Letting Go

flat550x550075f
There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind.  But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.

— Author Unknown

Can’t you feel this droplet of water so ready to drop from the tiny blade of grass?  It’s weight is making it heavier and heavier so that soon it can fall to the ground and water that which is below. Letting go is a difficult part of life as we tend to hang on, for releasing that which we know is harder than walking into that which we know nothing about.  Life changes happen for all of us.  It is the way we handle them that makes the difference.

Born to a Navy doctor and his wife in 1947, I learned to be uprooted, moving to a new place (Daddy’s next duty station).  Sometimes, he went away (deployed as we know today), leaving us behind.  One time, he had to go a way, and we (my mother and two younger sisters) moved to Chicago to live with my grandparents for about a year.  So letting go of friends, neighbors, school, a place, and a home were just a part of life.  I loved to move, to change.  I did not leave well though for I did not let go of all that I left behind, not just the people, but the child-world I lived in…on bases, in neighborhoods, being around other Navy children and families.  I missed people more than anything.  I still, to this day, write to a girl I met in the first grade.  It may be just Christmas cards now, but it began with many handwritten letters and postcards.  There were several times when she and I lived near again and we spent a week in the summer together; another time as adults, we met for lunch.  She is just one of the many I have kept in touch with over the years.

I did not let go as we are called to do. 
 
O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me.  Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me.  O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forever Psalm 131:1-3 
 

But I was just a child and knew none of this then!

My dear father died when I was 12.  I truly did not let go.  He was so special to me and I was just at that age to need my Daddy more than I could have imagined.  He was gone forever, yet not out of my mind and especially not out of my heart.

I did not let him go well either.  

Do not forsake me, O LORD! O my God, be not far from me!  Psalm 38:21

Oh! How I needed those words!  But I did not have them in my heart then.

I was married out of college to a man that was not good for me.  Ten years later, we divorced.  I left as much as I could behind, but my heart and my inside-self were flat as a pancake, run over by a Mack truck … hurt, angry, sad, feeling as a failure with no self-esteem.

I let go as best I could because I was so ready, yet I was crushed and needed a lot of care.  I carried much baggage with me.

“It is the LORD Who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.  Do not fear or be dismayed.”  Deuteronomy 31:8

These words minister to me now.  Only if I had known them then!

I began searching for a gap-filling something.  I thought it might be “church” and met a great singles group that did care about and for me.  They were special in my life.  I had a few other special women who tenderly loved me back to a better place, yet I moved away, leaving those friends behind.  I also left the “church” behind.  Thinking about that particular church, it now seems so shallow to me.  I attended other “churches” that gave me the warm fuzzies that I thought I needed, but they were what I now know to be new age churches.  I tried to let them go, working at leaving their messages behind.

We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.  For one who has died has been set free from sin.  Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him.  Romans 6:6-8 

I did not know!

One day, I met Jesus.  He filled me with the Truth.  He covered me with His Love.  He came in and sat with me.  He told me what I needed to hear, made me feel loved and wanted.  He came alongside me to teach and guide me.  The words that are in the past tense above in this paragraph are always in the present tense now.  He does not leave me.  He is with me in the hard moments, illnesses, trials.  He also does not leave me in the beautiful moments, the flowers blooming, new Spring growth on the trees, the butterflies and ladybugs fluttering by, the gift of Kenneth as my husband who loves me dearly.

When He was at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them.  And their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him. And He vanished from their sight.  They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the Scriptures?”  Luke 24:30-32  

The Light shone before me and I finally saw!  All that I ever needed was and is Jesus.  Just Jesus.

Surely you heard of Him and were taught in Him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.  Ephesians 4:21-24 

Yes, I know now.  I am His.  And I am learning to let go of past hurts and worries, future concerns, and current struggles.  I walk with the One Who has all of the answers.  I sit at His feet learning the Truth.  I bow before Him and worship my King.  And I kneel before the cross with my life in my hands to lay at His feet.  I don’t need to say, “If only I had known….”  I have Jesus and He has me and that’s all that matters.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.  Hebrews 13:8

 

let-go

 
LORD, I thank You for bringing me through so many changes in my life.  Thank You for loving me as I took so many wrong turns, for helping me carry heavy loads.  You have guided me into the Truth.  You teach me more and more each and every day.  Hold me near for I desire to always walk out the plans You have for my life.  Shelter me when I am in the storms of life, and comfort me as I learn to let go of that which needs to go.  I love You, LORD, and praise Your Holy Name.  Amen. 

bwdarkgreen sig

Photo:   http://funpulp.com/morning-dew-photography/

Graphic:  http://www.heallovenow.com/2011/05/letting-go.html

This is the Way…

walk-this-way

And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, 
yet your Teacher will not hide Himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.  
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” 
when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
Isaiah 30:20-21

The LORD clearly gives directions so that I would reach Him throughout His Holy Word.  As the Crucifixion and the Resurrection have recently been my focus, the one and only desire I have is to be with Him obediently.

 Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene.  John 19:25

I want to stand at the Cross as His mother did.  She stood near to see her precious son beaten, nailed upon the Cross, bleeding, dying.  She could not have been closer to Him at this time… body, mind, and soul.  Her heart must have been beating with His.

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.  So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”  John 20:1-2
 

I want to go to the tomb with Mary Magdalene, looking for Jesus.  I want to run with her to the others.

Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish.  John 21:13

I want to be with those disciples fishing on the Sea of Tiberias.  Even though nothing had been caught, Jesus, Whom I do not recognize, tells me to fish on the right side of the boat.  I want to recognize Jesus and say, “It is the Lord.”  I want to break the fast with Him.

And their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him.  And He vanished from their sight.  They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the Scriptures?”  Luke 24:31-32

I want to walk on the road to Emmaus where Jesus joins me.  He shares His Father’s Word.

And when He had said these things, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight.  Acts 1:9

I want to see Christ lifted up on a cloud, knowing that He will, one day, return for me in this same manner.

“For I am the LORD who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God.  You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”   Leviticus 11:45

I believe.  I want to grow in His grace, becoming holy as He is holy.  I receive His grace moment by moment as I obey His commandments, following His Way, walking in it.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.   No one comes to the Father except through me.  John 14:6

Jesus+said+to+him,+ I+am+the+way,+and+the+truth,+and+the+life;+no+one+comes+to+the+Father+but+through+Me.'++John+14 6+#sowandgather+sowandgather.com

He is my Truth, my Way, and my Life.  Christ is returning for me one day.

The beauty of Your Truth, LORD, sends me to my knees.  May I walk in Your holiness, LORD, with faith unfathomable.  May I be set apart, be consecrated unto You.  May I faithfully walk with You.  I pray that, obediently, I shall seek You in all ways, for all things.

I love You, my LORD.  In Your Name, I pray.  Amen

 

bwdarkgreen sig

 

 

After Easter Comes What?

easter

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”  Galatians 2:20

After Easter…how do I live?  Do I go back to ways that forget what the Crucified Christ means to me and how His resurrection affects me?

Easter is central to my Christian beliefs.  His crucifixion is very difficult for me and yet His resurrection is resplendent.  Easter is a beautiful remembrance of all Christ did for me over 2,000 years ago and Who He is to me now.  I want to live intentionally and thoughtfully in regards to what it means to be a person of the Resurrection in my world all year.  I want to continuously experience the Presence of the Living Christ.  I want to then walk in His Presence before others.

Yet, I seem to still be in the womb so much of the time, afraid to come out.  (As a baby in my mother’s womb, I did not want to exit then either!  Mom said her labor was hard and long.  “You just fought,” she said.)  Christ holds me near as I learn to walk in His Light more and more.  I must come out from the womb, that darkness.  I am to do His will on roads, in cafes, in hospital rooms, in homes…the world.  This is not a doable calling from a safe, warm womb.  

He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of His people He will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken.  Isaiah 25:8 ESV

As a person of the Resurrection, I would like to believe that my life shines Christ for others to see, hear, and read, sensing that they have touched the Living Christ, the Hand of God.  Sometimes, this is true, but not always, to be sure.  I want to be less of Linda and more of Christ with each moment.  I am continuously being woven into the tapestry that will be perfect in Eternity…one.thread.at.a.time.

Easter brings HOPE.  As a person of the Resurrection, I pray I am able to offer the beauty of HOPE to a world that finds reasons all around for despair, fear, and hopelessness.

Being a person of the Resurrection allows me to live under the umbrella of God’s GRACE and MERCY.  I accept His forgiveness, offered to me in love.  I pray, too, that I may give these generously.

Easter is all about LOVE“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  John 3:16  As a person of the Resurrection, I desire to love from His heart, to give from His hand, and share the LORD through my actions, words, love, and life.  May this LOVE cause me to be open and caring towards others. 

As a person of the Resurrection, I do know that the Holy Spirit has come upon me.  I also know that my humanness squelches Him under the Linda that thinks she needs to be in control. Forgive me, LORD.  Please forgive me.  

As a person of the Resurrection, I no longer live in the dark, but carry the Light of Jesus within me as I share light in a dark world.

Delightful Daffodils

God, make me Yours wholly.  Give me courage and strength to be the Linda You desire of me.  Give me wisdom that I would have Your Words and the openness to share Your Truth.   I want to be one of Your people of the Resurrection each and every day, walking in faith.  As You continue to grow me, may I spread hope, love, grace, mercy, and light through Your Truth.  Thank You for giving me life through the death and resurrection of Your One and Only Son, Christ Jesus.  You truly are gracious towards me, Father.  May I carry a Daffodil of peace with me, LORD, wherever I go.  Daffodils just seems to be filled with hope, joy, love, and beauty, all that You are Abba Father.  In the Name of Your Son, I pray.  Amen.

beblacksig

Reflection…Now Through Eternity

894cd7d3897bbc44bcfd3687b9765bb5

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12

reflection
unclear
vague
imprecise
hazy

So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”  John 12:13

triumphal procession
hopeful
King
Messiah

hatred
sin
selfish
shame
guilt
saddened

love
How can He?
He does.
He always will.

forgiveness
I seek
He forgives.

letting go
struggle…lessens…reverts to hard again…
Why?
Because I need Him…yet live in this humanness

He shows me my weak, selfish, independent self
Relinquish…ALL
Letting go to Him

led to the Cross
with Him
harsh, thorns, flogging, brutality, hatred, sorrow, ashamed

I go with Him
crucified with Him
my sins crucified

I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.  I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. Galatians 2:20-21

“No purpose”…NO!
He is Love
His Love shines.
He died because He loves us
Salvation
Purpose
Perfect Purpose

The mirror reflects perfectly.
clearly
distinctly
undoubtedly
Reflection for Eternity

6010e7509075df8876f4d24e105d5922

We love Him, because He first loved us.  1 John 4:19

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  1 Corinthians 13:7

Jesus, Your reflection teaches me.  You love despite my imperfections.  I thank You, Jesus.  You show me joy and sorrow, peace and anguish, love and hatred.  You show me that I am burdened by sin, yet You forgive.  Your Holy Spirit fills me up, taking the place of sin.  You teach me to ask in Your Name.  Your love bears me up.  Your love endures all of me, because You love me.  I wonder why, Lord, but Your love is far greater than my “why.”  Your love is true, filled with hope, for You are God.  I am Your child.  You reflect wholly.. all sides and aspects of me…from the depths of my sin … to the gifts, the love You have bestowed upon this helpless sheep.  May I be wholly dependent upon You, 100%.  May I die to this self completely…Oh! So completely.  One day, when I look into Your face I will know that as I see perfection in You, the reflection from me will be Yours through Eternity.  I pray I do reflect Your light while I sojourn here on this earth.  I love You, LORD.  Amen.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.  1 Corinthians 13:12

bwturq sig

The Burden of this Cross

73c464bcb0450a0061e0babf4c9c5c72

Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.   Matthew 16:24

ἀπαρνέομαι

aparneomai

to forget one’s self

lose sight of one’s self and one’s own interests

disown, abstain

Jesus’ words strike a hard cord in me.  I am called to follow Jesus because I have chosen His way over mine, yet I still want to do things my way, guide the direction of my own life, take my own chances.  Then I hit a wall and it hurts.  I run on empty, unable to go anywhere in life except down by the pull of gravity.  In order to follow the Lord, I am to deny myself, releasing my desires and hopes for His, His alone.  When I am in step with Jesus, all that He desires for me are those things I need.  An interesting piece of God’s puzzle for my life is His desires for me are often just what I desire for myself.  I’m not losing after all.  The relationship with Christ is far more important so that I walk rightly with the Lord.

αἴρω

airō

  bear (up)

place on oneself

to carry

My burdens can be worries, anxieties, physical pain, other people’s lives and their concerns, hurting people of this world, and so much more.  All can weigh heavily upon my heart.  The Word tells me not to be anxious, not to worry.  He is faithful and is with me.  He feeds and clothes the birds; He will do the same for His children.  So I lift those weights and take them to Jesus.

σταυρός

stauros

a stake or post (as set upright), i.e. (specially), a pole or cross (as an instrument of capital punishment)

figuratively, exposure to death, i.e. self-denial

by implication, the atonement of Christ:—cross.

The cross is what Jesus was placed upon for His crucifixion.  It is a horribly cruel punishment and eventual death.  Scourging comes first.  The one being crucified must carry his own cross.  Jesus did this part of the way until Simon was compelled to carry it the remainder of the way.  Jesus would hang upon the Cross until death.

And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus.  Luke 23:26

The cross is that which will kill this earthly life.

h07-cross_sunset-10

I carry a cross, laden with burdens.  I place it there at the feet of Jesus.  He died for my sins.  Why do I continue weighing myself down?  Jesus has taken it all to the Cross.  Part of the definition of cross, in Greek, is self -denial.  I deny myself, being exposed to death, reproach, suffering, trials, punishment.  I am no longer mine, but His.

I am learning as I do that which Jesus asks of me: denying things of the self, lifting up that which weighs me down, carrying the cross to Jesus Who has already taken my burdens upon Himself.  It is in the doing, the actions of denying, lifting, and carrying to Jesus that I begin to find a clearer, deeper meaning to all that He is asking of me.

ἀκολουθέω

akoloutheō

to be or become the disciple of another as to faith and practice

to follow his teaching

Following Jesus is key to my walk in this Christian life.  When I am His, I desire to be near and to know the path upon which He leads me.  I release all burdens, knowing that He is caring for me.

“Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

As Your child, LORD, I depend upon You.  When I feel alone, or struggling with concerns, You are right here.  You are yoked with me.  You know my physical pain, the concerns that touch my heart regarding others, my anxiousness over provision for this earthly life.  Your grace is truly sufficient, Sweet Jesus.  Sometimes I feel wrung out and worn out.  The Word says in Matthew 27, verse 39-40: And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, ‘You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself!  If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.’  But You hung on that Cross, LORD, and paid the ultimate price for me, releasing me to walk with You always. You have given me eternal life.  How much more could I ask?  What else is there to ask?  Forgive me when I am selfish.  Often, when I deny myself, I must turn around and deny myself again, LORD, because I am selfish.  I just am, but am also very sorry.  I carry my cross to You so that I may follow You.  “And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”  (Matthew 10:38 ESV)  I do not want to be called “unworthy,” LORD.  Thank You for walking with me on this journey even when I fail You.  Your forgiveness, Your love, Your gentle nature give me the hope in this life that my physical eyes cannot see, yet the eyes of my heart know hope for You are the Hope.  I love You, Jesus.  I pray gently in Your Name.  Amen. 

befuschiasig

 

Graphic:  by American/Dutch web designer Catherine Reijans, founder of KATINK web design; https://thinkingmuseum.com/2013/10/30/thinking-museum-on-think-katink/  (but the actual think-Katink web design site is no longer connected, but I want to give her credit where it is due)

Cross:  http://www.themescompany.com/2012/04/17/cross/