Letting Go Gracefully {and sometimes not so gracefully}–revisited

I am cold, hurting, sad and despondent and he says, “get dressed and come outside with me–it’s such a nice, warm day”. Something inside me jumps at the thought of being in the sunshine after so much grey cloudiness and rain in my life. It has been a long time coming–this spring rejuvenating joyousness!

As I throw my clothes on, not caring if my hair hasn’t been washed {i’m going to the sunlight}, girls all dressed and I step outside, this change is hard. Hard because my emotions don’t feel it. But I’ve been here before, and I know that the emotions are not always in sync with what my heart and soul {God’s Spirit speaking?} are saying is vital, purposeful, helpful, and joy-creating. Human emotions don’t so easily give way to the joy-creating and peace-creating moments. My emotions stand hard and stubborn as brick, and they are not easily destroyed and replaced with God’s love, gentleness, patience, and hope.

Hope is a funny thing….it’s like stepping outside to the sun’s blinding when I’ve been hibernating inside my comfort place, my isolation for too long. It all feels raw, open, it hurts and blinds and in the same breath feels like warmth to the soul, the soul slowly waking, and the Son telling me time to get up.

He turns on the radio, and says, “You ARE ready–wow! Let’s go!” And my heart is so easily led because it craves it and needs it. My heart craves, this heart that is only for him. And it is this that God is trying to show me–yes, my heart craves, and it is truly HIM that i crave, that my heart yearns to follow.

In the sunlight, always the blinding light, I am so thankful that He gives spring….and I see it. I see that the leaves, the brown, black and grey, the dead things must come for life to come forth. All of the wretched things, the things I hate the most, the things that seem so evil to me–cloudy days that offer no hope, rain that never gives any light or warmth, no life or beauty to be found, all of the loneliness and disappointment, the anguish, the desperate pleas for help, and the trudging through of the feet–all of these must be so that HOPE can come.

So that LIFE can push really hard, can push hard and long against the surface, so hard until it seems I will give way, and when I think that my weary heart and soul can take no more, there it is! Life to be felt, touched, all warmth and sun and the SON comes in strong, like a team of wild stallions beating back ocean waves, and He calms me with His steady hand, touches me, ME who doesn’t deserve anything, feeling like a silly child for asking, for reaching out, and He gently cradles me like summer sun, blinding the eyes and letting lids drift off asleep.

And then I see, I see the brown leaves, {so happy to be picking up those brown leaves, everyone pitching in, the warm sun our helper}, and I know what they have covered up this whole time–it has been life growing underneath.

In the front yard, where he is raking strong and ferocious, we meander and follow him, walking and looking, taking in beauty, holding hands, snapping our happy day in freeze-frames.

 Then it happens: I hear him say, “No, Bella, you know Mama doesn’t want you to do that”. It is always Mama that doesn’t want the children to run and frollick and make mischief, always Mama that has a hard time with letting go. And in an instant I see that Bella has plucked all my lovely daffodils from the front garden, the only sign of life in this deadness, the only beauty that I loved, and before I think, I say sternly, “NO, Bella!” and now her tiny shoulders droop, her joyous flower-possessing countenance falls, and straightaway, she is a mess, and so am I.

 I go to her, drawn like the pull of heartache, and kneel down beside her. I say, “It is okay, Bella. You can have Mama’s flowers”. And these words are hard for me to say, and they are pulled out like weeds stuck in the hard winter ground. I hurt, I am torn, and my anger dissolving, I know that I must let go. I know that this is good for me and for her. I hug her and keep saying it over and over, and of course, in Bella’s usual style, she has to punish me just a bit. She can’t move past it right away, and oh, she is MY child; she definitely came from my womb, this child that has it hard letting go.
And suddenly I realize that it is not I that is supposed to be teaching her in this moment, but it is she that is teaching me, and she is teaching me well.
 I am a broken Mama, throwing myself against the stubborness of this child, and breaking over and over and over. God knows that this is what this sinful, hard heart of mine needs. WHY is my first reaction– when they are {mischeviously}, blithely having carefree, airy and sun-happy fun–to sternly correct and break littles’ spirits? Couldn’t I, being fully aware of her possessing my prize, just have let my laugh carry on the wind, reaching her with a warm enveloping smile and letting her know that I will always give her what is mine? Couldn’t I just have let go, and not worried about the things that bring beauty, but instead beheld with awe the real moments, the real cherished moments with my daughter? For if these moments are holy, and they are good, and have been good since the creation of the world, then these moments are for inspiring awe in us. And these moments teach us the practice of letting go. This letting go is apart of grace, a reflection of my Father’s love. This is how He meant it to be. He never meant for me to give anything that I don’t have to give. He conceived and birthed the life of His son, nurtured it, and then He sacrificed that beautiful life, the one He loved the most, and then, and this is the most exquisite thing of all–He didn’t stop there–He victoriously conquered the world for me, and He did all of this so that I could freely take from His hand. This is grace–not only mercy and pardon, but a beautiful gift laid at my feet for the taking, laid at the feet of the undeserving. And this is where I take up His beautiful gift and I take it to others who may or may not deserve, and I say “Take the flowers, Bella. Take anything that is mine, take anything I have to give, because I am only giving what has been given to me. All that I have is your’s.” And this is only the beginning of letting go gracefully. Maybe I don’t always do it so gracefully–more like a child with fist clenched tight, really, but this grace part He is so generously and gently teaching. I think, for me, this is a start.

This is my humble entry, a little late and asking for grace, for a scholarship to the She Speaks Conference in North Carolina with Proverbs 31 Ministries. She Speaks is about women connecting the hearts of women to the heart of our Father God and that your heart is to serve Him and His daughters, as He leads. You can go here to enter, deadline is 9 am April 2, and may not be open long.
And to learn more about the She Speaks Conference, or Proverbs 31 Ministries, just click on the button:
She Speaks Conference

#22 green life pushing up under all that deadness
#23 knowing that this is God’s plan for me too
#24 joy in the realization that spring always comes, even in the winter of my heart
#25 bright sun warming my weary soul
#26 children so cute, sunhats on
#27 family helping as a unit and it can always be this way if we learn
#28 Bella’s small hands and his large gloved hand
#29 two curious heads, pawing and digging at the ground in hopes of finding some roly poly or other sort of lone stragler.
#30 Ivy’s cheery face as she picks up leaves and how she smiles as soon as she sees me watching
#31 Even little Bella helping, and how she heaves strong the sticks that are bigger than her
#32 Lorna convincing him to let her ride, so easily made happy 
#33 that God gave me sweet faces to take pictures of
#34 all of this glorious sunshine
#35 Bella’s sweet little hand in mine and the silky-soft feel of it 
#36 her blinded by the sun and cannot open her eyes, even for a picture
#37feeling the strength in my arms as i work, thankful for the arms to do it with
#38 the beauty and smell of freshly raked grass, moss, and acorns

#39 brown leaves, just the brown leaves, all in a heap

#40 that he came and took over for me when i was getting tired and irritable–such comfort in that
#41 Bella picking my flowers and teaching me more love-lessons
#42 beautiful daffodils and chubby fingers
#43 a safe place out of the blinding sun and potting her stolen daffodils just like Mama does it
#44 child-like wonder at tiny round pebbles
#45 knowing that for all of my kicking, pounding on chest, and yelling, that i can only find rest when i just let it all go  and lay in HIS arms