rebelling against low expectations

A Letter to the Bleeding Soul-Rest in the Hands of God


I had an unplanned chat with God today.
I sat on the cold floor, crying.
He sat with me,
Said, “I see you trying.”
I spilled my heart out,
Bleeding, tired.
He held my hand,
Waiting, quiet.
He didn’t say much…
Allowed my heart to fall apart.
So, I watched it rip to pieces,
Leaving scars I can’t erase.
Fractured bits swirled in the waters,
He took my hand and held my gaze.
And then, I stood,
So weak and bruised.
And we met for tea…
Where we always do.
And as I sipped from the steaming mug,
His heart reached out,
And gave mine a hug.
Then all the broken, scattered pieces –
Of my battered, aching soul –
Were gathered up within His hands.
And there He mended gaping holes,
With love more endless than the sands.
And I realized then, while in His arms,
His hands are where my heart belongs.

~ Bleeding in the Hands of God (A poem I journaled on September 18, 2023)

In Your Hurt, God Beckons You to Just “Be”


Lately I have found myself so overwhelmed.

And if you’re reading this article…I’m guessing you’re feeling pretty overwhelmed with life right now too. That’s why I’m writing this. To tell you it’s okay to not be okay. That you’re not alone.

I admit, I have asked a lot of “why” questions in life.

I have asked why God called my family to West Africa and then allowed me to have a chronic illness that worsens in that specific climate.

I have asked why He gave me such a passionate heart, which often leads to quick words and strong emotions, when I’d often rather be gentle and meek.

I have asked why surrendered hurts still run deep…and why He puts so much on my heart while allowing me to struggle with fear in it all.

And I do not always have answers.

But I have learned this: in my hurt, God draws me out of my perfectionistic desires to “do” something to fix myself…and beckons me to abide in Him.

To just be.

In John 15:4-6, Jesus said, “whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

Living as a Christian certainly takes self-reflection and the continual correction of our ever-erring ways. But sometimes living for Jesus simply means leaning so deeply into Him that it is His heart living through our lives. His purpose is so much deeper. He wants a heart that presents a welcome home for His Spirit.

Because in our moments of weakness…God is not weak.

God is still God. And you and I are still who we have always been in His eyes.

Deep breath.

God sees. He cares. He wants you to draw nearer in this hurt. He wants you to let go.

He wants you to trust Him.

You Must Focus Your Heart Before You Can Quiet Your Heart

Quieting our hearts is, I think, the bravest expression of surrender.

Because, in quieting our hearts we are choosing to let go of the earthly grips of fear, the anxieties of our spirits, the endless worries of this world.

Quieting your heart is a beautiful thing. But it is hard. Because if our hearts are not already focused on Christ…they will not be easily stilled.

In Philippians 4:8-9, Paul writes “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Is there any earthly thing that is eternally true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, or worthy of praise?

The reality is that true peace comes when we set our minds on Christ.

And know this: God is so beautiful. He is so endlessly satisfying. So perfectly whole. Here Paul is beckoning the church at Philippi to remember, quite simply, the goodness of God. Do you remember it, friend?

What you have learned, what you have received, what you have heard, what you have seen…think on these things. Practice these things. That is when you will find peace. Because that is when you will be drawing from the eternal wells of God.

And there is no peace like knowing Him.

Jesus Already Won Your Case Before the Throne

There’s this overwhelmingly beautiful word in the church: justification. Quite simply, it means that when the Father looks at you and your sins and your heartache…He sees Jesus.

Because Jesus has already paid the price for the overwhelming debt of your sins. And the moment you cried out to Him for salvation, He made it His personal responsibility to plead your case before the throne of God.

So now when God the Father looks at you…there is Jesus. And He is telling the Father, “Not that one. That one is Mine. Those wounds are Mine. Those scars are Mine. That brokenness is Mine. That one is Mine.”

If you haven’t confessed your sins and believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior…friend…this relationship is so worth it. It’s so worth letting the weight of every earthly trouble go. It’s so worth hoping in something deeper…something real. It’s so worth finally finding the true healing and satisfaction of your soul.

Wherever you are while reading this…whatever you’re thinking…however you got here…I want you to just pause. Take a deep breath. Because this is coming from one weary human soul to another. Except this tired heart knows I will wake up to new morning mercies in the light of my Redeemer’s love.

And I want you to go to sleep tonight knowing this…

While you’re crying in solitude, Jesus is waiting with you in that moment. And in your silence of utter depravity and weakness, He says in return, “You’re not yours anymore. Lean into Me. Trust Me. Because even while you are bleeding in My hands…you are Mine. And I love you. And that is enough for today.”

Because He is enough. Enough to cover your sins. Enough to plead the throne of God for you. Enough to heal your hurting heart.

The precious lamb of God…He is enough.

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About the author

Rue Arrow

Rue Arrow is a soul-pondering, rain-dancing, dawn-seeking, child of the Father with deep feeling and intrigue for both the blessings and brokenness in this beautifully messy life. Her desire is to forever embrace every season, fully valuing this mere breath, while carefully sharing her heart-thoughts, enlightening imaginations, and hopeless romantics for all things lovely with the world. You can further journey with her in this endless pursuit of God's heart through her blog ThisMessyThingCalledLife.


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  • Wow Rue. This is such a heartbreakingly beautifully honest testimony. Thank you for putting your heart on display and sharing your deep hurts but still trusting in the sovereignty of God. I definitely relate with some of those struggles you have, and they are HARD. But Jesus is enough, just like you said. He smiles on you!!

    • Thank you for your sweet encouragement, Summer! Indeed, we serve a beautiful God, and are so blessed to be vessels for His delightful purposes. Even if it means being a vessel with weakness and scars along the journey. 💛

  • I’ve needed to hear this… badly. I’m a fellow MK, but in southern Africa, and there’s been a lot of confusion and hurting in my life the past several months. Thank you, Rue. That was a lovely poem, and those words were needed. I remember a moment where I was really hurting, and sometimes I just need to get those thoughts out in words. It’s why I write a lot of my poetry and liturgies. I found myself penning the lines, “You thought you could change the universe,
    So you shot into the stars
    Only to realize you have broken wings.
    Sometimes change starts with shattered things.
    My darling, change starts with you.
    Change starts in you.”
    We can’t fix our brokenness without God, but sometimes in our brokenness we are shaped by His hands in ways we never dreamed we would be.

    • It made my heart so glad to hear this encouraged a fellow mk 💛 Those struggles are completely valid and real. And yet, your words are so beautiful! What a precious reminder in your life that God uses the broken jars to bear candles, burning brightly with His light.

  • Thank you for this beautiful article. I have been meditating on how Jesus is enough, especially in this advent season, and this just whispered truths to my weary, burdened, trying-to-earn-God’s-love heart. I have read many of your other articles too and am encouraged and inspired by your honesty in your writing. I can totally relate to struggles with perfectionism, strong emotions, and having a passionate heart too 😉 This really touched me, thank you!!

    • This made my heart smile so big, McKinley. Thank you for sharing how God is working in your life and for your sweet words. 💛 May we both strive ever onward and upward!

  • This is so beautifully worded, and I love reading articles by fellow MKs! Thank you for the encouragement Rue. I have been struggling with fear and being overwhelmed a lot lately, but these words are so true. Thank you for reminding me that Jesus is enough.

    • Thank you, Ashlyn! I love reading things from other MKs too 🥰 I think living in that context makes humans so much more vulnerable to those hard emotions…and equally unsure as to how to handle them. I am praying for the Holy Spirit to comfort your heart with the reminder that “God gave [you] not a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control” (2 Tim 1:7). You are precious to Him and He holds you dear. May we strive onward and upward together. 💛

  • Wow, Rue, wow…This is just so beautiful and true, and what a comfort to know Jesus is for us! We all have our tough times, thank you for sharing yours along with biblical truth that can help anyone no matter their situation. I needed this. 🙂

By Rue Arrow
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →