Sunday, July 31, 2011

Letting Go is Hard to Do

This week has been pretty awesome! My sister, Melissa came to visit us...we haven't seen her in a year! She is in the Coast Guard and will be stationed in South Carolina for the next year. It's not next door, but it beats Bahrain! She is my go-to person when I need to complain about something or get something off of my chest, so this last year has been hard. My parents and nieces were also here for a visit and my husband told my nieces they could spend the night on Saturday night. Really, dear? I can barely get 3 kids ready on Sunday morning, much less 5 of them!! We have to leave our house at 8:30am to get there on time. Whatever, we gave in. Thankfully they all go to sleep easily because they are worn out from the day.
Somehow, we all manage to get ready and make it to church on time. I'm thinking it had something to do with the fact that I made them all shower at night (much to their protests). We filled up and entire pew! The kids each had $1 to put in the offering plate and were holding on to them. The time came to give the offering and each one put the dollar in the plate...except for my 5 year old, Ava. Her brother even tried to wrestle it from her to no avail. She was holding on to it with all of her might. When I asked her why she didn't give the dollar she really couldn't tell me, other than "I didn't want to". Okay. She promised me that she would give it to Sunday school and we went on with the service.
This afternoon I started thinking about why we want to hold onto things. Have you ever seen the show on TLC called Hoarders? This show is sometimes hard for me to watch. It boggles my mind that people will cry over throwing away rotten food or trash. If you ever want to feel better about the state of your house, this show is for you. But, it's not just physical stuff that we hold on to. We hold on to "stuff" in our minds and hearts that we need to be rid of to truly be free. This stuff can fester inside of us and cause us to be separated from God. Trust me, I've been there. We hang on to habits, attitudes and feelings that are detrimental to our spiritual growth because they are comfortable...because we have always done it this way...because it makes us feel good in the short term. Sometimes, like Ava, we can't even tell you why.
Just one example from my life is the way I eat and exercise. If you don't think God cares about our physical wellness, there are plenty of verses to back this up. Anything can become an addiction, even eating. For many years I have eaten pretty much what I wanted and how much I wanted. The only exercise I got was doing daily activities. This became habit. It was comfortable for me. Then one day, I sort of "woke up" and realized that God had a bigger plan for me. By leading a more disciplined life, I can impact myself and others in so many positive ways. Do I ever fail? Absolutely! I've skipped exercise to sleep and I've eaten cake, cookies, french fries, chips, ice cream (okay, you get the point). I've actually cried just like those people on Hoarders for having to give up something that I didn't need. Why did I do this? Because that's my comfort zone, it's who I am....STOP...who I WAS. Then I remember I turned that dollar over to Him back in March and I do not want it back. I don't have to do that stuff any's not me. I'm who HE says I am....the daughter of the most high God. I want to live my life like I know this to be 100% true. I want to be a light that stays on all of the time, not just a light that flickers and comes on sporadically. We can give up all of our "stuff". We don't have to haul around all of that baggage. We can give it up and not take it back...ever. He already knows everything about us. He knows our words even before we speak. We are fearfully and wonderfully made by Him, why would we want to walk around holding on to things that are junk? Listen to what the Bible says to do..."Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall." Psalm 55:22
I hear people say "Let go and let God" all of the time. Are you ready for Him to carry it instead of you?

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