Thursday, June 6, 2013

When it's time to let go... Again

I know this stance well...

Shoulders hunched, looking down, hands cupped tightly around my hopes, dreams, fears, plans. I know them all by name. They have been constant, steady companions. They are my prized collection, my greatest treasures... they make up me. 

He knows this. He knows the deepest corners of my heart where these precious treasures lie. He knows  how I lie awake at night making plans and dreaming dreams for the future. He knows what makes my heart sing and soar with the thought of new possibilities. 

He knows how much I love them. 

And yet, there He stands with hands stretched out gently, asking me to give them up, once again. 

"Why?" I ask. 

I hold them closer, clenching them to my chest. Why must He ask so much? Demand so much?

Because maybe, just maybe, He has something better in store. 

It was this time four years ago that I made a decision to say yes when He called. He had called even before then, when I was eight years old, and I had said yes. And then, at 19, I stepped out. 

Four years ago, my feet touched the ground of a little island called the Philippines. Was it everything I had planned? Absolutely not. Was it my dream? No. 

It was even better. 

Time after time, He asks me to let go... names, hopes, dreams. 

Some decisions are more agonizing than others. Some require a continual letting go as the five year old inside of me tries to snatch it back and screams "Mine!!!!".

I hold my treasures close, assuming my defensive stance is one of protection, but really, it's destructive. 

There is a reason why the stance of worship is of open and outstretched hands...

When my hands are open, there are no more weights no more burdens... only freedom, sweet and glorious freedom. Nothing can chain me. 

With one hands, I can receive. 

Why though, do I always assume he wants to only give me pain and heartache? Why do I always assume that He will come with a fist of judgment and my hands immediately fly to cover my face from a blow?

Maybe, deep inside, I still don't trust, still need more trust.

Maybe, deep inside, I haven't fully understood the free gift of grace. I haven't let it wash over me, cover me.

And really it's all because of everything I have been holding on to... how can I receive grace with clenched fists? How can I welcome love with folded arms?

I want it all... more grace, more love, more and more of Him. But if I want it all, I must let go.

Slowly, yet surely, I name them, my precious dreams, hopes, fears... it feels like I am giving away a child, piece after piece of my heart.

And He takes them, one by one, with the kindest eyes and the gentlest touch.

He understands. He knows the pain of "Not my will, but yours".

I can trust Him.

I can breathe.

"Will I ever get them back?" I whisper... but I know the answer, and we have been here many times before.

I will trust. I will allow him to replace my dreams with His.

And something strange happens when I release my treasures into His arms... I feel joy. Unexplainable, perfect joy. And peace.

And my heart knows that my treasures will be safe with Him. He will protect, He will guide.

I stretch my arms and wiggle my fingers, cramped from holding on so tightly.

And I almost forgot... I can't hold His hands with fists. When I hold on, I am alone. But when I let go, I allow Him to come near, and I draw closer.

And together, we run.

"Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept Thy will for my life. I give myself, my life, my all utterly to Thee to be Thine forever. Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit. Use me as Thou wilt, work out Thou whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever."
                                                                                              ~Betty Stam, missionary to China

No comments:

Post a Comment