Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Letting Go

In my last, "get-back-into-blogging" post, I stated the lines from Brad Paisley's song, "When I Get Where I'm Going," which say, "I will leave my heart wide open; I will love and have no fear." I was truthful when I said those lines are a prayerful desire for me.

Well, the following "poem," which is posted in my closet on our bulletin board, ends with an almost identical line. I never put the two together, but as I read this poem again today (which I do most days), it just stood out. Do you ever have that happen? You have an awareness of something, maybe you sense God telling you something, and then you see, experience, or hear the same message all over the place. It's almost as if God wants to make sure I get the message He's trying to speak to me and He knows I'm pretty dense so He goes overboard. Well, this morning, this poem was His voice, again reminding me that I am to love and have no fear.

Do you all seriously get how hard that is? I mean, think about it. Is there any relationship which you full-on love and have NO fear in? If we were all to be honest (which rarely ever happens), we'd all have to say, "No," to that question. Even if I love a person with everything I am (like my husband and kids), I still have a fear that I will lose them, or that they will stop loving me. And with God, I can love him with my whole heart, and yet still fear disappointing him by not fulfilling His purposes for me. I can love a friend, but I may fear saying the wrong thing in front of them or having them find out what my weaknesses are.

Anyway, notice the last line of this poem and may it strike a chord with you as it did with me. I invite you to join me on this journey of loving more and fearing less.


To let go does not mean to stop caring, it means I can't do it for someone else.

To let go is not to cut myself off, it's the realization I can't control another.

To let go is not to enable, but allow learning from natural consequences.

To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.

To let go is not to try to change or blame another, it's to make the most of myself.

To let go is not to care for, but to care about.

To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.

To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.

To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their destinies.

To let go is not to be protective, it's to permit another to face reality.

To let go is not to deny, but to accept.

To let go is not to nag, scold or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.

To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.

To let go is not to criticize or regulate anybody, but to try to become what I dream I can be.

To let go is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.

To let go is to fear less and love more.

------ author unknown

Good stuff, huh? You may want to print this poem out and post it somewhere so that you can re-read it often. I think this poem embodies the notion of grace and truth working together.

As long I'm on this side of heaven, I can always grow in learning to love more and fear less.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My Heart Trusts in Him

There come those times in all of our lives when we need to step away from things for whatever reason. This past two months has been one of those times for me, and I have truly felt no prompting to write anything on my blog. In fact, deciding not to blog, although difficult at first, has become increasingly easier. And yet, I do not feel free to close this blog down. The problem becomes, "After so long of not blogging, how do I step back in? Are explanations needed? Do I try to catch everyone up on what's happened the last two months? Is there anyone still checking in? Lord, am I released from posting on this blog yet? Where do I start?"

Questions, questions, questions! And I am quite sure that I don't have the answers for all of them, which is not unusual for me. I find that as I grow in the Lord, however, I am increasingly more comfortable with questions; everything does not have to be tied up in neat little bows. And that brings me to the last two months. There is no way to summarize and share what these last two months were about in uniform little boxes with bows. It's not that tidy. And you know what? That's okay.

There's a comment I get every now and again that I'd like to address. Sometimes, someone will tell me that they have been reading my blog, and then they add something like, "I would never want to have everybody knowing what I am doing," or "I just can't be that public about my life."  I can understand where these individuals are coming from; I have had those same thoughts myself, and I feel that way many, many times. I started blogging for some very specific reasons
(you can read that post HERE), and then I stopped posting on my blog for some very specific reasons.

I want to state for the record that on my blog I only share what I feel is safe for me to share in such a public forum. Yes, I share from my personal life, but not if I feel it is something that will violate myself or my husband or my children. I think about everything I post, and there is PLENTY (in fact, LOTS) that I don't (and won't) post about my life. There are precious and sacred moments that would lose their meaning if they were shared with whoever decides to stop on over at this blog. There are conversations and situations with friends and people in the church that are confidential.  There are treasured memories and special times that I would not want some people reading about. I mean think about it, old high school friends, former co-workers, college acquaintances, previous boyfriends, people who have left the church, people who don't like me, my family (wink), and any ol' body in the world could stop by here anytime, so I don't post anything that I wouldn't want any of them to know. So....if it's posted here, I have made a conscious and prayerful decision that it was okay to share what is posted.  And....although it is easy to live a closed life, I feel God is calling us to a harder (and much more rewarding) path of living open and authentic lives.  I know I've
shared this before, but some lines from a country song have become a prayerful desire - "I will leave my heart wide open; I will love and have no fear."  

With that being said, I am choosing to share that the past two months have been a struggle for me for various reasons. As I've pondered how to step back into posting on this blog, I feel I am able to share that I have been struggling with depression. (That's not unusual for a melancholy person like myself.)  I don't feel compelled to share more specifics about that, but I know that many, many women have struggled with exactly the same thing, and yet we will all keep doing what we do and we feel like we're the only one slogging through foggy days of disengagement, sadness, feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. Much of my struggle had to do with the expectations I had placed upon myself, and I felt the Lord speak to my heart that it was okay to step back and be quiet for a little while.   

And so, here I find myself two months later, gingerly stepping out, trying to live with my heart wide open.  I am tempted to pull it all back in and take the easy way out (I'd feel much less vulnerable that way - smiley face), but as I said, God is calling me to the much harder path of living with an open heart.  My heart is again open to posting on this blog until such time as the Lord makes it clear that I am to give it up.  I will not be pressured by my own expectations of perpetual posting of perfectly polished pieces (alliteration gone wild!).  I will simply continue to be myself, and if anyone reads or not, I will obey what I feel the Lord is calling me to.  

The LORD is
my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. Psalms 28:7 (NIV)  

I am so grateful today.