There are a lot of things in this world I hang onto with a tight fist. This little baby is one of them. Only she isn't a baby anymore...she is a brilliant 6 year old with a mind of her own (can you tell? Even at age 1 she had made up her own mind that the only way to wear her sunglasses was upside-down.) She, like her little brother, live on the other side of the country. And on my rare visits to them, I never want to let go. Ever. I think I could listen to them talk, play Legos and Barbies and read books and play on the swingset and..and... and... (their lists are endless)...forever.
Other things I hold on tightly to: a few bad habits from my Old Me days. Drinking too much diet pepsi. Choosing chocolate over fruit. Staying up too late on weekends (erm...like right now.) Worrying too much. Jumping to conclusions.Praying for an old relationship to be revived that everyone else considers dead, but I still keep thinking, with God anything is possible for him who believes...
Some things I don't have a problem letting go of. Letting my husband do the laundry when he said I did it wrong: no problem there. Forgetting where I put my keys/notes/iPod/cell phone: easy.
Easy for me to let go of the little things. Its the big stuff that I hold on to too tightly that I really want to let go of. I would love to stop worrying. I would love to kick this diet pepsi thing. I would love to drop a few other things too.
The Bible tells us to cast our cares to God because He cares for us. And I certainly believe that. God is much more capable than I am at taking care of things. So why do I have such a hard time? Do I think He can't handle my burdens? Do I think He won't? Do I think He doesn't care? The Bible says that God is compassionate. He longs to be gracious to me. He cares so much about me that even the hairs on my head are numbered. Certainly He can take care of the things that worry me.
Now here's a curious thing. You want to know something really trippy? When it comes to my prayers, its the things that I have been able to let go of that seem to get answered. The things that I hold onto in my own fist--I'm still holding onto those. Waiting. Let me give some examples.
1. About 10 years ago, I prayed that God would build a library at my end of the city, so that I wouldn't have to drive through the busy traffic all the way uptown to get to the library. I said to God, "You know what would be so cool? If you could do something like that, I'd sure appreciate it." Then I forgot about it. Four years ago, guess where a library was built? Around the corner from me.
2. We have 4 dogs. A tiny yard & a tiny house. Said dogs love to run and play, with no real place to do it. We heard a couple of years ago that a dog park was going to be built in the city, a really big one with places for dogs to intermingle, run,play. I asked God, "Wouldn't it be great to have it nearby? Could you do that for me and my dogs? Make it within driving distance?" Then I let it go, forgot about it. Guess where the dog park is today? Within a five-minute-walk.
3. My biological clock had its alarm going off in my 20's. I wanted a baby SO bad. BAD. People used to ask me "So... when are you having a baby!?!" But, for hubby and I, no baby was going to be coming. I struggled with that for a little while. Then I realized, somehow, that if God wanted me to have a baby, He'd get me a baby...somehow. I didn't know how, but it'd happen if it was supposed to. One of the biggest joys of my life was rocking a baby to sleep. Feeding a baby a bottle. Having a sleeping infant on my chest. Nothing made me happier than that. When I stopped coveting it, I had some peace about it. Stopped thinking about it. Guess what I have now? After 12 years of teaching, I'm now a nanny for a precious infant girl-- who I rock, give her a bottle, and let her sleep in my lap. The joy of being a parent, without the sleepless nights. ;)
What about those things I am hanging onto? That I can't let go of? That I pray about endlessly, always reminding God... you remember that thing I prayed about yesterday/last night/this morning/ an hour ago/last week...you're still working on that, right? You haven't forgotten? You know I want this so bad! You know I need this God! God please. Don't forget. You're working on this problem/person/thing...right? Its those things that I have hung onto over the years that don't seem to get answered. Is God trying to tell me something? And when am I going to learn?
And if there IS something to this... how do I learn to let go of the things I hang onto?