Are there any control freaks stopping by the blog today? Any type-A personalities? Any perfectionists? If so, welcome to this post! We have at least those things in common!
A couple days ago I posted this on social media:
This devo is March 24th in my “Jesus Calling” book. But I inadvertently opened to it this morning, and it was the perfect start to the day. A gentle reminder to let go. Of expectations, of guilt, of “what ifs,” of fears. Let go and open our hands to the Creator of the Universe, who holds every detail in the palm of His almighty hand. #jesuscalling #march24
There is a time in your life when you must learn to let go… of loved ones…
This short devotional has eaten at me for days now. It has encouraged, but more than anything, it has convicted.
My sister told me just this week that she thinks I have OCD. When I asked her why, she rattled off a short list, and that was that. I don’t know how accurate her list was, but there are some things I obsess over, probably not to the point of being diagnosably OCD. But she was being lighthearted and we were mostly just bantering anyway, so that’s really beside the point.
It did get me thinking though. Truthfully, I’d already been thinking. But our short conversation really caused me to begin letting some things surface.
All of that to lead into this:
I have the hardest time letting go. Not of everything, but especially of one thing: broken or severed relationships that were once meaningful and deep and impactful. I like all my relationships, even ones that are no longer viable, to have nicely packaged, perfectly explained endings. Closure. Or healing. Preferably healing. But when healing is not possible, when it doesn’t seem possible, or when things just aren’t going the way they should in the dreamworld inside my head, I make myself sick over grasping tightly to those friendships or family relationships. I make myself physically ill over feelings of guilt, wanting to “fix” things, or wanting to make them look the way I think they should. Thinking back over my life, there are decades-worth of examples of this.
I’ve clung so tightly to relationships I should have let go of that even my prayers just served to cause worry, shame, fear, guilt, regret, or all of those things.
Anyone else? Maybe not with relationships, but something else?
I was taking a hot shower last night (because I was running a high fever and felt so cold, because there I went again, actually making myself sick,) and as I let the water run over me, teeth chattering, I let my mind wander, and then had this thought:
There is an oil for this.
Surrender, or Sacred Mountain, or Be Present, or Vetiver. Or maybe something simpler like lavender or Peace and Calming.
This thought came and went. But it was so convicting. Because I know, of course, there is no oil for this. Would it help me emotionally? Perhaps, temporarily. But ultimately?
There is no oil for this.
There is nothing in existence, whether curated from the earth or formulated in a lab, that can rid the heart, life, or mind of a spiritual stronghold. There is no crack in the spiritual armor that can be undone any other way but through our Creator. Through total, complete, over-and-over again, as many times as it takes, surrender. Until I am able to open my hands to the King of the world. That is where the healing begins. It begins at the cross, with hands lifted in abandon.
It is one thing to sit behind a computer screen in a cathartic moment and type this. It is a little harder to actually publish it. And it is A LOT harder to live it out.
Sometimes we wait, and we pray, and eventually healing happens or closure comes. Sometimes we wait and we pray and the healing or the closure never comes. At least, not in the relationships themselves. But if we wait in surrender, with our hands open wide, letting go of the desire to control that is bleeding into other areas of our lives and making us spiritually (and sometimes physically) sick, we will experience healing in our own hearts, in our own lives. God NEVER promised His children a life free of conflict or pain. In fact, He has told us those things WILL come. But what we can know, with absolute certainty, is that there is pruning in the pain, when we let God overtake the parts of our hearts that we so badly want to grasp for ourselves.
When we do that, through His supernatural presence and grace in us, our lives will be changed and healed.