Thursday, January 10, 2013

My 2012 Gratitude List, part 4

2. I am grateful for the lessons in letting go that God has been sharing with me.  I wrote this in a blog post in June - "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. "  

The freedom to let go is a gift of grace and mercy, and I am so thankful for it. It is a daily lesson for me, and I need continual reminders.  Part of the difficulty is learning  how to let things, issues or people go without throwing them away.  I am learning to continue to pray, to care, to love even as I let go, release and live freely.  I can love someone without needing them to be or do what I want them to.  I can let go of a problem while still doing what is needed to solve the problem.  There are things that are within my control, and things that aren't.  I can set appropriate boundaries, share my feelings openly, speak the truth and make my needs and expectations known, but I cannot make anyone listen, or care, or honor what I give them.

Letting go of that desire to make others respond to me in a way that pleases me leaves me free to love them, and to love them as I walk away, if that is what they wish or what is needed.  Similarly, I can do the things I know to do in response to any problem, but I cannot always control the outcome.  That belongs to God.  So I can trust Him, do my part and let the rest go.  I cannot describe the freedom that comes with this.

and...drum roll please...

1. The One who receives all of my gratitude for 2012 is God.  Oh, come now.  You were expecting that, weren't you?   God is the common denominator in all other things to be grateful for.  He is the Source of all good things in my life, the Root of all growth and change, the Light that guides my every step when I follow Him closely, the Love that flows to me, and through me, the Hope that each day will be filled with Him and therefore, good.  He has been my provider in ways that have left me in awe.

 Just recently I had a disconcerting moment, when I remembered that I was going to have to pay for Grace's Cegep registration this week. I had been so focused on buying the books, I completely forgot about the registration.  I didn't have the money, and had no idea how I was going to pay it. Immediately and out-loud, I said, "God, this one is Yours."  I gave the problem to Him.  I let it go. The anxiety dissipated, and I was at peace.  Just a few moments before this, my pastor had handed me a late Christmas card from someone in her other church. I had tucked in my purse to open later.  It was from someone that I have just been getting to know over the past year, an older woman who attends a Bible study that I also attend.

Later, when I  opened the card, a cheque fell out.  It was for twice what I needed.  I laughed out-loud.  Even before I was aware of the need, God had seen to it.  Not only had He met the need through this wonderful woman of God, but He gave more, so that purchasing Grace's school books wouldn't be such a difficulty.

I called my friend and told her what a tremendous blessing her gift had been.  It was important to me that she understand that the gift was more than just the money.  My friend had allowed God to show me, through her, that He really, really, really was talking care of me, anticipating my needs even before I was aware of them and meeting them, purely out of love for me.  He knows my heart.  He knows how much I want to trust Him, and He honors that desire within His children.  The most important thing that God wants to give me is Himself.  He is the gift.  I know I have said it before, but as long as I live, I will never get over the wonder and joy of being loved by the God of creation, the Lord of the Universe, the Master of all that is.  Any strength I have lies in this truth.  Every bit of life that is in me, is rooted in God's love.  Every hope that I have for the future lies in Him.

And for that, I am utterly, astoundingly, wonderfully, thrillingly grateful

Peace out.

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