Happy weekend to all! I just want to thank those of you that have encouraged me in my writing. It helps me to continue and I am glad God has used my difficulties to help and encourage others. Some of the stories you have shared with me have amazed me. I told someone the other day if someone would have told me two years ago I would be writing for the paper I would have told them they were crazy. I am the girl who didn't even like English class. God has used a huge disappointment in my life to show me a gift in me I didn't know I had. Yea God! I hang on to His great love for me as he unfolds my new life. It wears me out at times but I live for Him and to help others get freedom.
Around The Corner of Letting Go
Kerrville Daily Times Article
September 16th, 2011
I have never met a person that has not encountered something disappointing. Sometimes se disappoint ourselves with mistakes we make but other times we do not have any control of disappointments that come our way. There are many disappointments in life; a loved one gets sick, our child rebels and turns against what we taught them, a spouse develops mental illness, someone tells a lie about us or dishonors us. There are also disappointments that seem minor but can really affect us if we don’t deal with them. For example, did you ever have someone, maybe a parent, promise you something that you were really looking forward to and then they forgot? The good news is that we have the choice of how we handle life’s disappointments and the choice to release them.
Often times we blame others or God when disappointments challenge us or wrestle with analyzing our disappointment. Freedom comes when we accept the disappointment and release it to God. Accepting is where I find peace but often times it is a long road to get to this place.
Letting go is a process and is frequently not simply a one time event. The process can often times take much longer than many of us would like, especially since we live in a microwave society. Process is a series of steps getting us from one place to a better place. I have found in my own life that saying “yes” to the process is key to walking through the valley of letting go. It is in that place of submitting to the process we find God in our situation. Sometimes he is a little harder for me to find than other times, but I’ve discovered that in embracing the process, I find Him at work in my life. Often times for me, saying “yes” to the process is a sheer act of obedience. I don’t have to like it...just do it. It is just part of my personal training.
What I have found in my own life is that process develops me. It is God’s tool to mold me and shape me into the woman of God he sees in me. This is the place where I cry out in my own disappointments, “God, help me to see this from your perspective. Change my thinking about the situation.”
Process also develops faith if we let it. Of course discouragement will try to get us off the right road, but let me encourage you to keep asking God for his perspective until you get to the other side of freedom from your disappointment. Keep taking the next step. Never, never quit. Far too many people quit the process and become bitter, hurt, and hopeless. Freedom is just around the corner.
It is important in the letting go process to hang on to hope. Ephesians 3:20 states, “Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above what we could ask or imagine, according to his power that works in us.” God has a better plan on the other side of releasing our disappointment. He has something beautiful instead.
For me, I have found when I verbally say, “God, I choose as an act of my will to let go and surrender to you and your plan” the acceptance is easier. There is something powerful about aligning ourself with God instead of living in our feelings.Too many times I have resisted saying “yes” to the process and embracing the pain. Releasing sorrow involves dying to self, dying to the right to be right, dying to what I really want. Ironically this is the place we find freedom and healing. Paul, in Philippians 1:21 said it well. “For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.” This was just one of the famous warrior’s battle cries. He is not talking about physical death, but surrender to God, trusting him in all things and dying to what he wanted.
A number of years ago, my late husband and I were involved in a business transaction. We had invested a lot of our time and money in this business endeavor. When we sold this business we carried the note. The note was to be used for our children’s college education. After a year or so the new owners encountered difficulty and things didn’t turn out the way we had envisioned and it was very disappointing. God continually kept challenging me to keep my heart right. Daily he had me choosing to forgive, loving anyway, trusting him to provide the money we lost and letting go of this disappointment that had cost us dearly. We kept praying for God to reveal truth. When the truth was revealed it wasn’t pretty but because we had continued to keep our hearts right, God used my husband and I to minister grace and mercy to the couple in their time of need. Not only did Joe and I grow in unconditional love, but God used us to keep a family together. God also provided amazing scholarships for two of our three children and restored what was lost!
Forgiveness is a big part of letting of of disappointments. Choosing to forgive those that have caused us pain or let us down is vital. It is one of the big steps in the process. Forgiving is one of the major steps in our journey of letting go. Again, you don’t have to like it- just chose to or even ask God to help you forgive those that have disappointed you. Let me encourage you to keep working the process. It is work, so be patient with yourself. My constant prayer for myself is, “God keep me moving in the process and don’t let me get stuck.” He is faithful. Choose to forgive those that have caused the disappointment and ask God to heal your heart where it has been damaged.
My gift to you in closing, is a scripture that I love and have held on to in my own personal disappointments. Jeremiah 31:17 say, “So there is hope for your future,” declares the Lord. What disappointment do you need to let go of? Begin the process today and I will see you around the corner!
Kathleen Maxwell is a native of the Hill Country, educator, writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping others discover the joy of walking with God and their value. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and on her blog www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com