Dependence, Faith, Five Minute Friday scribblings, Trusting God

Depend: When We Think It’s All Up to Us

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—DEPEND. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. We write for five minutes on a given word. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out the Five Minute Friday website. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

***I went a little over five minutes. Here’s my offering for the week.***


I sometimes live in an orphan mindset (check out what Allen Arnold says about this). I get into this thought process that it’s all up to me. To mother well. To make time to write. To force story from me. To complete everything on my to-do list.

I depend on myself.

If I could take a poll, I suspect many of us would raise our hands admitting that we struggle with this kind of mindset from time to time.

We depend on ourselves as if we alone are responsible for the outcome. Whether its in fulfilling a dream, or a calling. Or being the spouse/parent we are called to be. Or (as a friend reminded me) in waiting.

I hate that I forget to depend on God. He is the One who gives dreams. Who places callings on us, in our hearts.

He is the only One who can fulfill them through us. And that, only as we come to Him with our crazy-desperate need.

When we are waiting for things to happen,

for the next step of a dream . . .

the next direction in a calling . . .

the next step toward a change in life . . .

we need to turn to the One—the only One—who is truly, completely, lovingly dependable.

I’m learning to turn my heart over to Him more quickly when I begin to stress about something. When the kid has a stinky ‘tude.

When the hubs and I have an argument.

When the story just. Won’t. Come. Forth.

It’s not all up to me.

Sometimes God allows us into the hard places—those circumstances that are way bigger than we are—so we learn to depend on Him for the outcome.

He is the only One who can create something from nothing. Who can bring hope in times of discouragement. He wants to walk these times out with us.

Our Father is the One who can fulfill us and fill those gaping places within us.

We can’t give ourselves more than what we already are. Does that make sense?

We can’t fill the empty spaces within ourselves.

Or make things happen that are naturally beyond us.

Only God can.

When we trust Him . . .

When we choose to believe that He is with us in the hard, in the discouraging . . .

When we choose to hold to the truths in His word regardless of what life tells us?

When we choose to do life with Him, no matter what circumstances tell us?

That’s when we will see Him move. Maybe not in the ways we expected, but always in the ways that are best.

What about you? How do you foster a mindset of depending on God during uncertain times? When have you seen Him “show up” when you chose to depend on Him?

Click to Tweet: We depend on ourselves as if we’re responsible for the outcome

I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday—Depend

Check out this song, “Take Courage, My Friend.” It’s been on my heart all day!

40 thoughts on “Depend: When We Think It’s All Up to Us”

  1. Beautiful words! Joining you at FMF. He certainly does lead us into circumstances bigger than we are capable of handling ourselves – and it’s so amazing to learn how to depend on Him!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rebecca, it’s nice to connect with you. God knows those events that will nudge us closer to Him. I always dread walking through hard seasons, but when I can look back at all the ways the Lord revealed Himself, I often find myself in awe. Thanks so much for stopping by!


  2. THIS: “Sometimes God allows us into the hard places—those circumstances that are way bigger than we are—so we learn to depend on Him for the outcome.” And I so hear you. I’m over in the 8 spot this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Tara. It’s always reassuring to know that God is walking out this journey with us, and that He gives us others who can relate on both experiential and heart-levels. Have a good weekend, friend!


  3. Yes…but there are times when it’s two guys, one on the gun and one on the scope, that have to provide the shield against annihilation.

    I’m not sure where God has been during those times, though I am confident He was hanging around. But the fact of the matter was that if we didn’t do our jobs, a world…a small and mean one, to be sure, but one treasured by those who lived in it…would fall.

    That didn’t seem acceptable, and its prevention seemed a thing worth dying for.


    1. Andrew, there have been many times when struggled with the why’s and where’s of God. I guess it’s in those times that we have to choose to walk in the belief of what we know of Him and trust, even as we act. You know this far better than most. Thank you for your serving those who couldn’t help themselves, and for being the inspiration you are. I’m praying for you, friend.


  4. Thank you so much Jeanne for these thoughts. Yes, love your idea that we cannot fill our empty spots. Times when I surrender are amazing, then I slowly or abruptly kick back to self-reliance. Blessing upon your weekend, Julie


    1. Julie, this sounds bad, but I’m so glad I’m not alone in the self-reliance struggle. The blessing of being capable is we can things that help others. The “curse” is that we tend to rely on ourselves too easily, cutting God out of the equation. I’m so glad He’s patient with us, and that He gives us lots of practice to learn dependence on Him. I hope your weekend is wonderful!


      1. Dearest Jeanne, I believe with my whole heart God smiles when we are honest in our struggles. He knows them anyway. Thank you again, and I am trying, trying to surrender each day but I just don’t make it some days.


  5. Jeanne,
    The one thing I have definitely learned, through all the trials in life, is that I need to let go of relying upon me and depend and rely TOTALLY on God. Anything else is counterfeit. Sure, He’s had to pray my controlling hands off many things, but when I yield to Him, things generally go better for me (and everyone). Thanks for the great reminder.
    Bev xx


    1. Yes and Amen, Bev. I know I need to not rely on myself either. Only God can accomplish anything significant. Counterfeit. yes. And I chuckled about how much better things go when you (and I’ll jump in that boat too) yield everything to Him. Much less stressful. 😉 Thanks so much for your wisdom shared!


  6. Jeanne … good morning! I’ve never heard of an orphan mindset … this looks to be a powerful insight. Thanks for opening this door for me … I’m off to check it out.

    I hope your weekend soars!


    1. Linda, I had never thought about it much, either. But discovering those places in our lives—thoughts, hearts, actions—where we operate with an orphan mindset is a powerful first step. I’m still discovering areas where I’ve functioned with an orphan mindset. I think I have control of my life . . . silly. me. Learning to release into God’s hands “my” control over everything is a slow process for this girl.

      Have a beautiful weekend!


  7. Such an important reminder! I feel like I need to do it all. But, God has surrounded me with moms who want to help; with a husband who is a partner on this journey; through the encouragement of friends. I need to remember to recognize that God is in all those people…


    1. Annie, isn’t it reassuring to have others around us who help us regain a better perspective when the to-do list/obligations/heart desires press hard against us? You are fortunate to have people in your life who encourage you and keep you grounded 🙂


  8. Thank you for this needed encouragement to depend on God alone, not on ourselves, Jeanne. I just looked into what an “orphan mindset” means, and I’m afraid I too often have it, too. This line especially sends hope to my spirit – “He is the only One who can create something from nothing. Who can bring hope in times of discouragement. He wants to walk these times out with us.” Have a blessed weekend! Hugs!


    1. Trudy, I suspect we all have an orphan mindset at some point in our lives. I’m beyond thankful we have a Heavenly Father who wants to do life with us, rather than sitting back and waiting to see how we handle whatever’s coming in our lives. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, my friend!


  9. Oh, I know the orphan mindset. Been there many times in the past. Thankfully, I’m learning, and this time of waiting I’m in right now (even a BIG waiting today) is calm and steady. No anxiety, just trust. It’s almost surreal, but it’s so very peaceful. God is faithful to give us His peace and work on our behalf, and so we leave our today and tomorrow in His capable hands.


    1. Susan, I love your words. I’m learning not to live in the orphan mindset too. Thank you for sharing a bit of your journey here. It is true—when we wait, trusting in God, we can know His peace. I’m glad you’ve found that! Have a beautiful weekend!


  10. Boy howdy, do I relate to this. Obviously the world is going to fall apart completely if I don’t hold it together, if I don’t get everything done and take responsibility for everyone. The Holy Spirit has been speaking to me about this a lot lately; reminding me to give things to Him and trust in His good timing. Now to just learn the lesson…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marie, your words made me smile. I have this bad habit of living (not as often as I used to) as if the whole world depends on me to carry out my role and everyone else’s too. 🙂 I’m glad the Holy Spirit is helping you (and me) to have a more accurate perspective. We tend to need lots of practice to learn these kinds of lessons, don’t we? 😉 Have a great Sunday, friend!


  11. jeanne, great post today! i find i struggle with that same orphan thinking myself…often. it seems worse now that i am dealing with caretaking. how wonderful to have a GOD who rescues us from ourselves and this kind of thinking! blessings:) #40


    1. Martha, I can only imagine how care taking can encourage the orphan mindset. I agree, I’m beyond thankful God rescues us and renews our minds. Saying a prayer for you today as you wear your care taking cape.


  12. It’s very hard sometimes Jeanne, to remember our reliance on God and know that he is the one that orders our days. 🙂 but remember we must eh? it makes our days that much better. 🙂


    1. Annette. It IS hard to remember we can and should rely on God. Yes, when we remember and live according to the truth that He orders our days, it does help our days to go better. 🙂


  13. “Sometimes God allows us into the hard places—those circumstances that are way bigger than we are—so we learn to depend on Him for the outcome.”
    Amen girl! I feel that God has allowed my family in the place we have been in and it was to help us grow and strengthen and also to really see where our help comes from. I know my family has grown through the situation we have dealt with. We are so grateful that in all we can rely on Him.

    I love your insights. Have a wonderful week.


    1. Kelly, it sounds like your family has experienced a lot of big circumstances this year. I am blessed that you can see God’s hand in all of it, how He has helped your family. May you continue to know His peace and the pleasure He takes in you guys. Hugs, friend.


  14. Jeanne,
    when we’ve been let down by group partners, by friends, by unmet expectations, we decide that nobody can do it like we can. 🙂
    “Me too!”
    Ha ha, I enjoyed your post not because it was comfortable, but because at the end, there’s only Jesus. Thank you, my sister. I can’t wait until heaven. We’ll have tea and coffee together. (or something even better?!)
    Blessings to you!
    (#7 this week)


  15. Oh man did I have an orphan complex. Then after my experiences I realized God wants me to come to him for everything. “I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.” Hosea 6:6 God wants to talk to us about everything. Thanks for your words encouragement.


    1. Sherry, you’re right. God does want us to come to Him with EVERYTHING. Hosea 6:6 has been a theme verse for me in certain seasons of my life. Thanks for the reminder of where we should be turning. 😉


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