Tuesday, November 12, 2013
The Truth About Letting Go
I sat down to write a new blog post a few days ago and I didn't finish it. It started out to be one thing - and it quickly went another direction and became something totally different! I didn't post it to my blog. I didn't know if I would ever share it. There is so much more I could say - more behind the scenes than what I wrote. I saved it and I'd like to share it with you today - because this is what’s on my heart. And what God is doing in my life. I wrote:
New thoughts about priorities and expectations and obligations have settled into my heart and mind. Change is happening in many parts of my life. The answers aren’t there yet for some things – I can’t explain it all. Other things seem more clear than ever before. God is doing something new and I’m on board with whatever it is.
I find myself letting go of things, letting go of people and letting go of a sense that I have to be there to ‘fix’ things for everyone. There are times and seasons in our lives. There are times people need us and times they don’t need us the same way as before. They move on. We move on. It’s almost as if God is stripping away things that bind - things we may hold too tightly. My sweetheart and I sense He is stripping things away one at a time. Sometimes it hurts for awhile but then it brings such freedom!
My sweetheart and I had an experience not long ago that gave us a taste of what a new place of freedom could look like – freedom from expectations (mine and those of other people), freedom from things (stuff), freedom from doing things the way they’ve always been done in the past, freedom to move into something new as God leads. It can’t all happen yet. It may never happen just the way we ‘saw’ it but we had a glimpse – and we want that kind of freedom. We really believe it’s possible to have that kind of freedom - no matter what our circumstances may be, no matter what we think others expect of us, no matter where we live or what God calls us to do.
The hardest part of letting go and embracing that kind of freedom is saying ‘no’. Saying ‘no’ to myself, saying 'you don't have to do it that way anymore', saying ‘you don’t have to do that at all anymore’, saying, ‘it’s time for someone else to do that if it’s going to be done.’ Oh, I’m not giving up – I’m not running away. I’m not abandoning responsibilities. Not in any way. But I am letting go so I can hold more tightly to the things that really matter. Things that really make a difference when all is said and done.
I’ve always seemed to care more than I should about the opinions of others. To my own detriment, at times their opinions seemed more important (and easier) than doing what was really in my heart. It’s been a struggle at times. It’s not that I don’t care about other people anymore but I’m learning to let go and – at times to let them go – so I can embrace the best. The best that God has for me - and for them. Sometimes we stand in the way of what God wants to do in their lives. Sometimes we need to let go and let Him do His work. At times letting go means releasing them to do what they are going to do, all the while knowing it may not be for the best, but praying and believing that there will be a day they come to find the best and embrace it with their whole heart.
It may sound like there are big problems or crises going on in our lives right now. No, not at all! We have just come to a new place in our lives. We are taking more time to talk and pray and dream. We have come to realize that some relationships – while good – are not as close as we once thought they were. Others are more precious than ever. We have come to grasp what we already knew - that possessions are not as precious as they seem. And while there are things we still love, letting go of them doesn’t hurt nearly as much as once thought. We have come to know that, while we are on the back side of life in the eyes of some, we are at an exciting, new place. We are facing new horizons - sensing new things to come. Letting go so we can embrace the very best. God’s best. We want to embrace His best and walk into new places with freedom and joy. We may walk in places we never dreamed possible - places only God knows right now. We are planning for something – something we don’t understand yet. We are sorting and cleaning and releasing and letting go. Change is happening in relationships and plans and schedules and our home and the way we do business. It’s a good thing!
These Scripture verses keep coming to mind: 'One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14 (ESV)