But forget all that - it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun!
Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. -Isaiah 43:18-19 (NLT)
In the middle of 2015 I found myself smack dab in a season where my health had really begun to derail and at a quick pace. I had debilitating symptoms that worsened with each passing month. After about a year of going from doctor, to referral, to a new doctor, to another referral, etc. I found myself sitting in a psychologist’s office.
An entry I wrote in my journal December 7, 2016 reads:
“One of my doctors recently encouraged me to stop fighting for the old me & start learning & living the new me. She told me to grieve her & then love me."
Her words reminded me of the passage in John where Jesus is telling His disciples "You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.” As we near a new year, the idea of releasing something I can no longer have is disheartening and yet somewhat freeing.
At some point or another and more than once, we all approach seasons where we must let go of an older version of ourselves. Sometimes this world can make that very task seem chaotic and unpleasant.
In this season of Advent I'm reminded of the promises of my Creator. Everything inside me that is fighting this world becomes refocused and the Holy Spirit envelops me.
Philippians 4:12 & 13. Not a traditional Advent verse, but one of my life verses that is just as fitting ends like so... "Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am."
No matter how much you shed, you can never lose your identity if you are rooted in Him. Knowing my King walked before me and now beside me while eternity is ahead of me with my mission ongoing is an enormous gift I can't even begin to process or comprehend.
In order for me to begin the process of grieving what I had lost, I had to be willing to release what I was clinging to: myself.
I’m not sure exactly when it had happened, but at some point in my life, pride and self-righteousness had taken my ego hostage and was running rampant with it. You see, for years I had been feeding my ego the distorted truth that I couldn’t afford to relinquish control. I was the person that loved helping others and was involved in everything. I prided myself on multitasking like a boss babe and never needing anything from anyone. I couldn’t release control, because if I did, EVERYTHING would surely fall apart -insert eye roll. And then all of a sudden there I was, bedridden and needing help just to walk to the bathroom.
Not only were my physical health symptoms debilitating, but so was the pressure I put on myself to meet other people's needs, reach my goals, and achieve my dreams. I had been trying to prove to myself that I didn’t need others; that I didn’t need Jesus. I had lost sight of God and the truth that I desperately needed HIM. That I desperately needed to be SAVED.
A year and a half later I was eventually diagnosed with Late Stage Chronic Lyme disease. I still undergo daily treatment, but I no longer cringe or hesitate to reach out and ask others for help. God has graciously walked me through a priceless lesson in humility and I’m incredibly thankful. I could have missed out on the miracles that happen every single day in the form of God’s provisions!
If our hearts are clenched so tightly around our personal agendas we’re going to miss Jesus in our midst. And maybe letting go wouldn’t be so difficult and painful if we did it with a posture of surrender to Jesus. Let’s unclench from whatever it is we’re holding on to and declare “not my will, but Yours, be done.”
Here’s to being women that joyfully live with hearts surrendered to Jesus, knowing that our King walked before us and now beside us while eternity is ahead of us.
1. What is something God is asking you to release to Him?
2. What new thing has God done in your life? What pathway or river did He create for you?
Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of salvation. Thank You for the grace You show us when we’re too stubborn to live according to Your truth. Lord, grant us the discernment to learn when we need to repent and refocus our lives back to You. Please help us let go of anything and everything that is not of You. Not my will, but Yours be done. In Your mighty name I pray, Amen.
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