Leaning In and Returning

True confession: Yesterday morning, I shared in my insta stories the truth that God is in both the beauty and the mess of our present realities. Whatever we hold in our hands today, God is right there WITH us.

But even as I was encouraged by this truth in the morning, just a few hours later I found myself staring at my computer screen, swirling down into the no-good land of self-judgement. I was overwhelmed by the big picture of the project in front of me and I sat there like a deer in head lights. I was buying into the smoothness of the Soul Bullies. I was holding onto fear just a little too tightly. And I was forgetting all the things God’s done for me and in me.

Somewhere during my growing up, I came to believe that good, faith-filled people don’t struggle with REAL struggles. Good, faith-filled people don’t wrestle the same thing over and over. Good, faith-filled people don’t forget the Truth. But the more I’ve allowed God into my personal struggles and weaknesses He’s turned that flawed perspective upside down.
No one – not one – is exempt from struggling, wrestling, or forgetting. No one is free from the humanness that resides inside each of us. Sometimes when it comes to our true, God-given identity, we nod our head in agreement that, ”Yep, we’ve got it”. Two thumbs up. But then we wonder off, we get mesmerized and mess things up. But God is not looking for us to then turn on ourselves, beat ourselves up and wallow in it. No.

I’m learning that what matters more than the struggle itself, is how we respond to it. Do we “lean in” or “lean out” of His love? Do we run or return to God’s Truth and offer of freedom? I often find myself wishing life and faith were not a process (ugh). Wouldn’t it be great if we just figured it out and stayed put. But slowly – oh so slowly – I am learning that being human is more about a rhythm of leaning in and returning.
We lean into the Truth.
We struggle.
We return.

We lean into His freedom.
We wrestle.
We return.

We lean into His love.
We forget.
We return.

He really is in the middle of our mess and our beauty. And He’s bidding us to lean in and return with His tender eyes of mercy. So when the self-judging thoughts find us, we return to what is true about us. Instead of serving our fear and holding tight, we choose to let go and lean in just a little bit more to freedom. Even though we forget where we’ve come from, we remember whose we are.

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