Friday, June 15, 2012

Letting go...

Yesterday I talked briefly about letting go, of my plans, my anxieties and efforts to control things that I have no business controlling.  The concept of letting go is an important one.  Even shortened down to a convenient  catch phrase, 'Let go and let God",  it is a vital tool for overcoming and surviving some of the intense struggles that we often find ourselves facing.

The idea of letting go addresses those moments when we are faced with struggles, tasks, feelings, even blessings that we are compelled to try to control, but soon realize that they are not really ours to control.  Sometimes we can't be trusted with them.  This is always painful to admit to.  Often times we are powerless in a situation, which can be equally painful.

I have been in conflicts in which I have been completely powerless.  I knew that there was nothing I could do or say to speak into the other's rage, because the rage did not originate with me. I cannot be responsible for what I cannot control, and I cannot control another's anger.  In fact, to even try just adds fuel to the fire.  So I had to let go, to walk away from the conflict.

Other times, I have had to let go of tasks that I have accomplished, hoping for positive results but unable to control the outcome.  Things I have written, gifts I have given, lessons I have taught - this is especially true in my role as a parent.  There are few desires as strong as the desire of a parent to positively influence her children, to direct a child in the way they should go and to see the child walking free and strong and whole.  Still, every lesson is but a gift, and every child is free to accept or deny that gift.  I have had to learn to let go.

The strength of letting go, though, lies in who is there to receive my hopes, desires and dreams after they leave my hands.  I cannot release my child, my relationships, my finances, my dreams or my life into a vague, unknown universe, hoping that something out there will take care of them.  I mean, seriously, I don't even let Buddy out into the world without the boundary of a long leash and a watchful eye.  I can't just open the door and trust him to the universe.  The universe will run him over on the road just as easily as not.

I let go of my daughter this week so that she could go to a Foster the People concert with her best friend, Meagan.  I didn't let her go out into nothingness. I let her go out into a world with boundaries and guidelines, where laws exist and are, for the most part, enforced, where young people like Meagan earn the right to drive by proving themselves able through strictly designed tests.

And still, as a mom whose heart would shatter into a million pieces if anything had happened to her, I ultimately let her go to God.  I placed her into the hands of a God that I have known and followed for years, whose boundaries and freedoms I have welcomed into my life, whose heart is mine in a passionate, enduring love, simply because I exist.

There is no magic in the letting go.  The freedom comes in knowing that by letting go, my concerns are then able to be picked up and cared for by One who is faithful and trustworthy, who loves me and those I love, who carries my treasures with the utmost wisdom and care.

I don't always get the results that I want.  Still, I have a feeling that someday, somewhere, I will look back on this life and my walk through it, and I will see that I have received what I needed.

I look forward to that day, even as I live this day, letting go and letting God.

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