Live, Love, Laugh, Leave Me Alone. Learning To Surrender Control And Truly Enjoy Life
*This is my second post on this subject. If you missed last weeks, I encourage you to go back and read it.
LET THINGS GO AND LAUGH
I’m very bad at letting things go.
I didn’t think that I was, but the more I prayed about it, the more I realized I was an A-lister in that club.
I hold on to everything.
I hold on to good memories like they’re a precious commodity.
Sometimes that’s a good thing, because sweet memories can bring a smile, or much needed laughter. When I am having a personal pity party over harsh circumstances happening in my life, clinging to good memories isn’t always the best thing to do. In that fight or flight scenario, I’m always the flight. I want to check out. I want to go back to those happy memories and camp out there. Times like this I can relate to David so much when he penned the words:
“And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! For then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, And remain in the wilderness. Selah. I would hasten my escape From the windy storm and tempest.”
Instead of giving God control over whatever situation I find myself in, I feel sorry for myself and wish for “the good old days”. I forget God’s words to me~
“…but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
I hold on to grief.
This has been a hard one for me. I can’t seem to grasp the reality of it. It’s almost as if my mind tricks itself and forgets that reality. Over a year later and still, I have fleeting, random thoughts about inviting my dad over for dinner, or sitting on his porch to watch the sun set together. Of course, I immediately remember he is gone. And then I weep. Too often I hold on to that brokenness and sit in that grief instead of letting it go and glorying in the fact that no sunset here on earth can replace the beauty my dad is beholding even now.
I hold on to bad habits.
Oh not my own, just everyone else’s haha. (Which actually is a really, really bad habit) My husband’s for instance. You know, the small, insignificant things that happen on a daily basis. The ones that build up tensions in marriage after 37 years. Dirty clothes that don’t quite make it into the basket. A kitchen that’s left a mess. Dirt tracked through the house. Toothpaste all over the sink and mirror. You know, seriously stupid little things that shouldn’t bother me. But I let them. I allow them to irritate me instead of focusing on all the good and rejoicing in the day that God has given me, because my tomorrow with the love of my life is not promised. (Refer to last week’s post)
“This is the day which the LORD hath made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Which leads to my next point.
I hold on to bitterness.
I try to control it, but it eats away at me. It pops into my head in the middle of the night, or first thing in the morning.
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…”
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
I get out that sword~God’s word, to battle against it, but it is continually there and when I am not careful to bring it to God and ask the Holy Spirit to safeguard my heart, every little thing I am bitter about is magnified~ and the person I am bitter with seems to anger me more and more. Everything they say or do is scrutinized and seen as wrong in my eyes. Relationships can be ruined by one tiny seed of bitterness.
I hold on to fear instead of trust.
This is my topic for next week.
I hold on to lies instead of laughter.
All of these things I’m feeling, all of these things I’m holding on to so tightly are areas I try to control on my own. When I can’t control them, I find myself believing Satan’s lies about each one. I find myself checking out or getting angry, and before I know it I am sitting in a pile of pettiness. Laughter is no where in sight. The joy of the Lord is long gone.
God has used the wise words of two women to help me in each of these areas. The simple words~ “I don’t let it bother me anymore”~ had a profound impact on me. What if I chose to live that way every day, in every area? Could I? Remember our scripture from last week? You know the one God repeated quite often?
WITH GOD NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE. (Mark 9:23, 10:27, Matthew 17:20, 19:26, Luke 1:37, 18:27, Jeremiah 32:17&27, Philippians 4:13)
Yes we can live that way, but only by surrendering that control over to God and allowing Him to do the impossible in our lives.
And the second set of wise words~
”I had to learn what was important and let go of the rest.” We choose to put pile after pile on to our human shoulders and carry our baggage with us everywhere, until we feel like we are sinking in despair. Sometimes we convince ourselves that we can’t possibly let it go. The things we’re holding on to become prison chains around our necks. In our human frailty we cannot break those chains, but our mighty God can. Remember? Our God of the impossible. “…for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds…”
(2 Corinthians 10:4)
The things you have a hard time letting go of might be completely different than mine. Perhaps you can’t let go of the past. Maybe you can’t let go of unmet expectations or unanswered prayers. Maybe it’s a hurt that’s had you deeply wounded. Maybe it’s the broken dreams of what you thought your life was supposed to be by now.
Whatever you cannot let go of~
God wants us to give ALL of it to Him. He is the only One Who can handle it.
The things we DO need to hold on to that are important?
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
The peace that passes all understanding. (Philippians 4:6)
The joy of the Lord. (Nehemiah 8:10)
Praise God He understands that we are human. We are weak. Praise God that he shows us He understands this by giving us one example after another in scripture of others who are just like us. Praise God that He gives us promises of Heaven and eternal life through His Son. Praise God that He doesn’t hold our continual bad habits over us, but has mercy and grace when we seem to fall back into those habits on a daily basis. Praise God for the Holy Sprit who can go to battle for us against bitterness and ALWAYS overcome. Praise God for the fruits of His Spirit that He freely gives to us, no matter how often we ask.
Praise God for laughter.
What are you holding onto my friend?
Let it be the sweet laughter of total surrender.
Praise God for laughter.