When God Says Let Go

If the title above makes you uncomfortable- maybe a little twitchy, like you need to stretch a bit- you’re who I’m writing this for. Five years ago I handed in my resignation and walked away from a beloved teaching career. After giving birth to my first son who happened to have an extreme dairy sensitivity, it made sense to take some time away and be at home with my boy. I looked forward to being a stay at home mom, but I could never have foreseen the loss I would feel. At the time, I quietly fought the decision like a wild animal caught in a net- writhing within myself, battling it out in my head with self judgment and shame as my weapons of choice. I was blessed to be given the option to stay home with my child- so why was the decision so difficult? I loved my son immeasurably more than a career- so what was the real issue?

God and I had many conversations about giving up my career, and most left me anxious, and wondering why He would ever ask me to give up my career dreams. Motherhood fulfilled me in ways I could never describe, and yet I still felt as though “Teacher” was who I was. Did you catch that? It wasn’t just what I did. It was how I identified myself. It was my identity. 

What I did was not who I was. Whether I was teaching a child to read or scraping sweet potatoes off  our kitchen blinds, my worth remained the same. It took me a very long time to accept this. A. Very. Long. Time. And through it all- every angry prayer I shouted silently, every demand I made knowing that He owed me no response- He patiently waited. He waited until I took off the professional title I defiantly held in a white knuckled grip and wore the one I was meant to wrap myself in: Beloved Daughter of God. Chosen. Cherished.

Have you ever held on when He asked you to let go? Does letting go of a dream feel like letting go of yourself? Let me tell you a secret- He’s actually asking you to find who He’s created you to be.

It can feel like all of the effort you’ve spent achieving a goal, a dream, a relationship, is down the drain- but it isn’t. God uses everything- every-thing- to bring you to where you need to be. My time spent at home with my children is worth more than any credential or title.

It wasn’t a detour- it was placing me on a new and better path. I know that now. Every giggle, every snuggle- and yes, every chicken nugget picked up off the floor, is worthy of my time and my submission to His calling on my life- to stay home, stay near to Him, and reach out to others who may be resisting His call to let go and follow Him.

If He’s asking you to let go- do it. Find your purpose. He’s waiting.

When You Feel Like Your Details Don’t Matter

There’s a bulldozer in my china cabinet. It sits amongst the beloved porcelain cats that my mother bought me seven Christmases ago- dotted with dirt, faded yellow, with a broken front loading bucket. A few days ago my oldest son tearfully held it up to me, brokenhearted that it had lost the ability to load dirt and rocks, thanks to a snapped plastic hinge. I promised to glue the hinge, and explained that it would no longer be able to swing up and down as it had in its front loading days, but that it was still useful. My tenderhearted boy was inconsolable- it was his favorite construction vehicle, and he had spent many hours pushing it through dirt, grass, and carpet (unfortunately for me, in that exact order).

bulldozerinchina-1-of-1

When his tears wouldn’t subside with my suggestions that he still use it, or place it high on a shelf in his playroom, I offered an option that I was sure would catch him off guard. I offered his faded, dirty toy a place inside my china cabinet- where only my most cherished items reside. He instantly agreed that it was just the place for it, while I reminded him that I too, had fond memories with his precious truck. I recalled his first trip to Disneyland, and how that bulldozer was the only thing that kept him quiet as we stood in endless lines, and how it made the other passengers on our shuttle bus to the park laugh a bit when he honked its loud horn.

After I placed the toy in the cabinet with some other material things I hold dear, a thought occurred to me. The irony of this dirt covered toy sitting amidst gleaming white china made me chuckle. And then I thought about how that truck matters to me, because it matters to my boy. I’m willing to place it amongst my most treasured possessions, simply because my little guy loves it, and I love him.

I have to think that this is no different than our own loves in this life, and God’s response to them. They matter to Him, because we matter to Him. It’s not material possessions I’m speaking of- but those things we are so fearful to give to Him- just in case He doesn’t see how much they mean to us. Our jobs. Our health. Our kids (preaching to myself, on this one). Our spouses. Our happiness.

The truth is, not only does He know their importance- but they’re important to Him too. The next time you’re tempted to imagine that Jesus is unaware of your heart’s desires, or the little or big things that you love the most- think of a dirty toy that sits with fine china. Your details matter to Him. You matter to Him.

Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4