now and forevermore

Lately, my heart has been in constant panic.

Every second of every day, there’s chaos in what used to be the quiet spaces of my soul. My very being is frantic, my brain incapable of turning off the worry and fear that reside in (what used to be) even the most peaceful of corners. It’s gotten to the point that I don’t even realize that my shoulders are in knots or that my tummy is constantly tense or that I’m clasping my hands… I only note the momentary relief when I happen to take a deep breath or stretch my back.

All day, I think through unsolvable problems… problems that aren’t mine to fix. My brain proceeds to ask the questions:

“Whit, how do you plan on paying rent this month?”

“What if you start this new job and everyone actually hates you? What if you don’t fit in? What if you mess everything up?”

“What if you never find solid girlfriends? What if you’ll only ever have besties that live hours and hours away?”

“What’re you gonna do if something happens to your dad? What if his surgery never happens? What if it doesn’t work?”

“What if you’re doomed to be forever only partially known by the people in Franklin that think they know you the most?”

“What if you’re forever alone because no one ever sees you as worthy of pursuit?”

“What does it mean that he said that? Why doesn’t he make a move? Is he secretly in love with you or does he actually hate your guts? And why the heck can’t you tell the difference?!”

I could go on. I could keep going a long time. I overanalyze every detail of my day on repeat, basking in the do-overs I’ll never get and drowning in the waves of my worry. And it. is. misery.

I’m gonna go ahead and admit my lack of daily, habitual time with Jesus. It’s apparent. Lately, it’s like I’ve been drowning and time with Jesus has been more like coming up for air… instead of consistently abiding in His oxygen, in His love that calms the waves and allows me to swim.

“My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore” -Psalm 131:1-3

This is the chapter that pulled me out of my self-induced pit. This is the chapter that reminded me that I don’t have to gasp for air… that my Dad is the Creator of oxygen. And He is my oxygen.

I don’t have to worry about all the things I don’t understand… all the things that I can’t fix or that I can’t fully see. I have the beautiful luxury of rest. I’m free to simply be a babe in the arms of my parent… to just be content being held, cared for, and provided for, however my Dad sees fit. Because ya know what lil babes are not concerned with? Rent or crushes or roomies or diets or death!!! They know nothing other than the rest that comes after a solid nap or yummy meal. Weaned babes know temporary hunger, but they don’t know worry.

And the reason for the rest that comes with the embrace of the Father, is simply that all hope is in Him. Not in food, though He provides. My all-sufficient Father is my hope… He’s the basket that I place all of my eggs in. He’s my hope for this very moment, the next moment, and forevermore. He, Himself, is what I’ve been promised. The everlasting, ever-healing, ever-perfecting love of Jesus Christ. I can rest because there will never be a day when I wake up unloved by Him. There will never ever be a day where He changes His mind about me!! He will never be scared away, unable to keep His promises, or simply decide to stop pursuing me!

His love is the only love worthy of hope now and forevermore… because His dependable love shapes life as I know it. His love takes the fear out of my dad’s disease. It takes the sting out of loneliness. It takes the uneasiness out of change. It’s the immovable ground that my feet stand on when everything else in my life is unstable, shaky, and unsure.

Friends, nothing else is worthy to hold the hope of our souls. Nothing and no one else besides Jesus will ever hold our hopes securely. Relationships fail. People will fail to notice us or even just change their minds about us… or sometimes even forget us or abandon us. Plans will fall through, jobs will shift, time will change the people and things we love the most. But nothing will ever change the character and omnipresence of the Lord God Almighty… and that’s reason enough for our souls to reside in rest and contentment. Wherever you’re at, Jesus is there with you ready to heal your broken heart, bind up your wounds, and sing over all of your days. He’s just waiting for you to allow Him to be your unshakeable hope now and forevermore.

All my love,

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