You must learn to let go to move forward.
“Keep moving forward” my brother, Mike, used to say when we were settling the estate of our dear mother after her death. The attachment and meaning of each object and task made moving in any direction difficult, confusing at times, and so very final. Then we decided to take them one at a time. Then we decided to learn to let go . . .
The unmade necklaces which would have surely been my best work needed to be disassembled today before they were ever completed. If I had stopped to make jewelry this afternoon then I would have never made my deadline for shipping Trinity Jewelry by Design to its new owner. I actually tried putting the beads back on the cotton fibers before realizing that I needed to stop and it would be o.k. to let these unmade designs go . . .
The 9-foot mural on the wall of my condo in Naperville, Illinois took a year to complete. I began with sunny colors of yellow tracing paper, pastel hues of unyru papers from India, custom-stenciled golden palm leaves, a few rhinestone swirls, lettering from a local sign shop, and a very important message about the bunny trails of life being such a very important part of the journey. “But what about the mural?” my friends would ask when moving to be with my intended beloved would take me 200 miles to the East of my happy place. Yes, finding true love required leaving the art of restoration behind: a different song of letting go . . .
When the pain of running my life on emptiness, stress, unanswered questions of “why?” and never having enough to make a difference anyways I finally crashed into the arms of my Jesus. At the time I was 29 years old, single, working full time, and forever trying to finish my Master’s degree. Then a laundrymat attendant laid out the plan of salvation and invited me to come to the table of the Lord for refreshment, forgiveness, renewal, eternal life with Him. Later that night with tears the wasted meaningless living-for-me finally did let go once and for all . . .
The hurt of wretched divorce grieves my Lord and me, sometimes even now when I have known such goodness in my new life with Steve. It took me years of harboring what it would take to even the score if given the chance: holding onto the files that would prove the ways in which I was wronged. Then I realized that the one carrying the baggage too far was me not him. I was already forgiven years ago for my part in things. In due time and with lightness of heart I finally learned to let go of that other person too . . .
Who could ever imagine the hellish suffering of these past three years with my head banging to and fro day after day? Literally, I mean, with a yet undiagnosed illness that has had too many pieces to keep track anymore. Cries out for healing one thousand times have made little difference on the surface; it’s so easy to become discouraged, to give up in motionless brokenness of the worst kind. “Who knows if the trials will ever end?” I often wonder when up late at night. We cannot know much about tomorrow so we must move along in faith today. For through faith, through Divine intervention, I have had enough grace once again to get me through yet another episode, another day. And the smallest of sweetness has come that would have been missed had it come any other way. So to the throne of grace with great expectation I do most definitely let my achy breaky heart go . . .
For who really knows when the Lover of my soul shall return in glory or to take me home? When He comes for me I’m sure I will recognize His name, His face, His comfort from all the days I’ve seen each of these before. I cannot afford to be discouraged or waste much time groaning the pangs of sorrow in this life when preparation is what is now due. It is time for letting God direct my every word, my every task: my thoughts held captive as an offering in love nothing else.
Oh how I do pray He comes soon to take me home to His mansion with many rooms and warm embrace! Yet in the meantime, Gentle Reader, my Jesus directs me to keep my eyes on Him from here and the one step of the path (that’s all) in front of me as I go. Yes, I must learn to let go of more than I ever dreamed I would need to and let it all slip through my hands to be free. My happiness depends upon this for the lightness in my spirit that will carry me to the wondrous places in life you or I may ever go. I trust that down the road a bit it will be truly beautiful and worth lightening the load a bit don’t you think? JJ
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.