Recently, letting go has been a recurring theme for me with all of its terrors and joys!
As a tall lanky kid with naturally curly hair, I always envied my little blonde friend with straight hair. Last summer was very rainy if you remember. Well, after years of using the straightening iron and tugging at frizzy locks, I decided to let go of the aspiration and hassle of obtaining straight hair, enjoy the natural, and let go of the dream to have something that wasn’t truly me. There has been such a freedom to let the curls out and quit fighting it! It was also an outward reminder of an inner relinquishment of some loved ones to God’s care.
I’m learning that self-acceptance involves embracing an unwanted reality about me, going with the flow so to speak, saying this is true about me and not fighting facts. Then I add that I don’t judge myself for it. In the acceptance then letting go, God is now free to change it in His way and in His time. In the lyrics of the Casting Crowns song, JUST BE HELD, “there is freedom in surrender, lay it down and let it go.” I love this concept and am growing in the liberty this process brings.
I struggle with second guessing myself often. After hearing of The Journey Training class called Launch, I was double minded about signing up. Knowing I was living my purpose and in my sweet spot, I asked Noell if the class would really be relevant. She mentioned that it was also designed to help with overcoming fears, I was much closer to being “in.” I specifically prayed about it and two days later our pastor’s sermon was on “The Jesus Who Calls You to Stop Playing It Safe.” He spoke about leaving the boat to walk on the water as Peter did toward Jesus. Loud and clear, that was my answer and I signed up that night!
Shortly thereafter, I was at an event where it became very clear that this third class of The Journey Training would involve lots of challenges, actual physical and mental challenges that were waaaaay out of my comfort zone. Yikes! Now it’s too late! I had committed, paid, and gotten a great roommate. After After hearing that a ropes course and zip line were part of the week-end, the anxiety truly began to rise. Then there was that inner AH HA moment with God, where I felt His smile on me as I recalled that these two events were actually on my bucket list! Not to mention that this was the very month of a significant birthday of mine. Ready to check these two off my list!
As Launch began, I stated that I wanted to grow in courage. Forward to Saturday morning, we did lots of team building games/exercises, each with higher commitment levels. Then it was time to step into the gear. Once strapped into the belts, I turned around to find that I had been assigned a turquoise helmet. Another smile from God as that is my favorite color, and a reminder of his partnership, love, and nearness!
Once onto the elements of the ropes course, I found it both challenging and scary in a positive kind of way. Confidence was already coming, fears being let go, though my nerves produced cold fingers and a very dry mouth. I was so looking forward to coming back to ground on the zip line just to get a refreshing drink of water…. relief, and exhilaration! Then we went outside for the next event, where it was sunny though a little windy. Tall 35, 45 and 55 foot poles with pegs were already being climbed by our brave classmates! The facilitator began explaining that once up the pole, the next challenge was to stand on it, then jump to the suspended bar hanging in space. You could touch the rope attached to your back but if you began to fall or were ready to come down, you let go of the rope! This news scrambled my brain. When in stress I hang on tighter, grasping for security and safety. Now I questioned my resolve to even give it a try. Stalling, watching, and pacing, I contemplated, then stepped forward focused, committed, and started up the pole! My plan was to not stop, forge forward and see what happened. I heard friends cheering me on, like vitamins to my soul! To my amazement I found myself standing on the pole, my feet felt riveted to it. Then I hear those amazing words again, “turn toward me and let go of the rope! Count to three and then jump,” said the guy on the ground. Somehow I did (foregoing the bar) and was safely in a free fall suspended by the very rope I had let go of.
The lessons of that experience were rich in significance. Since then I have noticed a growing trust and confidence. The lessons of that day seem to remind me that when I let go, I am safer than clutching in fear. I hear the truth within that says if you can climb the pole, you can __________________! (fill in the blank)
What is your rope to let go of? The struggle is REAL to be confident in our position of trust in Christ. Let’s encourage each other on this path away from the zone of comfort!