A letter.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A few months ago, I penned a letter to a friend. It had been years since we'd been in touch, but when I heard of a recent struggle of hers, I couldn't rest until I'd written her. It was one of the rare moments where I felt the Lord whispering words of truth and asking me to write them down for her to read. I felt more like a Penman, and less a Giver of Advice. I sat down, wrote the words through prayer, and hardly went back to edit. They just came. And reading them now, I realize they were just as much reminders for me as they ever were for my friend.

It may seem strange to share this (and I've edited a bit to maintain privacy), but for some reason, it feels appropriate. Like there might be someone who stumbles on this post someday and needs to hear these words now. They are words I've revisited myself, because leaning on my own accomplishments and resources instead of resting in the finished work of Christ is something I struggle with daily. My prayer is that these words bring hope.

Sweet friend,

I know just a little bit about your recent reality, and you've been heavy on my heart. I've been praying bold and fervent prayers for you, and I wanted to share them with you with hope that you might be encouraged in this battle. 

I know it's been a while since I've gotten to see you, but I think we have a lot in common. And I could picture that the world would look at you right now and say, "But you're {insert name}! You are beautiful, popular, incredibly talented, compassionate, and such a hard worker. You have such a bright and promising future ahead of you. You have no reason to have these feelings." And actually, they'd be right. You are beautiful in so many ways and you've accomplished so much. From what I can see, even from afar, you're an exceptional sister, daughter, and friend.

But here's the thing. In these darkest moments of your life, I don't think that's what Jesus would say. 

"Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." 

"My grace is sufficient for you, and my power is made perfect in your weakness." 

There's a huge chasm between the advice the world gives and what God offers. The world says, "Pull yourself out of this! I believe in you. You can do this!" 

God says just the opposite: "I know how you are formed. I remember that you are dust." With the Lord, it's perfectly ok to not be perfect. He says, "I know you are little and you are needy. Come to Me to take care of you, to fight this battle for you. You are weak, but I am strong." Let Him remind you of your identity in Christ: that you are altogether more sinful and flawed than you ever dared believe, yet at the same time more loved and accepted in Christ than you ever dared hope. 

He doesn't expect you to be strong, sister. He expects just the opposite: that you realize your weakness and lean hard into His perfect strength. There's abundant freedom in what He offers! Freedom to not have to walk through these valleys alone. Freedom to not rest in your pursuit of perfection or your accomplishments. Freedom to rest in His finished work on the cross that changes everything. 

So that is my prayer for you. That you would rest in the strong, capable arms of the Savior who loves you and is transforming you into His image. That in your brokenness, He would shine. That as you heal and find victory in this dark place, your testimony would be of the unfathomable grace He has shown you and how He met you in a place where no one else could reach.

You may have seen this little book before (The Jesus Storybook Bible). It's actually a child's Bible that I read to Liam every night. But as he's babbling on and usually trying to rip the pages, the words I read are transforming my own heart, bringing me back to the simple truths of the gospel. I hope it will be an encouragement to you. 

So, dear friend, rest in Christ and His eternal comfort. Remember that you are both weak and worth everything to Him. Let Him feed your soul from the rich nourishment of His Word. Let Him clothe you in robes of His righteousness and not your own. I do believe in you. But I believe so much more in a God who pulls us out of pits, who rescues us out of deepest waters, when we couldn't have saved ourselves. And I so look forward to the day that you can testify to just that! Until then, I will continue to pray.

With much love and great hope,


  1. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I hope this was received in the best way possible; it is such an encouraging and truthful letter.

  2. I love how you describe prayer and its power. If someone wrote "I've been praying bold and fervent prayers for you", it would be so powerful. Thank you for sharing this!

  3. Yes, definitely a timely message. Thank you for your godly response in contrast to the typical worldly response.

  4. Beautiful words, Whitney full of such needed truth

  5. This put tears in my eyes. I'm struggling lately with anxiety and depression and this was what I needed to hear this morning. Thank you.


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