We All Need Someone to Lean On


There’s a word that’s been on my heart since just before the start of the new year: lean.

It’s kinda random. I get that. Yet, the idea behind it (as I am going to share with you) is my theme for 2015. I have not perfected this concept, but it is something that I feel compelled to pursue in this coming year. Let me explain.

I worry a lot. The kind of worry that wakes me up in the middle of the night wracked with anxiety and fear. My mind will flip flop between cares as my heart races pounding at the walls of my chest. For hours, I’ll lay there praying (begging) God for relief until I fall back to sleep in mid prayer.

I’ll reawaken the next morning feeling like I’ve made it through a war. I layer make-up on top of the bags under my eyes in hopes to conceal the previous night’s battle. The morning is spent fueling up on caffeine so I can power through my day.

The day is not much better than the night. More worries. More anxiety. I busy myself as much as I can to distract my thoughts. I’ve found myself longing for peace– some relief from the constant barrage of uneasiness. Something to steady the waves and bring some calm.

I’ve tried calming my own storms. It only made things worse– the more I strived the more I felt like I was drowning. I couldn’t live like that anymore. There’s no way I’d spend another year, another month, another day, another second like that. Something needed to give.

In my sigh laden prayers, God told me to just lean.

Leaning means no more striving. It means no more busying of oneself. It means rest.

One of my favorite moments in the Gospel of John comes during the Last Supper. It’s this seemingly insignificant note about how John was leaning (or reclining) on Jesus. For me, this simple intimate act causes me to ask myself: “When is the last time I’ve leaned on Jesus?”

I want to be like the disciple John and just lean on the chest of Jesus. To hear His heart beat. To be that close to Him. I can’t allow these worries, anxieties and fears to be plaguing me any longer. So, I’ve started being more intentional. The moment worry comes in I begin to lean.

What’s the look like? Well, for me, it means immediately stopping and taking a deep breath. No distractions. No more indulging the fear. I quiet myself and close my eyes for a moment and pray a simple prayer that consists of “I trust you with this, Jesus.”

I’m not saying this is THE magic formula for anxiety, but I can tell you that it is causing me to be deliberate about shifting my focus from my worry to my Prince of Peace. 

As I thought about this post, I was reminded of Elisha Hoffman’s hymn that proclaims, “Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.” His arms are strong enough to carry all our burdens and shelter us from the storm. He doesn’t need our help, but takes great joy in caring for us.

It’s easy to get caught up in the downward spiral of thoughts and endless “what if’s”. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or anxious or fearful take a moment to stop and turn to Jesus. It may sound silly or too simple, but give Him a shot. You may just find some peace and comfort in the fact that He can handle it. All of it.

Restored Wastelands


If you haven’t noticed, or if you don’t have one of those obnoxious friends on FB who LOVES counting down to the next big event, the end of 2014 is coming up fast. Stores are stocked with all the fixins for holiday cooking and baking. Christmas music is being played in the mall, which enrages me. Can’t we get through Thanksgiving first?! But I digress.

In the next month and a half, I will enjoy my favorite holiday (Thanksgiving), turn 31, open Christmas presents (which better include that bearded lumberjack I asked for!) and welcome in 2015. That’s a busy 6 weeks, but all the hustle and bustle won’t distract me from the reality that another year is coming to a close.

I have a hard time with endings. I go through closing credit mourning at the end of every movie. I leave friends houses unannounced so I don’t have to say goodbye. I’ve avoided “Going Away” parties and have contemplated skipping funerals a time or two. I’ve cried at all three of my graduations and at all three of my siblings weddings. Not because I wasn’t happy, but because I knew things would never be like they were.

Thoughts of a new year in the not too distant future, leave me with the same feelings. Things will never be the same. Looking back, I’m disappointed with things I didn’t accomplish and how I will be one year older and still not quite where I’d like to be in life.

Discussing this past year with a dear friend, he mentioned how when he looks back over the past few months all he sees is burning fields and villages. For him, it’s been a year of heartache, devastation, pain and destruction. Maybe you can relate. Maybe you’ve experienced the loss of a relationship or the loss of a dream. Maybe you received some difficult news from the doctor or can’t seem to get your head above water financially.

While talking to my friend, I was reminded of the fields by my house. This year, they were burned– the ground charred and black. “What good can come out of this?” you wonder. Controlled burns help farmers get rid of any left over crop debris, as well as kill weeds and makes the ground ready for next year’s crop to grow. So, while most of us might see devastation, there is actually a good plan in the works.

It’s not to say that everything that happened *was* good. It doesn’t dismiss the pain or belittle your hurts. What it does mean is that what you see as an end– God sees as a beginning. There may be burned down fields and houses, but that is the perfect opportunity for God to come in and start over. Lay a new foundation and build something beautiful.

Reading the story of Joseph (ya, the guy with the colorful coat), only confirms this Truth. This guy didn’t just have one bad year, but years marked with what looked like wreckage. His brothers sold him into slavery, he was wrongly accused of a crime, imprisoned and seemingly forgotten. When he was later reunited with his brothers, now a man of stature and authority, he told them, “What you meant for evil, God meant it for good.” (Gen. 50:20)

There’s some perspective for you.

Instead of mourning over the end of one chapter, let’s celebrate the beginning of something wonderful and full of possibilities. Be encouraged that where you may see destruction and waste, God can make something beautiful from it.


“All this earth. Could all that is lost ever be found? Could a garden come up from this ground at all? You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of the dust. You make beautiful things, You make make beautiful things out of us.” ~Gungor “Beautiful Things”