let it go.

When one of my closest friends reached out to me about going to the pumpkin patch I felt like a kid being asked to go to Disneyland. I forgot the fact that I was just going to just relax during the day after an emotionally trying week and quickly got ready for the adventure ahead. I love autumn; the hayrides, pumpkin spice everything, football, crisp air, the color of the leaves. To me, there is NO better season, so I was ready to go!

The drive to Yoders Farm was a beautiful drive; the colors of the trees, the open road, music playing, thoughts running. And lets not forget the pit stop I made at Joe Beans Coffee to grab myself and Courtney our iced pumpkin spice lattes. It was about a 25 minute drive filled with excitement for the fall day with my friends and their kids. The only thing that was NOT ideal was the fact that it was 75 degrees out (its October. Virginia needs to do better). I would have loved to say that the drive included my windows down and a beautiful fall breeze, but unfortunately I had to have my ac on for a part of the drive.

As my GPS turned me onto the country road and I saw all the trees in their splendor, I couldn’t help but think about how simply the trees let go of their leaves each season. It is definitely hard for me in my own life to let go of things. I tend to hold onto things, allow things to build up in my life- and then eventually it builds up so much that I explode or I cry for days on end. Either way, it is not the healthiest way to deal with things that arise in our lives or that attempt to creep in from our past. I definitely need to be more like trees in the fall; I need to learn to let go of the things in my life that no longer need to be present. The Lord takes me into different seasons of my life my friendships, relationships, my future dreams change. In those moments there are often times that I need to let things go- and sadly sometimes that includes friendships, relationships, a job, a future dream.

As each year passes there seems to always be a guarantee that change will happen in life. Change is something we can tend to become anxious about because we have zero control of it. I often find myself clinging to Jeremiah 29:11 in moments of fear. This scripture reminds us that God has a plan for our lives; one filled with hope and a future. If we learn to rely on this promise and trust in God- we will continue to grow to become more like Christ. It would be easier to respond and act to the many changes that lie ahead in this thing called life. The Lord will ask us to forgive those who have hurt us, to step out in faith, and at one point or another He may just ask us to let go of things that we so desperately want to cling too. Whatever the case He does these things to help us, to protect us, to grow us, and to show His unconditional love for us.

Letting go (aka total surrender) is one of the most freeing experiences; we find so much freedom when we let go of the things that are hindering us from growing. Our pasts and our present don’t have to have control in our lives. We can let go of the things that feel as though they are weighing us down and surrender it to the Lord. Nothing is too much for Him to handle or too big for Him to take control of.

The  best thing to do when feeling overwhelmed is to talk to your Heavenly Father . You can talk to Him about the blessings you see pouring into your life, the struggles that arise, the pain from the past, and even your fears for the future. God is there to love you unconditionally, guide your steps, take your burdens, and fill you with joy. When we try to control our lives, hold onto the struggles we are faced with, and refusing to let go of the things weighing us down- its hard to live out the life that the Lord designed for us to live.  I am in no way saying that it will be easy, I have to pray each day to let go of  things that have a hold on me- but when I do talk to the Lord about the things I am faced against, He fills me with a peace that  is indescribable.

No matter what season you are in, the Lord is standing by ready for you to let go of your control and trust all that He has for you!

remain steadfast even when it makes no sense.

Back in 2008 (which feels like forever ago) I started working with behavioral and emotionally disturbed children. While this is not AT ALL what I thought I would be doing, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t change where I am for anything.  I had always dreamed of being a marriage and family counselor- but clearly the Lord had a different (and much better) plan. Working with behavioral challenged children is a daily testing of my patience….and my humanity. No one goes into work each day expecting to get attacked, yelled at, cussed out, and/or disrespected.
It’s definitely not the most glamorous job.
On a daily basis the Lord has to remind me that He has me EXACTLY where I am for His purpose and for His kingdom. I realized recently that I am in <<NO WAY>> equipped in my own power to deal with the many trials that show up in my life (especially at work). However, I do have a Heavenly Father who can (and has) equipped me with every tool I need. While the job that I do has its fair share of ups and downs, I know that the Lord has instilled patience in my heart and compassion towards those who are suffering. I definitely do not have all the answers when it comes to working in other peoples lives. I have learned that in those moments of struggle (not knowing what to say, how to act, or how to fix someones situation) I talk to my Creator. I ask Him to lead my steps, prepare my heart, provide me the patience I need, and to guide my words. I know for a fact that if I tried to rely on myself to help others- they would probably be better off talking to a wall. Its definitely through His Word, His wisdom, and His guidance that I am able to pour truth and wisdom into the lives of so many others. Hebrews 13:20-21 says it so much better than I ever could. It says “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
I mean, can I get an AMEN!?

Last year I was a supervisor over an alternative school, which means all the kids have been kicked out of public school due to negative behaviors. The clients would act out aggressively on a DAILY basis. They were cussing people out, throwing desks, and refusing to do their work. It is stressful! So many days felt like I couldn’t catch a break. I would get one client calm and back on track….and another client would go off. I felt overwhelmed, and I honestly  felt as though I had failed the clients. I wasn’t seeing much progress (and that’s how I determined how I was doing as a counselor). Isn’t that what we do? We allow detours in our lives to dictate our emotions. We allow a small bump in the road to determine our identity and our worth.

We all have different standards for our lives, different plans for where we see ourselves going, and different ideas of who we are. I have learned that trials will come, exhaustion will come, failure will come, and plans will not go as planned…BUT, those things are in no way too much for our Lord to handle. He can handle every bad day (including bad hair days), every heartbreak, every illness, every detour. It is in those moments that He reminds of us His infinite love. It is in those moments that He encourages our spirit, calms our overwhelmed hearts, and teaches us to rely on Him.

It is seriously mind-blowing how loving our Creator truly is. Our lives are busy, and filled with so many different distractions. We can so easily get caught up in our worries and busyness of life that we lose sight of what matters most. No matter how our days play out- it is so important (and crucial) to remain in the presence of God. It is in His presence that He is able to fully equip us for each and every hurdle that we will have to jump throughout the day.

I have definitely learned over the past eight years that completely relying on God to do what I can’t allows Him to work in and through my life. God’s power will enable us to do things that will simply amaze us. Life can be hard, we have ALL learned that at one point or another, but through all the ups and downs of life- remain steadfast in Him. It’s in Him that we will find peace, patience, compassion, forgiveness, strength, mercy, grace, and love!!

 

“so let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up”. Galatians 6:9