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Tag: Letting go

At the Threshold

by juste buzas

Image by Seth SeChrist
Flickr.com_4541504459_b8e9f0eee3 CC BY-ND 2.0

“O God, You are my God, earnestly will I seek You; my inner self thirsts for You, my flesh longs and is faint for You, in a dry and weary land where no water is.  So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary to see Your power and Your glory.”

(Psalm 63:1,2)

 

One morning, the Lord spoke to me.

“Closer still,” He said.

“How?” I asked.  “How, Lord?”

Months passed.  I grew restless, dissatisfied.  I knew God was calling me higher, but I could not figure out how to step in.  How to step beyond the veil. Read the rest of this entry »

Measured by God

by juste buzas

Worship
by spaceamobea
Flickr.com_1515437636_ce7442adf1_CC BY-ND 2.0

“I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”  (Galatians 2:20)

Early one morning, while on my knees in prayer, I asked the Lord to expand me.  I prayed that He would broaden my capacity to hold Him…to know Him.  I asked for increase in my ability to minister His love and life to others.

In response to my heartfelt cry, God answered, “Let me measure you, My daughter.”

I lifted my arms.  In the Spirit, I saw a cloak arranged and placed upon my shoulders.  I saw a tailor’s measuring tape placed and stretched.  I doubted and dropped my arms. Read the rest of this entry »

Beyond What We Have Known

by juste buzas

Risk it all by Kyle Steed
Flickr.com/photos/kylesteeddesign/4496357233_CC BY-ND 2.0

But if from there you will seek (inquire for and require as necessary) the Lord your God, you will find Him if you [truly] seek Him with all your heart [and mind] and soul and life.  Deuteronomy 4:29

It was late one night.  I was tossing and turning in bed.  My dreams were unsettled, restless.  I turned over upon my back, opened my eyes and faced the darkness.

“What, Lord?” I whispered. I waited.  The night was black, still. Then it came, that still small voice deep within.

“Do you want what you’ve always had?  Then, by all means, continue doing what you’ve always done.  Or, do you want more?” Read the rest of this entry »

The “Unless” Moments of God

by juste buzas

 

The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest. (Exodus 14:14)

“When will it break, Lord?”  I whispered wearily.  “When will release come?”

My spirit was tired and heavy within me.  Oh, I wasn’t complaining.  The motive of my heart was pure.  I was quite familiar with the rebellious cries of the children of ancient Israel for I, too, had cried out in bitterness and anger toward God.  I, too, had looked up through bitter tears and accused God.  But this was different.  I wasn’t angry or even sad.  I was simply tired.  I was weary.

As soon as I cried out in anguish, words of Scripture and prophecy flowed through my spirit.  Words which reassured and steadied me.  I took a breath.  I was not turning back.  I had no desire to return to the old for I had tasted and experienced God’s goodness.  I had come to know His steadfast faithfulness – there in the midst of my struggle.  I was simply facing another day of trial, and my heart was faint to bear it. Read the rest of this entry »

The Embrace of God

by juste buzas

Image by Alex Berger
Flickr.com_27607976095_9b67da3b4d_ CC BY-ND 2.0

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness—trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never].”  (Psalm 91:14)(AMP)

 

One night when I was in Chicago for a conference, I found myself alone in my hotel room after a long day of meetings.  I was tired, weary.  I stood at my window and stared down at the busy and bustling streets of the city.  As I watched the people hurry through the snow, I longed for my children and my husband.  I yearned to hold them, to be held.  I missed my husband’s sheltering embrace.  I craved the sloppy, bowl-me-over kisses of my children.  I longed for love.

Suddenly, I was aware of the silence of the room.  In the quiet of my solitude, I felt the longing of God’s heart toward me.  I could actually feel the yearning of God’s heart toward mine.  He was calling me into His arms, and, like a child, I stepped toward Him and was held close in His eternal embrace.  Read the rest of this entry »

Trust trumps control

by kerriebutterfield

packed-suitcases-by-kc481rlis-dambrc481ns-www-flickr-comphotosjanitors14939447207-cc-by-nd-2-0

packed-suitcases-by-kc481rlis-dambrc481ns-www-flickr-comphotosjanitors14939447207-cc-by-nd-2-0

  “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3

Over the past few years God has graciously offered me gifts of faith that have been wrapped in difficult packages. This has often looked like opportunities to trust Him and allow Him to be things for me I hadn’t allowed Him to be for me before, and it meant surrendering my control over my own circumstances.

A few years ago we left our church jobs, sold our house, and were moving overseas with our two teenage children because God asked us to trust Him and walk with Him into an unknown future. As we finished up our jobs we had six weeks in which we would essentially live homeless.  I began to tackle this housing problem by praying and asking for God’s help. As I prayed, God said, “Don’t make reservations and don’t tell anyone you are in need. I will supply all your needs.”

We had already taken a giant leap of faith, so this felt like a huge stretch for me. I liked security. I liked knowing what the plan was and I was okay with doing this with my husband, but it pressed my buttons to essentially choose homelessness with two kids in tow. But, we were learning to hear and respond to God in obedience, and  although I knew this was going to be challenging, we needed to obey.

I drove to my husband’s office and said, “You aren’t going to believe this, Read the rest of this entry »

A Life Well Lived

by mymorethanme

Seven years ago my husband and I gave away most of our belongings, packed our Ford F-150 pickup with necessities and said goodbye to friends and family. We drove to Nashville with our two young boys, following God on a grand adventure. Overflowing with faith and hope we joyfully followed God’s leading, tearfully longing for home, yet excitedly expectant for what lay ahead.

Our Nashville years were nothing like what we had anticipated. We knew John was being called to attend a ministry school, but we learned quickly and acutely we were going to have to let go of all our preconceived expectations. God is an unconventional teacher who does not merely nudge us to think outside the box; He will, if allowed, obliterate the box.

“Wisdom that emanates from God is found only in dying to all things…” Jean Guyon

Sadly, in just seven years, forgetfulness, like a fog, has settled in. (How many times did God admonish the Israelites to remember?) Looking back I now recall how God sustained us in our wilderness. How he met our every need as we lived on faith following only Him. We had no steady or secure source of income, no health insurance, and no home to which to return. We had God and He was more than enough. He met our every need in countless, astounding, miraculous ways. We were blessed to be able to report multiple accounts of His goodness, grace, mercy, provision, and love.

Lately I have (again) been tussling with expectations. I know God is beckoning me into a time of stirring growth and destiny, and while this is exhilarating, it also leaves me feeling apprehensive. I battle what-ifs in regard to an ongoing health issue. I question my worth in receiving the funds necessary for this venture.  I wonder if I’ve really got what it takes to be who God made me to be. To top it off, I find myself overly concerned with others’ opinions (or my own opinion of myself).  

You see, at thirty-seven, I only have twelve credits left to complete my bachelor’s degree. Shouldn’t I resume this long standing, oft-interrupted pursuit? Shouldn’t I, “the student”, the one who in high school was accepted to Syracuse University early decision and with endless, lofty career goals, finally finish this remaining semester and get my stinkin’ degree already? Yes, I believe I should; and I believe one day I will. However, God’s timing and ways are not mine, and neither is His logic.

Moving our young family to Nashville, letting go of our apartment and business, and our plans and dreams for our future to follow God to who knows where for who knows how long seemed ridiculously irresponsible. Yet, while it was the most difficult move we ever made, it was also, by far, the most wise and fruitful.

We all spend our lives on something. Time, like money, is invested. What drives our passions, plans and pursuits? Is it pleasure? Comfort? Security? Recognition? Acceptance? Avoidance of pain or rejection? When all’s said and done, what will we have lived for? What will we have lived from?

I used to live for and from myself. Years ago God saved me from drug and alcohol addiction, eating disorders and other self-destructive behaviors. I no longer live with debilitating depression or anxiety, and when I am at peace in God’s presence I no longer fear rejection or strive to please man. I have found true pleasure, comfort, security, and acceptance in knowing and being known by God. Today I choose to live for and from Him, for and from Love. I don’t do it perfectly, but this is my lofty goal now–the only goal in which I have found myself truly filled, satisfied and alive.

So once again I am letting go. I will remember to remember. I am not living for me or for man, I am living for Love. The return is eternal and impactful beyond measure. More of Him and less of me means more in me to give to you and Him. My life is not my own, it’s His; and His is mine. This is the life I choose. This is my life well lived.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

edited caleb walking 2

Spring Cleaning…Surrendering to the Light

by Dawn Aldrich

 

Pittock Mansion by Brittany Flickr.com8707522400_31cfb20015_z.jpg_CC BY-ND 2.0

Pittock Mansion by Brittany
Flickr.com8707522400_31cfb20015_z.jpg_CC BY-ND 2.0

“God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5

The days are longer now. Morning creeps in under the shades of my bedroom window at 5 a.m. like a slinking cat reaching its front paws towards me for a morning stretch. My almost-half-century body rises less reluctantly, (yet with a few more kinks than the year before), now that light guides me safely from my slumber.

I face the day with great expectancy with a spring of hope in every step and a few more hours of sun light to accomplish great things. But as I walk from room to room throughout the day, things gone unnoticed in the darkness of winter now distract me in the light of spring. I catch a glimpse of dusty cobwebs hanging from every corner of my ceilings; once-white curtains are now a dingy gray; scrapes and scratches appear from nowhere all over my tired, painted walls. Finger prints mar every mirrored surface and I think something is growing underneath my bed. Surrendering to the light, unable to hide what it reveals, I put aside the great things and focus on spring cleaning.

Saturday, words from a former self spilled over my lips like an overflowing bucket of dirty water. Ooooops! That monster named Unforgiveness had snuck back in under the cover of darkness and drowned me with my own words. How appropriate. Words…my passion and my weakness. There they were. My dirty words spilled out for all to hear revealing my heart. I couldn’t hide. I couldn’t take them back or mop them up. I just ignored the puddle hoping it would silence them.

It’s been a few days. Sleep has been restless like trying to ignore the glow of the night light from across the room. Finally, I surrendered to the Light. God’s light. The light revealed by His glory. It’s just there because He is. It’s not a condemning light. He’s not shaking his finger at me saying, “Naughty girl.” He’s just being…in my heart…revealing what was hiding in the darkness…showing me what’s in need of spring cleaning. I can’t always get those “hard to reach” places where monsters like Unforgiveness live, but God can. I’m letting Him do some spring cleaning because I’d like to get on with the great things He has in store.

What about your spring cleaning? Do you need a little more light?

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through (Him) the Spirit who gives you life has set you free…” Romans 8: 1-2a

“If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:6-7

A God Who Loves Enough

by ivyjonah

So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free…”

John 8:36 AMP

One day it dawned on me, the story of the prodigal son found in Luke 15,  is everyone’s story. But sometimes it has differing results.

The father chose to “let his son go.” He did not restrain him even though he suspected that his son would travel destructive roads. His Love never shackled his son or held him prisoner in his own home. He surrendered his son and allowed him the freedom of choice. It’s like that between us and God, isn’t it?

I use to think that my surrendering meant I’d be trapped in some kind of robotic life. I didn’t like my life, but God’s invitation to surrender my life scared me. But what I discovered was that the more I surrendered the freer I became.  God has truly given us free will to reject or accept the true freedom that He has wrought for us on the cross through his son Jesus. We will not have to fear that we will be turned into robots, controlled by some outside force. Rather than losing freedom, it is the very thing we obtain.

Freedom in Christ is no longer bound by the Law. It is then, that we have true freedom to “let go” of the sin that holds us captive and enter the freedom God offers. It is then, that we discover who God created us to be; truly free.

God is all-powerful, yet He uses restraint.
He waits.
He looks.
He hopes.

And upon our return, he runs to us, embraces us, welcomes us HOME and dresses us in his finest robes. Our past is just that – past. He celebrates our home-coming and that’s all that matters to a Father such as this.

Lord, in each case, whether we have never accepted you as Lord and Savior or if we have been with you a long time, you clearly give us a choice for freedom. “I put before you, LIFE and DEATH…Choose LIFE!” This day I choose life.

When the Word Whispsers, “Let Go”

by Dawn Aldrich

rainydayinjulyWarm winter rain tap, taps against my window.

Tap tap. Tap tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.

Slow, melodic awakenings bid my drowsy mind’s attention.

Tap tap. Tap tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.

They build, crescendo.

Tappity tap. Tappity tap. Tappity tap. Tappity tap. Tappity tap.

And slow.

Tap tap. Tap tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.

Nature’s untimely lullaby.

Winter disguised as early spring.

We live within these unpredictable, uncontrollable forces and yet we try to rein them in – east to west, north to south. We study them, predict their next move, realign our lives in hopes they’ll give in to our demands. And always, we stand bewildered against nature’s ways-powerless and silent.

Then out of nowhere, a soft zephyr blows – whispers, “Let go.”

Against our tugging hearts, we might concede, hand the ropes over to the One who whispered the words – the One known as the Word.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1 NIV).

The Word that spoke everything into being with his voice:

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light…

And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water…

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.”

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation…

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth…”

And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky…”

And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds…

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image…

“And it was so” (excerpts from Genesis 1:1-30 NIV).

That Word who became flesh and lived among us still speaks, still whispers to our hearts, “Let go.” But the choice is ours. We can tighten our grip – pretend not to hear or we can let go and let the Word – let God – speak life and order and peace.

Is life’s unpredictability causing you to grip the reigns of your life tight? Can you hear the Word whispering, “Let go?” What will it take for you to loosen your grip on life and let God take control?

Dear God, search us and know our ways. Look deep into our souls and show us where we need to let go, where we need to loosen our grip. We freely give you control and pray your peace and calm and order in the midst of our chaos and storm. Create in us a new beginning. Amen.

(To learn more about Dawn or to access her personal blog, please visit our Contributors page).

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