Monday, August 23, 2010

Let Go and Let God

Women of Faith:

How do we let go of our children, our grudges, or our worries? Our minds may tell us to trust in God, but getting our hearts to completely believe and trust Him on a daily basis can be a real challenge.

I wrote most of this Monday Morning in response to a friend struggling to let her child become an adult. As many send students off to school this week I thought it would be appropriate to share these thoughts on a broader perspective.

I found the following prayer card, God’s perspective on “letting go, and letting God.”
“Let Go & Let God”
As children bring their broken toys and tears for us to mend, I brought my broken dreams to God because he was my friend.

But then instead of leaving Him in peace to work alone, I hung around and tried to help, with ways that were my own.

At last I snatched them back and cried, “How can you be so slow?”

“My child,” He said, “What could I do? You never did let go.”

We can fix our children’s broken toys, but we cannot fix their broken hearts; nor can we keep them safe from physical harm, decisions they make or the world’s evil influences. Likewise, we cannot make someone change their heart, accept God, or make dreams come true.

God is the only one who can fully protect us, that’s why “Be Not Afraid” & “Do Not Fear,” are the most often used phrases in the Bible.

The same principle that applies to letting our children grow up, also applies to our fears, and the angers we feel for the injustices that are so a part of our everyday lives. Learning to let go of our fears for our children, with TRUST and learning to let go of our hurts through forgiveness are all a part of the same “letting go,” process. TRUST God! in all things and with all things.

Prayer is the essential action—Praying “the right” prayer, not to change someone, but to change myself; not to change a child’s destiny, but that God will protect my child’s destiny. And prayer that asks for forgiveness which in turn allows us freedom from guilt and opens our hearts to trust.

As women we want to protect those we love and we feel guilt for just about every wrong, many times wrongs which we did not create. Keeping our children in our arms (or in a glass cage) may not completely protect them from illness, and as they grow older to protect them from making the wrong decisions. We are not the protector, God is.

Likewise, feeling guilty for things we did not do, or for what others did that affected us serves no purpose. We must trust that God will protect us and our loved ones. My prayer should be not to change my spouse, my friend, or my child, but to change myself. This gives God the power to reduce my fears, and take control of my life. In turn, the knowledge that God, who really does have control, also knows my needs and dreams and He can give me peace and comfort.

Someone wisely once told me: “Love is about, letting go, give them their wings, let them fly and dream their dreams.” One of my favorite songs is “On Eagles Wings” and especially this verse: ‘You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord, who abide in his shadow for life, say to the Lord: “My refuge, my rock in whom I trust.”’ Psalm 91
In prayer, we must learn to recognize God’s messages to us which are so often whispers amongst the screams of our problems and the societal messages in our lives.

One of the hardest parts of letting go our fears is when it requires us to seek forgiveness; not only His forgiveness, but of the person/s we have wronged, or who has wronged us. We must trust that when we ask God for forgiveness our relationship with Him will open both our heart and the other persons involved, so that we can receive His grace, and therefore let God be the judge, not us.

It is truly about learning to trust that God will take care, about letting Him have control. Give up the idea that you are the protector, that you will keep your children and family safe. Unfortunately we can’t always protect. We can only love them and let them know we love them. Let Go (of the control) and Let God (have control)—TRUST!

Matthew Kelly would tell us that our purpose is to “help others become the best version of themselves.” If we are always trying to help someone become “their best version” our prayer will always be the “right” prayer. This will give control and trust to God.

Praying not that my spouse, family member, or friend will change, but that I will change to be more accepting, more forgiving, more trusting of the circumstances in my life. And praying that those I love will also come to know God’s protection, forgiveness, and peace.

Just as I was when I first wrote this, I will again be leaving Sara, Luke, Colby and Karolina in Colorado after spending the weekend with them. I always have to remind myself that she has her own family, her own dreams, her own home. This is what “leaving your mother and father” and “cleaving” to your spouse means. I know that the only way to help her from a distance is to pray for her and for her family, so that their marriage and family will be God centered and God protected.

Our experiences of sending our children to school as kindergartners are a preparation for sending them out into the world as adults. Just as we give teachers our trust, so must we give God our trust. He is the ultimate teacher.

To Let Go is to Let others dream; To Let Go is to allow others to learn on their own experiences; To let Go is to let others affect their own destinies; To Let go is to allow others to Grow; and to Let go is to Fear Less and Love More.

Dear God: I praise your presence in my life and in my loved one’s lives. Help me to Let Go so that others can dream. Help me to let go so that others can learn by their own experiences. Help to me to let go so that God can affect each of our destinies. Help me to let go and allow others to grow through you. Help me to let go by fearing less and loving more. Thank you for giving me comfort and peace because I have trusted in you. Amen.

Let Go (of the control) and Let God (have control)—TRUST!


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