Tag Archives: God

Letting Go

letting go

{Via}

I don’t consider myself a control freak. I’m not a particularly good planner.  But I do have pretty distinct ideas about how I want my life to be.  I hold onto the notion that I am in control of creating that vision for my life.  I work hard, I do all the things I’m supposed to, I hold tight to my dream of my future, and I make it happen.

Except I don’t.  Because just as I think I have it all under control, that my life is going in exactly the direction it’s supposed to, that I’ve decided it will; life has this not-so-funny way of smacking me in the face and yelling at deafening volumes – “YOU ARE NOT IN CONTROL!”

Ouch.  It stings to come to this shocking, yet all too obvious, realization.  And depending on the circumstances it is so physically, mentally, and emotionally painful.

So then what?  Then comes the hard part of letting go.  I’m humbled and heartbroken as I have to let go.  Let go of the control.  Let go of the hope and dream that my mind had selfishly wound into it’s own cocoon – embedded so tightly to provide my false sense of security.

Letting go is truly an act of grace.  Peeling back each layer, I discover unpleasant parts of myself that I strive to keep so well hidden – anger, blame, frustration, sadness.  For me, it is only through the grace of God that I can move forward, unwinding and letting go one layer at a time until I finally reach that fragile center – just my true self, needy and reliant on something far grander than my own limited powers.

But what do I gain from this difficult act of letting go?  Trust.  Trust in someone, something greater than myself.  Trust that my life is going exactly where it’s meant to, even if it’s not exactly what I imagined.  Also freedom.  Freedom from the burden of having to control my life, from being personally responsible for every tiny twist and turn and decision.  And oh what a heavy and overwhelming burden that is; what an utterly exhausting responsibility!

So is letting go easy?  No.  Is it fun?  Probably not.  But is it necessary?  Yes.  Is it possible to let go gracefully and somehow emerge stronger on the other side? Most certainly.

When the going gets tough, when I lose all control; for me it all boils down to this – it’s a God thing.  What’s meant to be will be, what’s meant for me will come.  But it’s not up to me to decide what or when or how or why.  So I hold fast to faith, I surround myself with love, and I simply let go.

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Thoughts on Grace

This past weekend the world celebrated the annual spring awakening that the Easter holiday brings.  For many it was a joyous time to gather with friends and family, an excuse to indulge our sweet tooths, and a reason to break out our floral and pastel clothing.

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{Via}

As with many things in life, in the hustle and bustle of it all, it’s easy to forget the real reason we do what we do.  For me, and fellow Christians, Easter means so much more than a day of colorful eggs and fluffy candy Peeps.  It is a rebirth, a renewal, and a reassurance that  all will be well through God.

Yet, I’m not here to profess the reasons why my beliefs and religion might be right for you – if you’re a Christian you already know, and if you’re not then there are plenty of other resources out there that delve into the faith.  I would, however, like to discuss a Christian-based concept that is near to my heart: grace.

You may notice that my blog name includes “graceful.”  This is not because I breeze through life with “simple elegance or refinement of movement” (as one definition of grace notes).  I am admittedly completely clumsy.  No, my passion for grace stems from the religious definition that Merriam-Webster states as, “unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification” (which really just sounds like a bunch of big words to me).  So what then does that definition and the concept of grace actually mean?

To me it’s much simpler than the standard definition would imply.

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The long and short of grace, in my unprofessional opinion, is this:  The idea that we are all utterly flawed – from the murderer to the saint, we’re all human – and we screw up and “sin” time and time again throughout our earthly lives.  No matter how hard we may try to be “good,” we’re at some point (or many) going to fall short and be completely undeserving of love – whether it be others’ or most especially God’s.  Yet, despite all our grit and grime and gory humaness, God loves us greater than we can ever comprehend.  And there is nothing that we can do to earn or rebuke this love – it is wholly unconditional.

That idea of grace give me boundless hope.

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{Via}

But I don’t think grace should be confined to the religious realm.  Though we’re human and naturally incapable of this level of Godly unconditional love and forgiveness, I think it is something that all people regardless of religious belief can (dare I say should) strive for.  Of course we’re going to fail, but that’s the point.

Imagine for a moment forgiving someone when you know they were wrong.  Imagine loving someone in spite of how horribly they may have treated you.  I’m not talking about letting someone walk all over you, rather just releasing that pain and anger from your heart and filling it instead with love and joy to pour out into the world.  For I believe there are no good or bad people in the world, but that all of us are some proportion of those characteristics – all equally in need of grace.

Of course don’t forget the person most in need of your grace – yourself.  Let go of the self-doubt and worry over your errors.  Learn from the mistakes of your past, accept that you will likely mess up again in the not-too-distant future, and choose to love and forgive yourself now.

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{Via}

It’s a constant journey understanding, much less actually practicing, the concept of grace.  But that’s the kind of wandering I hope to do throughout my life – wandering filled with the love, joy and forgiveness that only grace can give.