I am fearful of heights. In January Jon and I attended a retreat with several teachers from our church (Austin Stone Community Church). Part of the day on Saturday was spent doing group team building exercises on a ropes course.
What happens when you have a group of teacher/leaders together? You quickly learned if you want to succeed as a group that having to many chiefs creates chaos and confusion. Also good communication is important for success. The last task was optional and my personal challenge (as I fear heights). I was quickly hoisted toward the top of a pole about 40 feet up by those on the ground. I held in my hand a rope that determined when I would fall. I held onto this rope tightly with both hands as a begged to be let down for several minutes. Why was I terrified even though 10 people had done this before me with enthusiasm? Did I mention that they were all much younger and many without children? It’s crazy what fear does to our minds. Remember earlier I mentioned that this was about team building. As I was whining for them to let me down they were encouraging and cheering me on. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thess. 5:11 Left to myself I would not have let go of the rope but being spurred on by the others I eventually had to let go. I will not lie as it was crazy free falling like that but by the second swing WOW! it was exhilarating and then even peaceful swinging around. However, once was enough for me.
This made me think about the many things people hold tightly onto (relationships, money, job security, children, etc.) As a parent of three girls (19, 17, and almost 7) thankfully many years ago Jon and I came to understand that our children were temporary gifts from God. They did not belong to us rather were on loan to us from God and we would eventually have to let them go.
The more you trust and pray for God’s involvement in your child’s life, the less possessive and reluctant you will be to release them into His hands. For me I have had to let go on many fronts already and am still learning to let go of seeing my child as an extension of myself; Let go of the desire to control her; Let go of my expectations for my children; Let go of rescuing them from failure; Let go of my need to be appreciated (this is the hardest for me); Thankfully letting go is a gradual process and we are given many opportunities to practice from their first baby steps, going off to Kindergarten, getting their drivers license, graduating from high school, going to Africa for 6 months, college, etc… I know I can let go because they belong to Him and that gives me great peace. Below is a poem I came across in “Give Them Wings” by Carol Kuykendall. May you be encouraged.
Letting Go: A Relinquishment Foundational to Our Faith
To let go doesn’t mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off,it’s the realization that I can’t control another.
To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to try to change or blame another; I can only change myself.
To let go is not to care for, but to care about.
To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to effect their own outcomes.
To let go is not to be protective; it is to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to deny but accept.
To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue, but to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes.
To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone, but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To let go is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.
To let go is to fear less and love more.