2014 was a year of letting go. At the beginning of the year, I set my focus on Letting Go. At the time I did not really understand what I would be doing, but Letting Go was what I felt God wanted me to focus on, however that might look.
I began the year looking at my past and working through letting go of the lies and misconceptions that had shaped my life. God revealed deep seeded feelings that shaped who I had become but that were grounded in untruths.
For example, I thought that my parents didn't care as much about me as they did my older siblings because as I child I was taken to every performance they had - band, sports, church, whatever we were there. Other than graduation, I really don't recall my parents coming to any of my events. In my mind, it was unimportant to them. My childhood self could not see what my adult self knows, my father couldn't be there. My mother was working nights. Could she have rearranged her schedule? Yes, but reality was she was working. It had little to do with me and more to do with the decisions that each of my parents made.
There were many feelings that God revealed to me, their root, and then helped me to process. He knew I needed this, because I have always said that feelings were irrelevant. Although I still believe that, I also realize that they can shape how we respond to situations, even when we choose not to acknowledge them. Just because I chose not to acknowledge feelings of shame, did not mean shame did not exist in my life and did not mean that shame based feelings had not shaped my life.
Around Feb. or early March God woke me up from a dream that I still remember (which is unusual for me). In the dream I was arguing with my Pastor. He was telling me I needed to quit my job, I was telling him all the reasons that I couldn't. It didn't dawn on me that God was preparing me or even just speaking to me about His will, but all my excuses went out the window when I was fired in May. What transpired over the next two months was nothing short of God's miraculous hand. While I had to let go of everything that I thought defined me, I found a peace in God that I had not known before. God took care of all the details, and I rested in Him.
Letting go, and truly surrendering to God has been the biggest leap of faith and the biggest blessing in my thirty years as a Christian. The idea of not working full time, had never crossed my mind. I have loved every job that I have had since I began working at age fourteen. I have defined myself by hard work, integrity, being content while I was working, and good customer service. Not working, I had to let go of those definitions and God had me start to look at who I really am.
Letting go of "my ability" to provide is also something that never crossed my mind. From an early age, I made a promise to myself that I would never have to depend on anyone. I knew the only ones I could count on was God and myself. Even after I was married, I wouldn't bring myself to depend on my husband. Being fired, meant that while I was fighting for unemployment and searching for a job that I had to depend on him. Even now, God has not lifted that dependence. For most this seems like no big deal, but to me it is a massive step in letting go. God let me see that I could depend on other people.
Then God placed me in the situation that I dreaded most. A group of ladies, whom I didn't know where we needed to share our past and our feelings. I don't really have a problem talking about my past. Although a lot of it I am selective in who I share with, I have shared most every aspect of my life with someone at sometime over the last fifteen years. However, I did not have to share my emotions and feelings. For the most part it was I share and I leave. Although I might see those people again, we are not necessarily going to discuss what was previously shared. Or I shared in close relationships where I had time to build trust before sharing the deepest parts of what I have been through.
Honestly, I would have rather let go of the group, than let go of the control I had in sharing and telling my story. Having agreed to focus on Letting Go, I knew that this was something that God wanted me to be part of. I am so grateful that I did not let the enemy talk me in to letting go of the group. I feel so much lighter having shared. I learned so much from the other six women that were in my group. I received so much prayer and encouragement, I guess that over the years I forgot what it was like to have women friends that just pour in to you. Letting go, was just what I needed to do.
So, although I am 29 days late, I wanted to wrap up 2014 by writing about Letting Go. Sometimes change is hard, but in order to receive new things we must open up our grasp on the things that hold us back. We must let go to receive the new. I am so grateful for the new opportunities, the new doors, and the new realities that I have found this year in the process of letting go.