at twilight – how to stop your soul from spinning

It is evening light, I think, that I’m chasing. Or that I’m desiring to enter into. I can’t tell. But I’m hungry for rest. For restoration. This I know.


I listen to these wise and beautiful words as I walk. And I remember to breathe in the holiness of this moment. The beauty of quiet on California suburban streets, tree branches burdened with once-green leaves now aflame. A stillness that settles upon me but feels fleeting too.

I am missing God. I know it. I am afraid, I think, that time is going by so fast, and I am just not spending it the way that will bring God joy, the way that will make my heart satisfied.

I feel my heart pull toward Him, begging for answers: “Is it okay to be hungry for You? I am eager for your presence to overwhelm me in the night. I lay my head down and fear that I am most surely not a good friend, a good wife, a good mom, a good daughter. And it is becoming too late.”

On these nights, on this night,  I can feel hope slipping away. I watch it leaving, a bright spot blanketed by ingratitude, selfishness, pride. I watch it go, covered by blackness. And I stay in the dark.

And I don’t even care.

I think I don’t even care.

But the truth is, I am not comfortable here. I am not comfortable claiming indifference, choosing ambivalence about me wanting God to come, pull me in once more.

I do care. And a part of me, the part hungry for God, wraps His arms right around me and whispers what I need to hear, “Come on, girl, don’t give up. You are called to rise. You are called to die to yourself again. You are called to lay yourself down.  You are called to fight–fight for this heart of yours that is so loved. So loved.”

I try to believe, breathe.

I am in that season of finishing something. And I am beginning to catch my breath, I think, after working so hard, so hard, for so many months. And now I feel God’s beckoning me toward a new season, and I want it. So much. But I am straggling, an orphan girl hesitant to run toward her God.

I question whether God knows best. And so I don’t ask God what He has for me.

Rather, I feel myself spinning. And spinning, while pushing God away, is not a path to restoration. No, it is a path toward self-pity. And self-focus. And self-absorption. And insecurity. And comparison. And ingratitude.

I recognize this place.

Here it is again. The lie that I must prove my worth. Here it is, a book published and God using it to restore women to Himself, and rather than simply rejoicing, I feel myself afraid.

There it is. The lie. Dark. Insidious. Evil: “You can’t rest. You have to keep pushing, keep chasing. Freedom is not for you.  You can’t stop. You have to prove you are any good. But you can’t, can you?”

And my heart breaks a little bit more. It retreats into hiding, feeling, again, that it does not, has never had, what it takes to walk close with God and work with Him, with His strength, to create something holy and good and beautiful.

I am spinning. Oh, Father.

But I stop. Right in the street where I am walking. And I listen. And I look for God. I give Him the lie again. I confess it, and I take it to Jesus’ feet. I take it to His throne, and I lay it down. In the morning, before the house wakes, I spend time reading His truth. And the next day I listen to fellow sisters and brothers who fight alongside me, choosing life instead of darkness, hope instead of despair.

And I am breathing in, once again, what is true: There is good here. All around. Even when the evil one comes and twists what is good and brings chaos to this world and we feel we are spinning. Oh, yes we are spinning. But this is what is also true:

We must take action to join with Jesus in fighting for our own hearts.

How to stop spinning and fight for your own heart.

For, really, we aren’t spinning at all. No, we aren’t. Rather, we cling fast to the rock of truth, our King and our God who stands fast and who brings justice to all things. There is not one injustice or fear or lie or evil He overlooks. He does not turn away. He chases after His daughters and His sons and He claims them as His own. He refines us with challenges, and we turn to Him and trust that He continues to restore these hearts of ours to Him. Always to Him.

We have a choice.

In twilight.

To fight with Him or against Him.

Let us walk, arms empty, with each burden we give to Him.

Let us walk toward rising sun.

Sister, will you join me, this day, in choosing to stop spinning? Will you join me in choosing to fight for our own hearts, with God?

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  • Oh Jennifer, I feel your anguish. Why is it so much easier to believe those lies that tell us we are not enough and never will be? But the enemy is threatened when he attacjsbso fiercely, and so we will rejoice. I was just eating dinner with my family and we were discussing Martha and Mary, and I was saying that I always feel sorry for Martha. I can see a lot more of Martha in me than Mary! I need to keep doing. Feeling useful. Then I can try to feel good enough.
    You have worked so hard, and achieved so much, and your book will help so many daughters to break free and see things from God’s perspective. You can stop, and rest, and wait on God. Know He is pleased with you. You have given so much of yourself lately!! It is okay for you to spend time alone and with your family, and receive from the Lord.
    I love the way you write!! Thank you. Take care. Lots of love, Lynne x

    • Lynne, thank you. Thank you. It is a gift to my heart to have sisters like you around me. We need to speak truth to our own hearts–and we need to hear it spoken to us by His dear daughters who stand in His light. You do this for me now. Bless you. I am so grateful we get to choose His restoration and truth and turn away from lies that only hurt our hearts!

  • I Choose to let GOD lead me by The Holy SPIRT where He wants me to be! Yes I know the feeling you are talking about

  • This touched my heart so deeply, Jennifer. I am choosing to fight with Him and not against Him. There is a situation in my own life that is troubling me deeply. I’m unsure where God is taking me and what the answer will be. There are people in my life who believe I am a great disappointment to them. Sometimes I think they care more about appearances than about people. I could be wrong; however, their behavior proves otherwise. I wish I had someone to talk to about this. I’m not sure whether the enemy is trying to make me see things that are not there or God is calling for a break. Getting rid of my Ishmael, so to speak. I am choosing to let Jesus protect my heart and lead me in the path I should follow. I read recently that, “if it’s more about you, or other people’s expectations, cross it off and get out of it.” That’s where I am now. Please pray for me my sister.

  • Hi Jennifer,
    I’m a women a women that felt muted at times and sometimes I still do to this day but you said this so true of what I feel is in my heart at this very moment. But I know that HE is with me loving me an holding me with that I keep going………Thank you for your words they come a the right time!

    • Hi Yvette,

      You encourage me with your faith, your determination to stand fast with Him because you know His closeness with you. Thank you! Yes, keep listening. Keep leaning in.

  • Wow, this hits home. It comes in phases or even waves. I’ve never written or responded to anything of yours. You write like my heart speaks. It’s as though I’m writing it. I have written several things similar that God has spoken to me. Why is it that we allow it only skin deep. Maybe spirit level at first, then it begins to seep out. So we read and re-read, feeling it again as though it were the first time He spoke it. You ever feel completely different from everyone? Like you don’t belong? I don’t mean physically, more spiritually? He is faithful each time I re-read, each time I worship. Just a little tougher during the phase or upon the wave. There is so much more than we allow ourselves to experience with Him. He waits as we search…heal….connect. He is faithful.

    • Hi Karla, I love that you share these feelings too. It is so good to know He gathers us together–that we can encourage each other and know that, in Him, we are always understood and never alone.

  • Hi Jennifer.
    I have battled to read and have anything to do with Christianity,God etc.
    I am in such a Valley of darkness and I see myself back in this miserable, despairing valley of lies,rejection, self destruction. And yet searching for answers as to why I am repeating these stupid, stupid mistakes, self gratificatioon. Things. Unbelief and shame as well as a sense of “What was I thinking” yet the fickleness of relationships keeps me away from the help of the church. And my heart is saying there must be more, it must work..
    Maybe, I am wired up incorrectly, maybe I need to look at what story I am believing of who and what I am or can become. Limits,limits.
    So over the mundane things of life. I need to be alive!!

    • Hi Trudie,

      You are so loved. I understand how this is difficult to believe sometimes. We push against this truth, even though we are desperate to believe it. Jesus is not letting go of you. Yes, there is more for you. And He brings healing. He keeps pressing in, asking if we will let Him in a little more. There is more restoration for us .

  • Hi Jennifer:
    I am so encouraged by what you wrote, because I can see that the enemy uses the same lie with me, and it is because I want to be close to God and the lie is that I will never be because I am Just never able to reach that place with all my sins etc.
    I will give myself to Him again and rest that I am His precious daughter, even if I am struggling right now since my husband went to be with Jesus about 6 weeks ago and I never wanted to be alone. I just need to feel His presence. But I cannot go by feelings because they will not come right now.
    We were going to celebrate our 58th anniversaron September 12th. “Love and blessings” Jannie

    • Dear Jannie, I am so, so sorry, sister.

      Jesus, come and bring healing to your daughter. Bring light where there is darkness. Bring comfort where there is sadness. Bring peace where there is hurt. Bring your company where there is loneliness. You heal and restore us, Jesus. Wrap your arms around your daughter, now. Show her how You are with her–how she is not, ever, alone.

  • Jennifer, it is all coming together and making sense now. I have been looking forward to Monday’s and Thursday’s since I first discovered your blog – God has been whispering in my ear and preparing , I now see the light. It is amazing and I cannot comprehend it in my mind nor my words can explain it. I am nothing and I am perfect, I am beautiful, amazing, stunning, great, marvelous and I am Love. It is so exciting…..
    Thank you for helping me see that, get that and BE that – you are that too. A sister said to me today “when I serve you, I serve my soul! You and I are one ?”. I say the same thing to you right now – you have also served me – Thank you!

    I love you ??

  • Thank you so much Jennifer for being real! It means so much. Sometimes well most of the times I feel like I have to prove myself and just be on top of the world all the time and always smiling and if I don’t I feel rejected and when I am down and going through a rough patch and I ask my husband for some xtra love it’s then that I get nothing at all and no understanding and compassion. That’s when it feels like everything is just spinning more. Awesome that we can join with Jesus and one another.

    • Marinda, I just wanted to say that I feel you…..your not alone, I understand…….Keep moving forward with the positive like you been doing with Jennifer and Jesus!! Most defiantly!! When I’m spinning like that… like in this moment I pray and I ask and I pray some more……I know that I cannot change him (the husband) but help me to change and see things differently Lord ……more like You…. help me to extend Grace to him like You do for me….Help me to retain my “Own Happiness and Joy” teach me to let no one but You and I “spin” me!! AMEN!!

  • I just read what Jannie Ensing wrote on Oct. 10 I lost my husband May 18 of this year. We would have been married 55 years this month. I have struggled so much. It is very hard for me to really believe that God is working all things out for my good. I have been so depressed at times and there are so many decisions to make. I call on God all the time, I want to feel his nearness and his peace.

    • Dear Lenora, I am so sorry for the loss of your dear husband. Oh, how you must miss him.

      Father, I pray You fill Lenora’s heart with your presence. Fill the room. Bring healing and hope and joy. Show her where light is–how it shines on her, how Your love equips her, and how You hold her through it all. We lean on You, and we trust You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

  • This is amazing, Jennifer! I needed this now……this morning. As always, God’s timing is perfect. I’m sure I will be reading it over & over these next few days. Thank you!

  • Bless you right back for the Blessing you are to so many women!! You inspire us to do better & seek God & His Love & give back/pay it forward!