it together but I know it is grace that is sustaining me. I have to turn to prayer and my bible throughout the day. Thank you for your willingness to post emails such as this one which just hits the spot. May God bless you abundantly Crystal.
Audrey, my heart is heavy with the difficult circumstances you are walking through at this moment with your son and I join others in asking God to heal and restore him and provide in the gap of medical bills and treatments. So glad you are finding encoruagement, support and strength, and I know the human urge to control anything and everything when there are no answers…so we feel safe, but God is your place of safety, and He will carry the burdens and hold you in perfect peace if you let him. I pray these three scriptures will bring you more encouragement than any earthly words. Praying them over you now Audrey!
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
Psalm 27:13-14: “I believe I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be strong, and may your heart be stout; wait on the Lord.”
Isaiah 41:10: “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, yes, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
Audrey Hackett says
Crystal, thank you so much for your reply and for those scriptures. The first one is being fulfilled right now. What I haven’t mentioned is that the very day our son, Tim, crashed his car, my husband was undergoing surgery on his spine for scoliosis. I was due to have second hip replacement surgery the following week. Our surgeons agreed together that I should postpone my surgery (as it wasn’t that urgent) so I could take care of my husband when he was discharged from hospital. That happened nine days after the surgery and he is making a good recovery now at home. Tim was moved out of ICU into high dependency care earlier this week and is no longer on sedation. His progress is slow but he is breathing on oxygen, has periods of awareness of his surroundings and seems to recognise family when visiting. He cannot speak because of trachyotomy helping him to breathe.
What I didn’t tell you was that my husband and I are in New Zealand and Tim and two of his brothers are in Brisbane, Australia. Our third son is with them at present having flown over last week. He returns to N.Z. tomorrow.
Beth Williams says
(((hugs)))) from E. TN. May God give you the peace and strength you need to carry on through all this. I’m here praying for healing for you son & the whole family!
I pray these verses give you hope you need to carry on! Be blessed my sister in Christ!
Psalm 118:6 The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous.1 Do not be afraid or terrified2 because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you;3 he will never leave you4 nor forsake5 you.”
Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear,1 for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Audrey Hackett says
Thank you Beth for your prayers and for your post to me. How I appeciate those scriptures. They are so precious at this time. Still having problems. Today went to A.&E. with palpitations. Mercifully no heart problems were detected but I will need to see my doctor tomorrow for advice and direction. I do value all the prayers and the fact that our sons are standing in the gap physically for us at the hospital while we can’t go. Stephen our third son returned to N.Z. today after spending a week visitingTim and he just posted a photo of Tim – bless him!
Elisa K. says
I am on a journey of healing. Dealing with three issues.
Unfailing kindness and everlasting love, these words, remind me of Who He is and who I am. I struggle with the doubts, fears and lies that try to keep me worn down and broken. But my heart knows Jesus is my Lord. And because of His Love, I will not give up, even though I am often tempted.
Thank you for the words that describe so much of what I felt on the inside but was blind to, many years ago. My situations were different as a single, but I did get burnt out after 8 years of trying so hard to be who I thought I was supposed to be. Was also struggling with, and thought I am growing, still at times struggle with codependancy.
Now I wonder if I should actually say four issues. I put it under the umbrella of one of the others. Because it is all about how it affects my relationships.
So many years of good christian counseling, good and various resources from christian speakers and writers, like you, have helped me remember that He carries me when I can’t get up. And when I’m ready, He keeps leading me onwards to press on, past all my issues, into a closer walk with Him^^*
You are so wise to recognize the truth of God’s love for you Elisa! When
we realize how worn and broken the fears, doubts and lies they leave us, it
makes it easier to accept the love we think we don’t deserve and never have to
earn…what grace that is!!!
The 18 inch
gap between our head and our heart can be a deep chasm, and taking our thoughts
and imaginings captive as you are is the best way to allow truth and grace to
fill the gap and stand against the temptation of doubt and fear. I remember this hitting home with me when I
was encouraged to think of these lies as black holes we continually fall into or
spiral into when we allow them to consume us.
Realizing they were black holes and that I had the power to choose to
walk around them made all the difference.
We walk around them by believing we are accepted, believing God, not
just believing in him, and choosing to let renewal. Then we can to let go, cease striving and walk
in God’s strength.
Praying with you for God’s everlasting love and unfailing
kindness to sweep you off your feet!
Elisa K. says
So true. I keep refocusing on Jesus, when the flaming arrow thoughts and emotions make me feel overwhelmed. I keep choosing to put my faith, belief and trust in Christ. He has helped me grow and is healing me.
My healing & refining journey may seem slow as a snail to me. But God is with me. Never leaving nor forsaking me. His mercies are new every morning.
Thank you, Crystal^^*
Susan G. says
Beautiful, encouraging, soothing words to my soul.
Beth Williams says
Such exquisite writing. The pics are beautiful and I’m wishing I were there in the quiet serenity with just hubby, tiny and God.
Like so many women I hear and sometimes believe those words from the devil. I know God has plans for me, etc. and His love is big enough for me. There are times where fear and doubt creep in. That’s when I need to have some quiet time and listen to what God has to say!
Thank you for such kind words Beth! Quiet is highly under rated, and I wonder what personalized graces we miss from not making time for it. How awesome that His love is big enough for each one of us! Blessings as you seek those moments of serenity, that God will speak sweet truth into your heart.
Beautiful and truthful post, Crystal. Just what I needed today! Thank you!
Just reading this today. Perfect timing. Thank you so much for sharing.