Sobbing in a dry bathtub with my clothes on, I listened to my Mom pray for me over the phone, asking God to give me peace in the midst of my despair. Years of pent-up emotion were pouring through the crack that had finally succeeded to penetrate my concrete heart, and I thought I would be there forever before it would empty. Yet, something happened that caused me to question what I thought I knew about God. In the middle of my wracking release, the tears stopped. With no warning. I felt a warm sensation run through my body as well as my soul, and found myself with a sense of peace I had never experienced before.
In the following months I began to look for, and proceeded to find, the God I had read about and had perhaps experienced personally that fateful day. Little by little He lifted the flaps so I could peek at how much He longed to walk with me through my pain, and even carry me through some of it. And little by little I took the risk and allowed Him to. It is a very strange thing to realize you are putting your trust in a Higher Being, especially for the first time. It goes against everything in your gut, yet feels right at the same time.
Hearing or reading Scripture that encourages us to look to God as our strength when we are weak, our peace in our distress, or our healer for our sicknesses often flies in the face of what makes sense to us. Yet, it is a very prominent theme throughout the Book.
My life is a testament to the power, peace, and hope of my God. He has not given me a list of 5 easy steps to personal freedom and success. He’s given me one non-negotiable requirement:
- “Come to me all of you who labor and are heavy laden. Learn my ways, for I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you shall find rest for your souls.” – Matthew 11:28-29
- “Trust the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
It is simple yet extremely difficult. Painful at first, but most satisfying. The joy of the Lord is my strength.