Tag Archives: Christianity

Letting go

SBennettI was going to write a different kind of blog today. You know, a hopeful one with a fluffy, positive ending. (Did I just use the word fluffy??) You catch my drift.

Problem is, I’m not there. I haven’t experienced that kind of ending yet. So basically, it would have been a lie. Good thing I caught myself.

Truth is, I’m still in the middle of no-man’s-land – caught somewhere between all of the stuff I used to do ‘back then’ and whatever might be for me in the future.

The stuff ‘back then’ that I’m referring to? It’s all of the things I just recently let it go of…

The singing at church.
The worship leading.
The lay counseling.
The speaking.
The mentoring.
The book writing.

Done.

I let it all go. I can’t explain why – other than a clear pulling and directing of God to lay everything down for now. Even though it hurts like you-know-what.

I’ve never been here before – in no-man’s land. It’s very strange. I’ve always been a planner and a dreamer; and, with God’s help, have always made things happen. And although there is nothing wrong with this in and of itself, it can also be a trap. For people like me who perpetually plan, do, go for things, and make things come to fruition, they can get sucked into always looking into the future. They can use it as an excuse to not live in the moment.

They often never learn how to just “be.”

So perhaps I’m supposed to let it all go so I can finally learn how to really live. And be more mindful of all of beautiful life around me. (I’m already doing things I would have been too busy to do before.) Or maybe God has stripped everything away so that my faith will be strengthened. Or perhaps He’s doing a bit more character refining. (Yahoo.)

All of these are very good reasons. But to be honest, I’m scared. Because I wonder if there’s another reason why God is allowing this. I wonder…

Is God done with me? Did He never have plans for me in the first place? Have I been fooling myself, thinking I was going to do something far more than I am?

Those thoughts foster all kinds of unlovely feelings, let me tell you. Thankfully, I happen to have the best family on the planet. My cousin called me the other night out of concern at midnight his time and, amongst many other wise and encouraging things, slipped in one little sentence I don’t think I’ll ever forget:

God hasn’t put you out to pasture yet.cowbell

And then he sent me a “no cowbell” sign so I could stick it on my mirror to remind myself. I smiled. And then told him as long as he doesn’t call me a cow we’re cool.

I’m going to hang onto that, along with all of the other wise things he said and Scriptures he gave me. (And maybe start collecting cowbells.) God hasn’t put me out to pasture yet.

Even so, I don’t know what God has next for me or what He might resurrect.

But I do know that I want to trust Him no matter what. It’s easy to trust when things are going our way.

I don’t know when any of that might happen.

But I do know that I want to trust Him no matter what. It’s easy to trust when things are going our way.

I don’t even know if He has anything for me next.

But I do know that I want to trust Him no matter what. It’s easy to trust when things are going our way.

If you’ve been wondering why I’m not up on stage anymore, now you know. If you’re traveling through no-man’s-land like me, I hope this serves to let you know that you’re not alone. (Maybe you can start collecting cowbell’s too.) If you’re the praying type, you can pray for me. Not that God will reveal some “thing” He has for me to do. Not that I’ll necessarily sing again, write, or speak again. But that I’ll trust Him. Even when things aren’t going my way. Because in the end,

I’d rather be the right kind of person, than do the most awesome kind of thing.

Thanks, my friend. And have a wonderful Thanksgiving. :)

 

The truth about relationships

weddingday  (picture by www.theheartshaven.com)

“I find that many couples strongly believe in having the perfect relationship, but we take comfort in having to work towards this.”

That’s a quote from my sweet pea. My precious new daughter-in-law. (Is she not the most beautiful little thing you’ve ever seen?)

Yes, my only son got married last weekend and I couldn’t be prouder – or happier. My eyes have finally dried and mascara is back where it belongs: framing my eyeballs instead of my cheeks.

He married well. So did she. 12138362_10206820884513669_3705183443532501491_o

But it’s not that they’re both cute as buttons, or smart, or witty, or love God with all their hearts that makes me say that. It’s that they get it. They are starting off with a pretty good understanding of what marriage is really all about:

  • That it’s not about receiving. It’s about learning to give.
  • That’s it’s not about making them happy. It’s about making them holy.*
  • That it’s not about having somebody to complete you. It’s about being with someone who complements you.
  • That love is not a feeling. It’s a verb – which means it can be practiced even if the feeling isn’t there.
  • That it’s hard, hard work. And it’s in the sacrifice and selfless giving that we grow; and God is more interested in our character than He is in our perpetual happiness.
  • That, in fact, when we get all of this, we actually are happier. And freer.

I got the pleasure of having lunch with these two very wise newlyweds the other day – talking about things like this while reminiscing over their beautiful wedding. And since then, I’ve been doing more thinking…  10904543_10153684267547760_6280679599691386402_o

Isn’t that what all relationships are about? What if we viewed our other relationships the same way?

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

 

Maybe if I viewed every relationship as an opportunity for growth rather than personal fulfillment,

I wouldn’t resent that person so much for hurting me.
I wouldn’t take everything so personally.
I would be more tolerant of that other person’s flaws that bug the crap out of me.
I would be more apt to step back in any given situation and ask, What is it that I, myself, can learn through this?
I would be more open to feedback and constructive criticism.

And maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t be so quick to abandon those relationships that are so hard.

Because that’s the easy thing to do. The part that takes courage, tenacity and vulnerability is in pushing through when it’s rough. When there’s pain. After all, God forbid that in this day and age with all of the ways we can numb ourselves through eating, television, alcohol, drugs, social media, relationships, or Spider Solitaire, we would actually choose to show up for the hard stuff, feel some feelings and stay there awhile. And grow up.

Yes. I’m proud of these two “kids.” Because they get what most “grown-up’s” don’t: that life is hard, relationships are even harder, but that’s what makes us better people. If we let it.

I think they will.  :)

*(Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas)