I left my journal at work last night. I work with teenagers and they are the last people on earth I would want to have possession of my private journal. I had written a few new entries for GraceIsMessy and when I sat down to type them out at home, I thought I had just left the journal in the car.
When I made it to the car, only to find it missing, I became extremely anxious. Once I came back inside, I checked the kitchen table and counter, the bookshelf, and my bedroom, I went back to check the car one more time. It still wasn’t there. I was sick to my stomach. I paced, thinking of who could have my journal and what terrible things they must be doing to it: reading it (bad enough), erasing my words, reciting it from atop a cafeteria table as they mock me.
Oh, the horror!
This school is full of folks that I just knew would have my journal and be disrespecting all the hours I had poured my heart into its pages. My journal isn’t only full of content for GraceIsMessy; it contains more personal entries, from the deep and semi-secret places of my heart.
Now that the journal is back in my own possession, I can breathe more deeply, not fearing what might be done with the contents of my soul.
Aren’t you thankful that our response to God doesn’t have to be this way? While every demon in Hell may taunt us with lies and threats, God knows every detail of our lives and accepts us as the children of His heart. Shame may whisper white noise in our ears. We may hear screams in the middle of the night that we’re not worthy to keep living, but we never have to fear the deep places of our souls being known to God because He has known us since before Time began.
Our secrets are safe with God.
So our are dreams, fears, failures, and fantasies. The One who knows us better than we know ourselves (at our very best and worst), seeks only to draws us to Himself–never to push us away.
God isn’t a schoolyard bully.
God isn’t an over-zealous father who demands perfection.
God isn’t a drill sergeant, barking out orders.
God isn’t like the “The Truman Show”, secretly playing our lives on the big screen for everyone to see.
God is patient and kind.
God is an ever-present help in time of need.
God is our protector and strong tower.
God is love.
And for that, I am thankful.
Steve Austin is an author, speaker, and life coach who is passionate about helping overwhelmed people learn to catch their breath. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers, "Catching Your Breath," and "From Pastor to a Psych Ward." Steve lives with his wife and two children in Birmingham, Alabama.
4 Ways Your Church Should Look More Like a Psych Ward
Suicide: Let’s Talk about It (podcast)
Pastors and Suicide: How Do We Keep this From Happening Again?
Guest Blog – Worthy and Unashamed: Facing Mental Health Stigma in the Church Head-On
Guest blog: It’s Depression, Not Demon Possession
Guest Post: When You Can’t Erase Your Childhood Religion
Finding God in Stillness
Pastors and Suicide: What Should I Know?