I also struggle with holding on.
It's a struggle that is deeply ingrained in me. I can't seem to release the plans I had for myself. I cling tightly to the things I once thought were important and fight against all that God has laid before me. I miss the days of yesterday when things seemed a bit simpler.
And I long to go back. To change words that were said. My words and the words of others. I overthink mistakes I've made and relive hurtful conversations. And sometimes, with all that, there are more mistakes and more hurtful words. Mistakes that I make, hurtful words I say, and also the actions of others that pierce my heart.
I've been quick to judge sometimes. Quick to jump to my defense and wonder why it is that things are happening. But God's been restoring me lately and has sought to repair those hurts by reminding me constantly of the hurts I've caused others and then helping me to reconcile those things with Him.
And I've had to let go. God has pried my white knuckles from relationships, from the past, and from what I decided the future would look like. He's wiped the slate clean countless times and reminded me that He loves me enough to give me a future that is more lovely than anything I could dream up.
It all sounds so cryptic. And while I long to spill all the details, I know it's my own humanity that longs to spill the details. The truth is that the details don't matter. What matters is that God has taken every ugly thing and used it to make my life more of a reflection of Him.
I want that more than I've really ever wanted anything. I want my life to reflect Him at all times. And by staying in a place of hurt and anger, I don't reflect Him at all. In fact, I hide Him and all that He is doing in my life.
Yes, there is a place and a time to seek counsel. To sit down with other believers and spill my heart for them to see and help to heal. But that place is not one in which I am filled with judgement. That time is not one in which I'm seeking justification for how I feel. Rather that time and place is when I've cried my tears and truly want to move on.
I'm moving on now. With grace. And with help from a God who knows better than I do and is so much stronger than I could ever be. And it's hard. It's harder than anything.
I constantly remind myself to pray. To pray for myself. To pray against any anger or hurt. To pray for the people I feel hurt by. To prayerfully seek forgiveness for any hatred in my heart and for any pain I've caused others. To pray for guidance, for continued strength to move forward, and for a clear path. To pray for knowledge.
There's still a long ways to go. By no means am I where I need to be. But God has been beyond faithful. He has given me peace when all I feel is hurt and anger and a passion that threatens to boil over into something else. He has placed people into my life who have spoken truth and given me the ears to hear the truth when on my own I would plug my ears and ignore anything that was said.
He has reminded me of His forgiveness and what that means. He's given me a heart for prayer in which He calls to mind different people and I pray over them. He's given me a vision for the future and taken away that anxiety that threatens to claim me when I think about how different the future looks for me.
I could say that this all has to do with foster care and embarking on this journey of motherhood. That would be true. I know God is pruning me and breaking me of my habits and filling me up with love so that I'm a little more prepared to be in the position of being a mother. But there's so much more to it.
He's raising up a new person. He's reminding me that the person I once was is no more. And while I've known that for years, I've never truly accepted it to be truth, and so I've found it hard to move past certain issues in my life. Like weight loss. He's telling me that it's no longer okay for me to hide or hold on but that it's time to let go and simply let God.
Of course, letting go and letting God is never simple. It's anything but simple. Because it takes away any resemblance of control we once thought we had.
I don't remember the last time I had true control. Between knee surgery and embarking on an adventure to become foster parents and moving congregations and opening up our lives to become community group leaders, I've been more dependent on God and on others than ever before. And while I still crave control (and have a ways to go until I fully relinquish control), God has shown me how in control He is and has taken care of every single need I have.
There's freedom in that. It's a scary freedom but still it's freedom. Freedom to believe that it's okay to let go. Freedom to forgive. Freedom to be forgiven. Freedom to open myself up to loving others. Freedom to listen to what others have to say. Freedom to bare my heart. Freedom to not judge.
And that freedom is so much better than holding on and never letting go.