Releasing That Brings Receiving
“What are you most resistant to let go of?” she asked matter-of-factly. My eyes darted to the floor. Immediately, I began to wrestle. The question hung in the air for a bit, and I felt the Spirit begin to coax an honest answer out of my self-protected heart.
I want to be honest. I need to be honest…with my friend, with myself. That’s how I am walking “it” out. Walking with Jesus out loud, transparent…real. That’s what I want. But I gotta confess, this journey just doesn’t look like anything I expected, and I am coming to grips with that.
Yes. Opening our clenched hands and squinting eyes is always a good thing. Because deep in our hearts, deep within the recesses of our very souls, we are desperate to be free. Free of the expectations that we didn’t (or did) put on ourselves that actually have no business being there. Free from shame, free from fear, from bitterness, from the disappointment that life just didn’t work out the way we pictured it in our heads. Yes, I would love to be free from those things.
But I would also love to be free “into” some other things. Not just release, but increase. Not just losing a life that was never meant to be mine, but gaining a life that expands in the chest. You know – a life that allows a holy exhale to escape your lips and a resonant hum of peace to build within your chest.
Free to love. Free to dream. Free to own this new name and territory that I have been given.
We are Daughters of the King.
Just ruminate on that a bit.
We have a future that is as powerful as it is purposeful. We have a hope that is as trustworthy as He is good. And He is good all the time, ladies. Every time. Within our veins reside the promises of our Heavenly Father. You don’t have to feel them or even take hold of them for them to be there. They just are. But perhaps you are a little like me and you struggle to live in a place of joy when what you are waiting and hoping for just isn’t here yet.
Perhaps you spend way too much time dragging your feet just hoping you are not wrong about it all. Praying that this middle space that hurts and is full of loss will ultimately be worth it in the end. But you’re not convinced it will be. So, instead of dancing, your feet, though obedient, are dragging. I get it. I’ve been there. I am there. Truth is, some days we drag through the “not yet” as we wait for the “Hallelujah!”
Is this speaking to anyone but me?
Though I would have told you, not so long ago, that I was open to wherever the Lord leads me. You know, “a willing vessel.” But the truth is, I’m not. It’s not been quite that easy. There are more fingernail marks behind me than I care to admit. Places where I have literally fought tooth and nail the path He was calling me to walk, instead of a willing spirit, eager to trust and obey. Yes, I am a wrestler. I am a Daughter of the King, but I still wrestle. A lot.
At the end of the day, at the end of all of it, what He gives and what He calls us to is never empty. Never. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard. That doesn’t mean obedience and courage will spare us those dreaded lonely, empty, or waiting spaces.
Following hard after Jesus does promise that those spaces aren’t futile.
So, I will ask you the question that my friend asked me: Is there a space in your life that the thought of losing it grips you with fear? Or perhaps it makes you want to bust out your calendar and plan the heck out of your life, controlling it all into submission?
Your children? Your husband? Your title? Perhaps the identity that you have carved out for yourself within your community?
I wish I had all the answers. I don’t (sorry). But here is what I am learning as I press into these spaces that, quite frankly, aren’t fun.
Opening my hands helps me open my eyes.
Opening my heart helps me open my ears.
Releasing my fears helps me discover joy.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
James 1:2-4 NIV
Consider it all joy…and joy, my friends, is not the same as gratitude. The fruit of gratitude is joy, but the hallmark of true JOY is trusting in a Heavenly Father who has your greater good in mind. So, lean back in that waiting, that hard space, and trust Him. Open your hands and your heart so that you can see and hear a wider view. Believe me, it’s worth it.
The song I want to share with you today is on auto-repeat in my home these days. It is from Influence Music with Melody Hernandez and is entitled, “I Am.” Sooooooooo refreshingly good. Enjoy.
With joy for the journey,