Friday, December 18, 2009

On Letting Go

Since the blog has remained quiet for so long, one may assume that letting go means letting go of the blog. But, no, I am keeping the blog just where it is, for now. I had to "let go" of it for a time, but as we all know there is a season for everything!

I wouldn't try to catch everybody up on where we have been or why this little bloggy hiatus has lasted so long. So, I will pick up from here, where my heart is, accepting and appreciating something we all have to do, probably on a daily basis.

Letting go...

"God's work is not in buildings, but in transformed lives." ~ Ruth Graham Bell

As a younger woman, I lived by the rule of indispensibility. There was that sense that the world would shift into a holding pattern, if, by chance I was rendered unable to fulfill a responsibility or GASP not fill my calendar to maximum capacity. Arrogance? No, I don't believe it was out of a sense of arrogance, moreover, I think it was a committment to continuity and, yes, pridefulness. There, I said it, pride. Bleh, somewhat of an ugly word. It is one thing to be "proud" of my children for making wise choices or being kind to another, but it is a separate derivative to be "prideful".

My current Bible Study breaks pridefulness into small, itty, bitty pieces that unfortunately reflect a huge host of faux paus on my part. It is all good, change happens. Repentance exists. If change were not necessary, repentance and forgiveness would not be alive and well. But, they are. God designed it this way, that we might live, learn and change. The biggest change came into my life when the Lord blessed me with children.

Children are messy. Plain and simple, they are messy. Children get sick, they have fears, they come complete with their own set of traits and trailers that will bless us one moment and frustrate us the next. They come with no roadmap, guidebook, or hired help to navigate the process. And so, some of the most transparent moments in my life are painted on the canvas of my children. I learned to let go of the calendar early in Emily's life discovering that her life was not some clean, clear cut version of my life. My ambitions of being everything to everyone had to be set aside, in order that I might mother this precious little person with all the gusto God had intended. As she grows and matures, here I am, once again, letting go. With each new step, milestone and discovery, there is a process of holding on and yes, letting go.

Then, there was Hannah. The wait. Letting go of my timing. I had a plan, people. I planned to be married by 24, children all completed by 30, back to work by get the picture. A divorce at 28 seriously interrupted my plan. Being remarried at 31, having babies, losing babies...none of it was part of the plan!

Or was it?

All of those events led us to a beautiful little agency not far from our home to adopt a little girl. They said we would wait 9 months. It was two years. Two.Long.Years! Given today's wait times, I hesitate to mention our wait time. When you are the family waiting, regardless of time and space, it is always too long. Again, I was faced with letting go. I let go of my selfish desire to be pregnant again. I had to release my will, my plan, to be replaced by God's perfect timing and His perfect will for our family. In retrospect, it all seems great, but while walking the walk, not an easy task.

Years ago, my grandmother was ill. My mother worked hard with social services to have her moved to a safer environment, however, my grandmother's primary care physician felt she was just fine where she was. She was a smoker, the doctor had her on several different medications, it did not make for a good scenerio and my mother was not blind to this. My grandmother was unkind to my mother on many occasions, disregarding my mom's complete and total committment to caring for her. One cold November night, I prayed. I prayed the Lord would bring peace and tranquility; that He would resolve this seemingly unsolvable problem. That same week, my grandmother's home burned to the ground, my grandmother was lost in the fire. We all know I blamed myself for that prayer. I did not pray for that to happen, I prayed for a solution. The answer was not what I had wanted. It took years for me to "let it go", for God to show me the goodness in the way that things transpired.

This fall, I was asked to teach third grade for a long term sub. I was anxious to be back in a classroom and really loved the challenge. As much as eighteen hour days separated me from my family and our sense of "normal", I was thrilled to be serving the Lord in this capacity. I was blessed to fill in for a teacher, who for all her gifts and talents, was only in her second year and was willing to allow me some creative outlet in that classroom. Her laid back style and complete trust lended itself to huge responsibility for me and I am so grateful to her. I fell in love with 24 amazing third graders. And here comes the hard part...about three weeks ago, I had to "let go". I had to graciously step aside. Even when we know it is coming, letting go can be painful.

Whether we are holding onto our children, our responsibility, our fear, our grudges, our pride, letting go is hard. It is necessary. But it is hard. Especially in this season of Christmas, we are assured of a Savior. A Savior who is willing to take it on for us. What finer gift could any of us expect this Christmas season? Be blessed during this time of Jesus' birth and the newness of another year. Do you have something you need to let go of? Maybe God is calling you to that now...

"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:6-7


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