Learning to Let Go
Letting go. It's far easier said than done, isn't it? I, for one, have never been good at it. I want to hold on as tightly as I possibly can to the things that mean the most to me, and, frankly, even to the things that don't. Letting go of anything is hard. Have you felt fatigued from holding on too tightly for too long? I have. I've reached a point where I came face-to-face with my own stubbornness, seeing clearly for the first time that I couldn't hold onto everything, and that willingly letting go is less painful than having things taken from me when I choose to hold them too tightly.
When I refuse to let go, it's as if I'm saying the things I have right now matter more than what I might get if only I were willing to let go of the past and move forward. You can't receive more blessings when your fists are clenched around the ones you currently have. When you open your hands and choose to let go, you are then free to receive abundantly more.
I have seen this concept more clearly in hindsight in my present circumstances. The biggest blessings have come to me when I have let go of the control I had on a situation, stepped back, stopped striving to make things go my way, and just trust that God will work it all out in His timing.
I worked incredibly hard to find a job for after college graduation, and went months without finding anything even remotely promising. I was getting more and more bitter as graduation drew closer, despite saying that I was trusting God to provide. It's abundantly clear to me now that I wasn't trusting Him at all; I was working to make it happen on my own. I took a part-time job when I felt I had hit rock bottom, just to make some money until I could find something better. Because I was so burned out from months of job searching, I decided I would take a break and temporarily be content with my part-time job to recover emotionally. Shortly after that, I got a call out of the blue which quickly led to me getting a full-time job-- one that I wouldn't have been able to get on my own. As soon as I let go of my plan, I gave God enough room to work His.
I have a tendency to work really hard to try to get things to work out in a certain way, praying that the Lord's will would be done, but all the while basically just asking Him to bless my will instead of submitting to His. I have my own agenda, and I have gone through life like I can make things perfectly fall into place by sheer willpower and effort of my own making.
If you haven't reached this point in your life, learn from my experiences with it: you can't make it work out your way. Sure, you might get what you want, but it likely won't be as good as you thought it was going to be, and you might have missed out on something far better in the process because you were so tunnel-visioned on what you thought was best for you. In doing this, we blind ourselves to God's better offers for our lives.
He came that we might have life, and have it to the full. What makes us think that the things we want are better than the things He desires to give us? Yes, sometimes we want the same things He wants for us, but I encourage you to be willing to let go of your plans and remain open to the idea that He might have something far better in store for you than even your wildest dreams. And that's pretty amazing.