To start, I love living and am in no way interested in dying. Read more for the explanation of the title of this post.
Today I was reminded of the story of Esther. I was reminded that Esther started out as an orphan. Raised by someone else. Then chosen to be Queen. But in some ways probably feeling abandoned all over again. The story reminds us that Esther noted that her husband hadn’t called on her for I think over 30 days. And so she is Queen but probably still feeling like that little girl that is alone in the world. After so much excitement. Probably hope also. Maybe this is my deliverance. Maybe this is my forever story. Being chosen. Not just another season of disappointment. “God, I thought we were going a certain direction?” It must have felt like such a let down. Then fear on top of fear. Being asked to lay her life down in order to attempt to protect others. She gets to the point where she decides to act in accordance with letting all of her dreams go. She says something to the effect of, “If I die then I die.”
I think now of Abraham. Told that he and Sarah would have a child. Years and years go by. No child. Then he finally has the child and is asked to sacrifice the child. Not literally. That isn’t the point of the story. But while he was going through it, that is what he saw. Here you give me this promise God, and then I have to let it go. God prevailed in a powerful way, but the theme is similar to Esther.
I think of Moses. Same thing. Promised he would lead his people out. Then off to the desert until he was an old man. Tending sheep. No hope in sight. He gets to the point where he doesn’t even want the call anymore. In a way. He tells God to send someone else who he thinks would be more qualified.
David. Told he would be king. Then he has to deal with Saul trying to kill him over and over. Running and hiding in caves. Not living the life he probably associated with being a king.
Joseph. Given a dream. Then shipped off for years and years. Enduring so much unfair treatment.
All of them having to get to the point where they know they were given a promise, but having to accept their current circumstances as is. Having to let go and trust the timing to God. Trust the way to God.
I can relate. I don’t feel like I see the full picture yet. There are probably so many things happening right now that will only make sense later. Right now the suffering blinds me to the bigger picture. Blinds me to anything other than wanting relief. I empathize with those who sought solutions and resolutions. Who fight against the pressure.
I feel like I can continue to wear myself out. I can continue to cry and carry on. I can panic. Or I can let go and trust God. I can seek Him inside my heart.
Silence is torturous for me. I don’t want to hear all my fears. But tonight for a few minutes I ran out of things to distract me.
I tried to sit with God. I told Him I was angry at Him and disappointed. He already knew. I felt like He assured me that He wasn’t angry or disappointed with me.
I felt a brief settling. More like a child who is too exhausted to fight anymore. Not giving up the battle for control. But too tired to take up arms.
I felt again like I have so many times before, absolute assurance of being loved by God. And the kind encouragement to trust. That I am not alone, that there is more going on than meets the eye, that good things are in the future, and that this is not the end.
I rely on the testimonies of those we read about to give me any hope that these things are true.
My new motto is to lessen the self-imposed stress I put on myself. I don’t yet understand why, but a big part of that is letting go. Of the compulsion to be “great” or do “great” things. Of the pressure to be “successful” as society defines success. Of the need to do anything other than try to be the best person I can be to myself and others. Starting with mastering the basics first.
It is both sad and ok. Sad in that I have spent so many years driven by this need to perform, be perfect, and excel. The ego part of me mourns letting myself down in that respect. But on the other hand, it is also ok. Suddenly I can enjoy a day, I can genuinely enjoy a rest. I can take the time to appreciate a meal for simply being appealing and delicious. Versus analyzing the macros that will tilt the balance of my plans for world domination. I speak facetiously to the extreme to prove a point.
This letting go feels like a good thing in the long run. As completely uncomfortable as I feel even in releasing so little at a time. It feels like I am finally handing the wheel over to God and saying, “Will you drive?” Not in a legalistic sense. But rather like when you finally are getting to know someone and letting them in. My heart. Not just my mind.
I anticipate more adventures are ahead. Now that I don’t have my checkboxes to manage, I can better enjoy the ride.