There are two ways of dealing with hurt, disappointment, and loss in your life: closed fists or open hands. A closed fist shouts, “I will never let it go!,” while an open hand whispers, “Let it be.”
Where are you on this Mindful Monday, dear friends? Are you holding on with such a vice grip that your hands are cramped and frozen, unable to receive anything? Or have you learned to relax, palms turned up and open, ready to accept?
Over the past year, God has taken me on a long, painful journey to get to me to the place of “letting it be.” I understand why it is so hard to let go when you feel you have been severely wronged, unjustly accused, willfully maligned, and terribly misunderstood. You desperately need answers, transparency, and justice. You want to state your case; present your side of the story; expose the truth.
It is not that asking for these things is necessarily wrong, it is just that you miss out on so much else life has to offer. If you walk around with clinched fists, you are in no position to accept or receive.
“A man whose hands are full of parcels can’t receive a gift.”
~ C.S. Lewis
It took me quite awhile to recognize this truth. By hanging on to failed relationships, shaming myself over past mistakes, and playing the “what if” and “if only” games, I did not give God space to move in my life. Even though He showered me with acceptance, forgiveness, and grace, I was incapable of receiving them with open hands. I would not, could not let go of the parcels (more like the baggage!) to accept His gifts.
Why? Because in order to open your hands, you have to let go, and I was reluctant, unwilling, fearful…
What if I let go and found myself all alone?
What if I forgave only to get hurt again?
What if I did all the right things and still failed?
What if kept quiet and no one ever knew the truth?
What if I surrendered and people took advantage of me?
Even as I begged, pleaded, even demanded answers to these and a thousand more questions, God’s gentle but firm answer did not change: “Let it be. Just let it be, Carla.”
“Forget about what’s happened;
don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.”
Isaiah 43:18-19 (The Message)
What God was really asking me to do was to give it all to Him–without conditions, without pride, without demanding my rights, without any expectations of fairness. Even if every single one of those fears came true (and they all did!), I needed to trust Him to defend me, fight for me, protect me, provide for me, and heal me.
Yes, God wanted to do something new. Brand-new. He was making a road in the desolate desert of my despair and rivers in the wasted wilderness of my worry. But He needed me to follow. To turn from the past and look in a new direction. To give up on trying to rewrite history. To move on with hope and expectation. But how?
Forget about what’s happened.
Don’t try to make sense of it all.
Let it be.
Only with hands lifted up in a posture of humble acceptance can you receive all that God wants to give you in the midst of your disappointment, doubt, and despair. And once you decide what God offers is far greater than any hurt, loss, or regret you experience, letting go will become so much easier.
And that is how it happened for me. When I compared God’s promises of hope, freedom, and unconditional love to the fear, lies, and heartache that threatened to keep me in bondage, I was more than willing to listen to His voice and “let it be.
“Letting it be,” makes way for all the new things to burst forth as God promises. The road He makes in the desert leads to peace and contentment. The rivers in the wasteland flow with hope and expectation. With open hands you can laugh at yourself again, love without holding back, and look forward with anticipation.
Isn’t it worth it?
During this time, I heard a beautiful rendition of Paul McCartney’s song, “Let it Be” by Gentri, a male vocal group.
Although the song refers to Paul’s mother, Mary, whispering “words of wisdom” to him after her death, I think there are timeless truths we can apply as we connect our faith and our life.
Prayerfully consider your posture on this Mindful Monday:
Will you close your fists and never let it go or will you open your hands and let it be?
As you listen to this beautiful rendition by clicking below, ask yourself if God is whispering these very words of wisdom to your soul today.