Clutching Church Pews and Steering Wheels

The other day I was in the car hurrying to go nowhere, thoughts flying all over the place. I’d slipped back into stinking thinking. Into trying to control certain situations. Into assuming I knew better than God.

My worries felt so…

Necessary. Justified.

Deep down, I knew my behavior didn’t match my one word for the year Enoughas in, God is more than enough for me.

And then this song came on the radio. When Matt Maher sang the phrase, “Lord, I need You, oh, I need You, every hour I need You…” I went back to my childhood, to a song we sang in church.

All of a sudden, I’m eight years old again singing,I need Thee every hour” in my shaky voice. My small clammy hands cling to the wooden church pew.

To the illusion of control.

Because even as a little girl, I was afraid to let go.

In my car, my grownup hands clutch the steering wheel like an ambulance driver heading to the next crisis.

And bless Matt’s heart. He just keeps singing…

“Lord, I need You, oh, I need You…”

A soft voice inside says,

Let go. Unclench your fingers.

I stop at a red light and stretch open my hands.

I’m telling you the truth.

In an instant, the sweetest peace filled my car.

Just by loosening my grip on life.

If something (or someone) is weighing you down, take a couple of minutes to listen to this song, watch the pictures, and open your fingers.

I’m praying for you.

Thank You, Lord.











  1. Kim says:

    Oh Julie. When the first notes of that song come on, I drop what I am doing, sit, close my eyes, open my hands and sing along. It is my worship and prayer song. Heart healing, spirit soothing. I have been dealing with anxiety and fear lately. An experience from over 20 years ago, has been brought back to my thoughts. I am so scared of reliving that in my today life, I do not think I could make it through. I have to ask everyday for that negative to be taken and replaced with peace and reassurance. My word for the year is Share. It is a slow process of letting go by doing the act of sharing my heart and feelings. Hard, but there has been progress. I am hopeful that I can soon be free from this.

  2. Kim, sounds like I must’ve written this post just for you. 🙂

    I’m praying for you. And look what you did….you SHARED your feelings with me. With us.

    Yep, changing is such a slow process, but you’re moving in the right direction. We both are.

    All my love today.

  3. Yesterday I wrote the scene in my novel where the father opens his arm wide and his palm faces up (only one arm and one palm because he’s had a stroke and can’t move his other side). He opens his mind and his heart. He gives himself to God. He needed God, too. Just like me…just like you.

    Love you…

    • Oh, B.J.

      I’m feeling this scene of yours in my heart. Tearing up. Just so thrilled you wrote it and for the power it holds for us all!

  4. When I saw the “C” word (CONTROL), I knew I needed to keep reading! My family knows (and I know it, too) that I have struggled with the need to be in control of situations most of my adult life (comes from some childhood issues that I will not go into here). However, my journey to submission to Christ also allowed me to give up some of that need to be in control–I am still on that journey! I love those old hymns and they are so very relevant to our needs now–“LORD I Need You!” Thanks for sharing and I pray God’s continued blessing for your ministry.

    • Katherine, thank you, thank you.

      YOU UNDERSTAND. I think we speak the same language. 🙂 🙂

      The old hymns really touch my heart–so much more than when I was a child. Somewhere deep inside, even as a child, I felt the reverence, but now, they bring me to my knees.

      Thank you, thank you for your precious comment.

  5. Patricia Martin says:

    Thanks so much for your message today, Julie! I am going to let God be in control so I can Rest (my word for this year) in Him. (: God really is in control all along–I just need to know that He is; I feel like this post was written especially for me. (: How is your family? Are you safe from all those ice storms in Atlanta? Blessings to you and yours.

    • Yes, Patricia,

      He is/was really in control all along. This lesson has come so slllloooooowly for me.

      Ice storms have been interesting. We’re all good, but so many have been stranded. My husband couldn’t get to work yesterday. He left early this morning–hope he can make it. I was given instructions to “Stay Home.”

      Love right back to you.

  6. It’s amazing how a small physical action in response to a heart prompting seems to be what it takes for God to set us free. Like the man with the withered hand when Jesus prompts him to stretch it out, he had to take the action to be healed.

    • I know, I know, Elizabeth. It was a movement of inches, yet my heart moved miles.

      Ohhh, the withered hand. That’s right!! That’s beautiful. Thank you–I hadn’t remembered that story.


  7. Kathryn says:

    Hi again, Julie! This song definitely brings back memories. I remember it from childhood too. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

    • Doesn’t it, Kathyrn!

      You’re so very welcome. And thank you for letting me know you’re reading my blog. Where would I be without my precious readers?


  8. Sandra Walker says:

    We sing that at church all the time. I need to be reminded daily! Another good one right on target!

  9. THE SWEETEST PEACE! Thanks for the reminder. Blessings as you raise your hands to Him!

  10. Absolutely! I love your transparency- the blessing and peace of letting go of trying to control- the blessing of knowing I absolutely do not have the necessary life skills to get through most of this journey without Him! hugs sweet sister! You encourage me greatly!

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