Saturday, February 4, 2012

Letting go - new beginnings

Cycling is not just good exercise for me, it is therapy. I have struggled with depression on and off in my life and I learnt early on that exercise was something small (but crucial) that I could do to help heal myself and so I bought my first bike. I struggled with it a lot and thought that it was just me who was unfit. That was until I discovered that the fact that the bike was too small for me was more significant that I had realized. So I sold my bike and bought another one. It was as if I had exchanged a Mini for a Rolls Royce! I couldn't believe the difference!

I had a special bond with my Rolls Royce :)

My Royals Royce
About three years later I left to go to the States I decided to give my Rolls Royce to my sister. She and I have competed in some races together and she didn't have her own bike; I thought that it would be something special for her. A few months later, though, she relocated and her new home was burgled shortly after. Yes, they stole the Rolls Royce. I felt very sad. It was so much more than just a bike to me. 

Shortly after that I visited with her for a while and on my way home from an errand I spotted the bike. For a brief moment I thought that just maybe we would get it back, but it was not meant to be - I had lost track of it. However, now I knew that the thieves lived and moved in the area and I had never stopped looking for the bike since.

It's been a year since they took it. I'm visiting in the area again for a while and I've noticed that I am still searching for my Rolls Royce and my heart still feels sad. I wonder to myself if it really still is a Rolls Royce or just a scrappy bike that gets Bob and his uncle from A to B.

Holy Spirit has been impressing on my heart that it is time for me to let it go - and I know in my heart that He is not just referring to the bike... and I know He is right. It is time.

Have you ever been sad, disappointed, depressed, etc. for so long that eventually you can't even remember what it is really about anymore; it's become a way of being, nothing else? The funny thing about holding on too long is that, after a while, what you are holding on to is really only the idea - eventually a blurred one at that.  Things change, people change, you change...  After a while everything beautiful that is waiting for you is either missed out on or ruined based on an (blurry) idea . My question is: is it worth it? I know the answer: No.

Can I change what has happened in the past? No. Can I change the people who did the things that happened in the past? No. Can I change me – who I was or how I responded / reacted at the time in the past? No. And when something precious has fallen to the ground and shattered in a million pieces - even if you glue it back together - can it ever be exactly the same? No.

Life is forever moving forward and so must we.

I don’t want you to feel condemned for hurting. God allows us to stop and feel the pain; to process what has happened to us, but when it is over, it is over. We need to let it go, not move in with it and start decorating.

In the Bible when someone died they were allowed 30 days to mourn and then it was time to move on. I think God allows us to feel perfectly normal feelings over a loss but He doesn't want us to miss out on everything beautiful that He still has in store for us in the future. Holding on to the pain has the power to do just that .  
Hebrews 12:1 (NLT) Since we have such a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands, let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us. Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor.
I've always just read this verse for the bit that says “and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet”, but it does not just refer to sin. It also includes letting go of heartache, loss, disappointment, etc. from the past. I don't believe it is sinful to feel these things when something has happened to you, but if you don't let go at some point you'll find yourself crying all the time and missing out on all the times when you could have laughed and lived. Plus, the Bible says that the joy of the Lord is our strength. If you won't let go of tears and take hold of joy how will you ever be strong? 

I don't think that letting go is a feeling. I think it is a deliberate choice - sometimes one that we cannot do in our own strength; we need God to help us. I can tell you this: sadness, tears, disappointment, etc. will never let go of you. Over time it becomes a weapon in the hand of the enemy to keep you down. You have to let go of it and instead take a hold of Jesus, the one who lets you rest in the meadow grass and leads you beside the quiet streams - the renewed hope and strength that David speaks of in Psalm 23.

I'm choosing to let go - Lord help me to leave it behind. I don't want to miss one more moment of the wonderful things that You have in store for me.

How about you? Is there something that you are holding onto that you know it is time to let go of? God is offering you a divine exchange in His presence today: your sadness for His joy, your past for His future for you, your pain for His comfort, your ashes for His beauty. Won’t you let it go at His feet? He loves you and He has some wonderful things waiting for you! ...For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, and it is good - to give you a hope and future... ~ Jeremiah 29:11 

Won't you trust Me today?


God has blessed me with an amazing new bike since - Genesis 29 - the story of my life ;) I'm writing a book about this one!

Ain't she a beauty!

No comments: