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Let It Go

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Credit Society6

 

These three words have become my anthem.

In the months since my crazy leap of faith, God has done a number on my heart. It’s been an aching, refreshing, scary, exciting  journey to walk through things that for so many years I stayed too busy to acknowledge. In the stillness, He is there. Waiting for that moment when we invite him in to our broken places and our surrender.

In this season of forgiving, acknowledging, and changing,  “let it go” is the whisper Jesus keeps speaking to my heart:

Let go of the pain of past wounds. The burden is far too heavy to continue carrying it. Does our past define us? No. Will the devil use misperceptions, lies, and wounds to hold us back from the road we are meant to walk? Most definitely. I learned some heartbreaking news last week about lies I have been told from childhood that, months ago, would have brought me to my knees. But I am making the choice to see it for what it was and just move forward.

Let go of the need for greatness. Who’s definition of “greatness” are we striving for? For too long, I worked for the worlds’ definition. But when we  are serving others, working on projects that stir our soul and impact change for good, or loving the person right in front of us…that is greatness by God’s definition.

Let go of relationships that don’t bring joy. How many of us have “friendships” that are stuck in the past or are only superficial? When we let go of a need to be known by everyone, we can really be known by the people who will challenge us, pray for us, and champion us.

Let go of control. I quickly realized that I had been acting as pilot for most of my life. I would ask God to take over, but then I’d quickly take control back. Sound familiar? And what I learned, this girl who really hasn’t trusted anyone, is that He shows up when we let Him lead.  I’m still blown away by how well He has taken care of us.

My leap of faith, it turns out, wasn’t about work at all. It’s been about faith. And forgiveness. And freedom.  If you are like I was, aching for a deeper relationship with the Lord but unsure how to get there, I hope you’ll be encouraged that the old saying “Let Go and Let God” really works.

 

 

 

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Move the Heart

Photo Credit @jendeshler

“Want to have a great 2014?  Then freaking get moving.”  These were words I heard myself recounting to a friend last week over coffee.  January marks that time period when we can all become overwhelmed by the myriad webinars, videos, and blog posts about the ways to achieve all of our goals in a new year.  What I had realized was that watching, reading, and listening to all of these experts on how to make 2014 “my year” had become a distraction from the one thing that most needed to happen: movement.

As I thought about it more , it seemed that “Move” needed to be my word for the year.  It has several different meanings related to where many of us are in life right now:

1. Make a move- Since my resignation late last year from Thomas Nelson, I’ve been…uncertain. Several full-time opportunities have come along, though none that made me want to jump back in to corporate life immediately.  But the idea of going out on my own initially brought up every uncertainty that entrepreneurs go through. It’s time now to just move.  When faced with big life decisions, we can get paralyzed by trying to do “the right thing”, when I think God just wants us to move forward and trust Him with the outcomes.

2. Move in me-This time to reset has been a wonderful opportunity to connect with Jesus in a bigger way. My prayer is that He moves in me, creating lasting change.  That He moves through me.  When people interact with me, I want His light to shine through.  To make progress in living out more of 1 Cor 13:4, will be a great year, indeed.

3. Keep moving-We’re not getting any younger.  And with age, comes that desire to be still more. The goal is to learn more consistent ways to keep the body moving while also learning to be still in heart and spirit. There is much to be done and many adventures left to experience.

2014 is off to a great start. What words describe your plan of attack this year? 

 

 

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Be Still and Know

Photo by Jennifer Deshle

Photo by Jennifer Deshler

 

“How wonderful has it been to have a few weeks off, just to do nothing?!”, a friend asked yesterday.  Truth is, having less to do is so much harder than I thought it would be.  In some ways, it has been wonderful (picking my kiddo up early from school, and long coffee dates with friends). But without the normal busyness and chaos to get lost in, there’s time to think.  And time for God to kick your butt about things that need to be changed in order to grow.

In the silence, God might show you how you’ve put so much of yourself into proving your value that you let friendships fall by the wayside.  And he might show you how you put more effort into being approved of by people than being righteous in His sight.  And he might remind you that you’ve got some deep wounds that you’ve used busyness to hide from rather than dealing with. And then, he’ll probably show you how you’ve allowed your bank account to provide more security than trusting Him to provide.  Wait…I guess all that’s just me, right?

And after you are broken and tender from acknowledging that you have been in control for far too long, God will whisper in the quiet.  “Trust Me. I Rejoice Over You. I Have A Plan For You. You Are Enough.”  And you’ll cry some more, but this time, they’ll be tears of relief, rather than tears of frustration or regret.

Why do we resist in our surrender, when it feels so good to know that someone else much bigger and smarter is there to take control? I can look back now and see the moment in time when I decided I needed to take charge, because I could always depend on me. God gives us talents, and He knows some of us will use them for all the wrong reasons.  Meanwhile, He nudges. He lets us ache in that void that only He can fill.  And at some point, we get still and quiet and finally hear what He’s been saying for so long.  In a way, I feel like an idiot for going around the same mountain so many times (and I am confident I’m not done yet).  But rather than look back, I’m choosing to focus on verses like Jeremiah 29:11 and Joshua 1:9 and Psalms 3:3 that remind me that there is so much more to life than what I was allowing myself to experience.

The messiness of a well-lived life is so much more rewarding, don’t you think?

 

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Four Lessons Learned in Leaving

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In my second week of this new life, I’ve been taking time to reflect on the path I’ve been on and dream about the road ahead.  As with any journey, it’s good to learn along the way, so I’ve whittled my past few months into these four lessons:

1. Pack light-Both literally and metaphorically, this is true.  It took me a full day to purge all of the files, notes, and documents I didn’t need to bring home from my office.  It was good to be able to pass along boxes of documents, email folders, and contacts to those who would now carry on the work I’d begun.  Emotionally, I had to “leave it at the door,” so to speak–pick the good memories and the great experience to bring on this new path, and leave the junk behind.

2. Don’t wait until someone moves on to tell them of their value- The notes, emails, lunch conversations,and  phone calls from people who I had worked alongside for many years told a different, much more encouraging story of my impact than what I had felt for so long.  What kindness and encouragement might we exhibit today that impacts someone else’s future for years to come?  How could this positive energy reshape corporate culture?

3. Not everyone will follow along on your journey-There are “work friends” and there are “life friends.”  In a flash, you’ll find out who fits in the “work friend” category, and those who move over to “life friend.”.  It’s been refreshing–those few who were short time friends did just as expected.  But there are so many who jumped the tracks and made it clear that our friendship was not just one of work convenience.  God gives us seasons…just like the shift from summer to fall, our friendships and connections change, and life goes on.

4. Lean into God to reshape your identity-When we take time to intentionally step back from the busyness of life, God can do wonders in the stillness.  It has not been easy, but in this downtime I have had to acknowledge how much of myself was wrapped up in my work.  Who we are is not what we do. Reshaping that focus is a slow, daily process. By surrendering our desire to control the journey, God can open up doors that put us right where He wants us to be.

Have you been on a journey?  What lessons are you learning along the way?

To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom.~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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