Learning to Lean

TW: Self-harm mentioned

Something God has been teaching me lately is what it means to really rely on Him. Like, totally, 100% on Him. And, believe me, that is not an easy lesson to learn.

First, it was the mental health. My mental health got out of control to the point where I needed God. I couldn’t handle it on my own. I would spend great lengths of time just crying and talking to God and pouring out my heart to Him, because I realized that it was too much for me to handle on my own. I had to seek out help from God and others. (Long story short, I am on some medicines that are helping things to stabilize, I see a counselor, and, if all goes well, I will start therapy soon.) That really bruised my pride. It was hard going to my parents and confessing that I have cut. But I think being truly honest with God was even harder. I didn’t want to be honest with Him about why I started to cut and why I kept cutting. I didn’t want to be honest with myself that I knew cutting was a sin.

As hard as it is to be honest with God, it is so freeing when you are. There is so much shame involved with not being completely honest about everything with God. And it’s sort of funny that we try so hard to hide things, because He is all-knowing and knows long before we gather up the strength to admit it to ourselves and to Him.

Currently, He has been revealing some other areas I try to control instead of releasing to Him. My grades have always been really important to me. It’s sort of become a competition between my sister and me. I am normally good at math and at school in general, so this semester, God put me in classes where I don’t excel quite so much. And it’s been hard, because I keep taking every grade so hard on myself. I need to learn to trust my grades and my GPA to Him. I need to relinquish control… but I am scared. I know He is so much bigger than my grades, but I worry that by placing that in His hand’s my grades will go down. I am scared that maybe this is too much for Him to handle. I mean, He already has to deal with my mental health and a couple other things, so why should I burden Him with yet another thing?

I’ll be honest. I am struggling. I am struggling to relinquish control of my grades, my GPA, my friendships, and the list could go on and on. I want to have control. But God keeps telling me, “Hey, I died and rose again for you. I can handle this too.”

In Bible study, we have been studying Revelation. Last week, we talked about the second half of Revelation 1. Jesus is described in all His glory, and John falls “at His feet as dead” (Revelation 1:17). Jesus responds, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death” (Revelation 1:17b-18). I am learning that I can trust Jesus because he has authority over death, because He is on my side. He has all this power and glory, and instead of shying away from it, I should lean into it and trust Him with everything, because He is on my side.

The journey toward knowing Christ never stops. Sometimes, like right now, it’s hard. Sometimes, it requires letting go of things that we thought were important. Sure, my grades will help or hurt me with med school applications. But there is more to life than med school. And, if God is calling me to med school, I just need to study hard and let Him do the rest.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6