Sunday, September 15, 2013

Letting Go...

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
 Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:3-4

This morning in church, as we studied the first chapter of James, we discussed about how various trials change through the years. 

What we considered "trials" as teenagers aren't so bad once you become middle aged. 

And as we talked, I couldn't help but think back to when I encountered a trial and learned to let go...

Back in 2001, we were in a financial mess of our own creation. I knew that we would probably need to sell our house to pay off debt, but the very thought of it made me sick. I loved our house! 

So, one morning during my prayer time, I brought all my cares and concerns to the Lord. I knew that He knew my heart and my desires. 

  • I had always longed to return to college and complete my degree in Art. 
  • I had always longed to have more children.
  • I had always longed to see my art career grow.
  • I had always longed to see my book published. 

But I realized that with all our debt college was out of the question. With my physical problems, more children was not an option. Without a degree, how could my art career take off? And with working part time while raising our son, I had no time to complete my book.

I knew I was holding on too tightly to these dreams. It was then and there I realized I had to let it all go.

That morning, I bowed my head and laid it all on His altar. 

I had my hands tightly grasped around each one. I could feel the Lord pointing to my fist, saying, "What you have in your hand...that is what I want from you."

I pointed to all the other things around me and asked God to take those instead...but deep down inside, I felt He wanted what I had in my hand.

I prayed and told the Lord that even if I never return to college...even if we never have anymore children...even if I never get to see my son grow to be a man...even if I never see my art career take off...even if I never see my book published...

That's okay.

"I have You, Lord," I cried. "I have all Your promises. I have eternal life. And that's enough for me."

With tears falling down my cheeks, I prayed knowing the God to whom I prayed. 

I know He gives and He takes away. And I know I would have to bless Him no matter what. 

I let go.

...and found the peace I was lacking. 

In 2002, I was able to return to college and in 2005 I graduated with a degree in Art. I also was able to return to school and complete my Master's degree in 2007.

No school loans. No debt was acquired.

 The Lord provided it all for us.

Although the Lord said, "No" to more children, I learned that He gave us the gift of our son and that is enough for us. 

My art career never "took off", but I know my artwork hangs in many homes across the United States and that's enough satisfaction for me. 

And, finally, in 2011 I held the copy of my book, "The Dragon Forest" in my hands. 

I let go and placed all my deepest desires on the altar of the Lord. I trusted Him with my whole heart. 

I turned my eyes from the things of this earth and looked upon His face. 

I found peace. 

So...are you ready to let it all go?

Can you look at what you hold in your tightly clenched fist and release it to the Lord?

Can you honestly say to the Lord:

"If _______________________ never happens, Lord, that's okay. I have You and that's enough for me."

Fill in the blank with what you desire most:

publishing success

What you hold in your hand is what the Lord wants most from you. 

Be willing to let it go. 

You won't regret it. 

Your turn:  what is it that you desire most? How hard would it be if it never happens for you?



  1. Such a profound post, Ruth. I appreciate your honesty, the so-personal glimpse into your life, into your faith-walk. And I'm pondering how I would fill in the blank of that sentence ... I think I know ...

    1. Thanks Beth! It's not easy to go back and revisit those days...but then I remember God's faithfulness.

      It's hard to lay things on the altar!

      Thanks for visiting!