For years I wanted to please my Jesus. It was what I knew. Earn love. Be perfect. I learned it young, that drive to perform and achieve. I loved its rewards and acknowledgements. Of course I thought Jesus worked the same way. I wonder how many times I’ve asked Him, “How am I doing?” without understanding I was actually asking, “Have I earned Your love yet?”
But when my continued striving didn’t gain the unconditional love I’d been chasing here on earth, my pace halted. Confused, burned out, and disappointed, I slowed. For too long, the whispers, “you’re too much; you’re not enough” etched their lies into my heart, ruling my mind and controlling my steps.
I’d hit the wall. And I was so tired.
I remember sitting with Jesus, exhausted and wounded. Slowly and carefully, He helped me to separate how I experience His love from how I experience earthly love. He taught me that I don’t have to please or fawn or earn. I don’t have to check any boxes or be a more appealing version of myself.
As His rewiring settled into and replaced those wounds, I finally understood that resting in His love means I can let go of striving in all the other places. When I rest in Him, all of the other stuff quiets.
No more anxiety about doing things right.
No more longing to be enough.
No more striving to be perfect.
No more straining to please.
No more trying to keep up.
No more fearing failure.
No more worry of rejection.
No more defending myself.
Just rest in Him and know who I am because of Him—of knowing Him and being with Him and listening for Him.
Old habits die hard, don’t they? Sometimes I still ask Him how I’m doing, and then I remember He loves me before I even take a step. What peace He brings every time He whispers His reminder, “Rest in Me, My daughter. Just rest.”
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3).