Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Art of Letting Go

      The water is cold. It stings a little, the shock of it's coolness against my bare skin. I wiggle my toes deeper into the sand, as if by burying myself I can be more firmly planted, more united with the water and its movement.

     The sun is gentle, high above my head, but not bearing down on me as Florida sunshine typically likes to do. That delicious wind, full of salt and promise, flows around me. I have been near the ocean in other countries, but the breeze does not carry the same feeling as this wind. I have grown up with this wind. It has been a prominent figure in many memories I have had throughout life, both good and bad. We are old friends.

     In my hand, two rocks, labeled with names. I clutch them close to me, scared of dropping them in the water, releasing them too soon....

     Over the past few weeks, I have been praying that God would teach me the art of letting go. You see, I like my plans, my issues, my baggage. I feel comfortable with them. I am used to them. They have become a part of me.

      Yet, ever so gently, the relentless Lover of my soul has been revealing things to me that are holding me back from Him. As I am about to embark on a new journey in life, one that will take me deeper than I can even imagine at this point, I have to remove the excess. I have to remove what is not drawing me closer to him.

      But, it's so hard. I know God wants what is best for me, and I know that he will be glorified. But I am afraid. You see, I have been trying.... oh so desperately trying.... to let go. Some baggage I have been holding onto for years.

     And you know what? As much as I try and sacrifice and lay everything down on the altar, I still can't. Because, on my own, I am not strong enough.

      He then led me to the story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham is given his long awaited child, and then, he is asked to sacrifice him. God asks what is seemingly impossible to me, and Abraham says yes. How could he just say yes? How could he offer his son to you like that?

      He was able to do so because he "assumed that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again." (Hebrews 11:19)

      God had already done these amazing miracles in Abraham's life... the latest bringing him a child in his old age. So, if God asked him to do this, then there must be a plan in there somewhere and God would work it out.

       But, here is my question: What if Isaac had died, and God didn't bring him back? What then?

       There in lies my question... the real reason why I can't let go: What if I release these names, these dreams, and these plans, and then, I don't get them back? What do I do?

       You trust.

      Are you kidding me? There is no way it's that simple. Do you not understand God? This is everything to me. Where do I go from here?

       You trust.

      I have to admit, I am tired. So tired. It's like I have been walking around with a huge weight on my back... a weight I was never meant to carry. I am tired of wrestling with God, compromising, and trying to figure things out on my own.

      The problem is, the water in Florida is not very clear. I could paint these rocks neon and still would not be able to find them once I throw them into the ocean. In the same way, He asks me to let go with no promise of returning.

      His ways are higher. His love is sure. He is strong, and he is good. He does not abandon.

      Do I really believe this?

      Do I really believe that God is who He says He is?

      Do I trust?

      One by one, I open my fingers that have been so desperately curled around my rocks. They lay flat on my palms. I speak their names. I speak my dreams, my hopes, my fears, everything I had so carefully planned. Then I breathe. And then, I throw.

       Two rocks, representing everything I am, everything I have been clinging to with bloody and exhausted fingers. Gone. Into the deep ocean.

      I stand there, staring for a moment. The familiar feeling of peace washes over me. The feeling that He is with me, He is pleased, and I am walkign towards Him. I am free. I am letting go.

      I love this mental imageof throwing rocks into the ocean, because it is so final. Only God could find those rocks... just as letting go is supposed to be final, and those dreams will only resurface if he lets them.

      But I will not wait around and hope for those dreams to resurface. Instead, I will live, and I will trust.

     And what do you do when a giant weight has been lifted off your weary shoulders for the first time?

     You run. Deep into the sunset. Into the heart of God.


  1. Can I share a link to this post on my blog... this is EXACTLY what I've been dealing with for the last month!!! ... well longer than that I guess, but.. yea.. can I please share.

    Thank you for sharing!! I love you!!!

  2. I love your poetic writing style. It speaks to the heart. Thanks for sharing what God is teaching you, and what he inevitably is also teaching me and others too. I love you! Miss you already!