During these really hard months, when my anxiety has soared to unbearable heights or my heart has plummeted to darkening depths, my prayer has been, Lord, you know what I need. I trust you.

On many occasions, it was (and still is) all I could pray when my throat closed up and my breath was strained, when my thoughts were unraveling and I felt completely untethered to any anchors of peace. This was my cry, my call, my plea, and so it continues to be. This petition encapsulates many things, really. It’s both selfish and self-less, as I’m desperately seeking solace and sanctuary, while risking the release of it all into His care, trusting in His will, not mine.

This simple prayer is anything but simple if one does the heart work to believe it.

Within every Christian’s faith walk, there is a slow shedding of our flesh as we die to ourselves and live solely for Christ.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20, NIV).

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Sometimes peeling away my own intentions feels vulnerable and raw, exposing hidden fear and insecurity nestled comfortably in my unbelief. I cling to these strongholds like rafters in the raging sea, and I’ve lost all direction when I get taken by the tide, drifting alone in the dark mysterious waters of questioning and confusion. But my God walks on water toward me as He controls the winds, the waves, the storms, and the sea, and scoops me into His arms, leading me back to His Heavenly harbor.

And I learn to trust Him once again.

I’m so glad He is a patient God who never tires of saving me. His love is unfailing, even when I fail. His love is unchanging, even when I change. His love is forgiving, even when I sin.

I often bury myself in a human hole covered with this world’s dirt and debris, and I need His holy hands to reach in and rescue me. The One who created methe One who knows my innermost workings, my deepest desires, my greatest failures, my darkest shame, and all the gifts He’s instilled in me for His purposeholds on with a merciful might, even when I keep slipping through His hands.

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I know, I know, I know, in every part of my being, that what He wants for me is far better than what I want for myself, what He dreams for me is beyond my own limited imagination, and how He wants to work in and through me, is above anything I can fathom. So, I trust He knows exactly what I need, what will bring me comfort, what will encourage my weary heart, what will bring glory to His name, and purpose in whatever earthly sinkhole I’ve fallen in.

I’ve learned from well-worn experience that what I ask for, sometimes what I beg for, what I think I need more than anything else, is flawed by my limited view.

I cannot see all He is orchestrating behind me and beyond me to offer the critical lessons I need to learn in order to live out His heavenly purpose for my life. His detailed plan can appear murky and messy, maddening and malicious, but it’s often where the greatest growth occurs and my faith is strengthened. Those difficult seasons, those hard, sometimes desperate situations often lead to the most glorious gains. Restoration rises within the loosened grip of our control and freedom is felt in our full surrender. And oh, friend, it feels so good to know the God of the universe is holding it all in His hands.

I have lists of what I think I need, what I desperately want, and all I hope for with each passing day of my life. I have ongoing requests for those I love, too. Our Father hears our prayers and mine have often asked for situations to change, healing to occur, relationships to be reformed, barriers to be broken, and goals to be achieved. And yet, I confess, I am ill-equipped to know all the details of His divine plan, so I faithfully proclaim, But You know what I/they need. I trust you.

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After almost 40 years of living with this tug of war, this battle of wills, this sacred struggle, I’ve grown to realize that surrendering it all to Him is the only way to live. Relinquishing all my cares to Him is always worth the risk and where I always find relief.

The God of the universe knows my needs and He knows my heart, better than I know myself, so if there’s anything I could count on, trust in, believe for, live by, and surrender to, it’s Him.

He knows my needs and I trust Him.

He knows your needs, and I hope you can trust Him too.

Because He’s a good, good, Father.

“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you” (Psalm 9:10, NIV).

Christine Carter

Christine Carter writes at TheMomCafe.com, where she hopes to encourage mothers everywhere through her humor, inspiration, and faith. Her work is published on several various online publications and she is the author of "Help and Hope While You're Healing: A woman's guide toward wellness while recovering from injury, surgery, or illness." and “Follow Jesus: A Christian Teen’s Guide to Navigating the Online World.” Both books sold on Amazon.