One of the hardest moments of my life happened exactly two months ago. On December 18th at approximately 10:30AM, I got a text asking if I had heard the terrifying news. We lost one of the most fierce warriors and lovers of King Jesus I’ve ever known. Linda Schnackenburg went to bed the night before and woke up in heaven. My insides turned over and over. I couldn’t believe my dear friend had passed away in the night. You may have had the honor of knowing Linda. She was quite possibly the kindest person you’ve ever met.
After sitting on her family’s couch, sobbing nearly uncontrollably, Bob and I accepted the invitation to officiate Linda’s Celebration of Life. Our spirits soared knowing that we would have this great honor.
All plans were in place and quite perfect. I was able to distract myself for several days with all of the planning and preparation, and at the same time I was getting hit with waves of grief and wailing tears that erupted without any warning. These tears brought comfort and release, but something entirely different happened the day before the service.
I was alone in my bathroom and felt a significant moment catch up with me. I realized that the distractions could no longer save me and the tears weren’t there to release the pain. I stood there in silence and it hit me hard,
I don’t want to do this.
Nothing in me wants to do this.
I can’t do this.
There wasn’t a single distraction to whisk me away. There were no tears to release the fear. I had nothing of strength or encouragement in me.
Lord, Now what? What do I do? How am I going to get through this?
You don’t have to hold yourself up, Jenny. Lean into Me. I’ll hold you up.
But that wasn’t the end of it. I was prompted to stretch out my arms and lean against the cabinet in front of me. With my weight completely shifted onto the large immovable object, I closed my eyes and memorized this posture.
Holy Spirit, I am going to lean into you for this. I don’t have to perform my way through this. You already have the words prepared to come out of me. I trust that You will lead the way.
For at least one minute, I stayed in this position and imagined myself leaning just like that, all day long, into my Father. He wouldn’t fail me. I didn’t have to strive to fix my feelings. He was giving me permission to shift the pressure, shift the weight. Just BE.
Relief and peace RESTED on me that day. If you were there, you saw me standing upright in my body, but my spirit and soul were leaning WAY over into Jesus, LEANING into LOVE, into Christ.
The next time you feel overwhelmed, hopeless, anxious, stressed, depressed, over-stimulated, frustrated, irritated, scared, weak…. LEAN. Find a nearby object and literally lean into it. Close your eyes and memorize this posture as you lean into the finished work of Christ. He. Will. Not. Fail. You.
Lean and Trust,