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An Honest Account of Love, Grief and Walking With God
Finding God's Goodness in Life's Disappointments

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Letting Go of Your Dreams

Happy 7th Anniversary to my kids Austin and Laura!

Below is the Kerrville Daily Times article for last week.

 Letting Go of Your Dreams
Kathleen Maxwell
August 19th, 2011
     I vividly remember the day in February 2009 I went for a brisk walk while my husband was having chemotherapy at MD Anderson in Houston, Tx. He had a rare cancer that only 2 in a million people get and his chemo treatments lasted 10 hours. 
     I had to get out of the hospital and get some fresh air and verbally process what I was feeling. I called a good friend who has mentored me for years. 
     “I feel like all my dreams are being threatened and I don’t think my heart can take it,” I said as tears streamed down my face. I had already had 6 years of watching my mother suffer and was weary. I  did not want to sign up for this class I had been assigned.
“Kathleen, your heart will be tethered if you don’t start letting go of your dreams and Joe now.” she gently replied. Her words are always seasoned with compassion so my heart was open to them.
Somehow I knew the truth was right although those were not the words I really wanted to hear at the moment. I decided right then and there to begin letting go of my dreams for our future, surrender to God and fight with all the faith I had for his life.
     Joe and I had often talked about our lives without our three kids for years; especially on the challenging days. I had clutched our dreams for quite a long time and wrestled with letting go of them. I told God exactly how I felt about it and that I didn’t like it.  He knows what is in our hearts and loves when we are honest with him. Nothing can shock the one who created us and loves us dearly. His love is unconditional.
     I felt him speak to me saying, “Kathleen, if all your dreams die, I will give you new ones.” My heart settled down as I took a deep breath and decided to let go of my dreams.
  “Lord, I choose as an act of my will to let go of my dreams with Joe and commit this to you, “ I  hesitantly prayed. 
   Often times the hard part of letting go is that we want to see what we are trading for. Letting go involves uncertantity. We want the security of making sure that what we are letting of is a better deal for us instead of trusting in God’s goodness.
     The disciples faced the same challenge we do in letting go. Jesus did not give them much travel information. He just said, “follow me.”  He didn’t tell them where they were going or exactly what would happen. He wanted them to have the adventure of walking with Him. The disciples had to let go of life as they had known it, their occupations, their plans for something they had never known...walking with God.
    Job struggled with letting go of his family and possessions and it was not easy for him. He declares his overwhelming feelings in his personal distress and says things like, 
 “And now my life ebbs away; days of suffering grip me.  Night pierces my bones;
   my gnawing pains never rest.  In his great power God becomes like clothing to me, he binds me like the neck of my garment.
 He throws me into the mud,  and I am reduced to dust and ashes.
 “I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer;
   I stand up, but you merely look at me.
” Job 30:16-20 (NIV) 
His pain was raw and real and his feelings made him feel like God was far away, but God was right there with him and had a great plan ahead. Don’t be afraid to express your pain to God...he can handle your anguish of “letting go”. Often times people that have never experienced a significant loss struggle with others “letting go” because they cannot relate. Job’s friends could not relate to his pain.  Sometimes our processing  needs to be God alone.
    In the end, God gave Job much more than he lost. Job 42:10 says, “...the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. Job 42:12 states,  “The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part.” 
     I wish I could tell you I am accomplished  at letting go but I must confess that I am still practicing the art. Doctors practice, lawyers practice so I figure I can practice too as I grow in letting go and walking with him.
      When I  let go, I am learning that God will either catch me or teach me to fly.
     My dreams did die but God is giving me new ones. I have decided to follow him into the unknown for the joy of knowing him more. What about you? Are there dreams you need to release? I don’t know much, but I know he is faithful.

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