Confessions of the Not So Abandoned Heart

Originally published Tuesday, 18 March 2014.

For years, I lived in a world of fear – fear that I would fail, fear that I wasn’t good enough, fear that my children would mess up. It kept a constant knot in my stomach. It captivated me. Worry flooded my day. Sure, I was a Christian. Sure, I was headed to Heaven, when I died. But there was no freedom.

Guess what? I did fail sometimes. My children did mess up on occasion. Those things happened. And life continued.

If I am being really honest, I still must constantly set my mind on the things above to avoid slipping back into that old fear and worry. I must remind myself often that the condition of my children’s hearts is much more important than clean bedrooms and perfect grades. It’s much more important to spend time with my family, than have a spotless bathroom. It’s less important how organized my dishes are and more important how many I feed from them.

For years, I put more weight on performance than relationship. The same was true with my relationship with the Lord. I wanted to avoid drinking, smoking, or cussing, much more than I wanted to spend time in the Word. I wanted to be perfect more so than receiving my Heavenly Father’s perfect love.

You see, that’s what the abandoned heart is. It’s the freedom to receive our Savior’s perfect love, as just that, perfect. It’s the freedom to be who God created us to be without fear or worry. It’s the certainty that the Lord who gives us grace every day is enough. We are enough through him. We don’t need to strive. The abandoned heart is the rested heart. Rest in Christ, today.

Jennifer Maggio is an award-winning author and speaker who uses her personal story of severe abuse, homelessness, and single parenting as a catalyst to share the freedom that is found is Christ. She is founder of the global nonprofit, The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. For more information, visit