Holding On. Letting It Go. And a giveaway

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The messages are mixed.
Hold on for dear life.
Loosen your grip and let it go.
What’s a girl to do?

Since finding out I need neurosurgery again I’ve been vacillating between hope and despair. It’s always the same process.

Denial.
It’s just a flare.
Fear.
What if they can’t find a reason for this pain?
Relief.
I’m not crazy.
Anger.
It’s too much for too long.
Grief.
How much more can my family and I endure?

Acceptance and maybe even hope are supposed to come next.

I’m stuck in the ache right now. I am not holding on or letting it go. I’m wedged in between irrational suffering and the lie this is somehow proof God has turned His back on me and peace that can only come from believing this is Grace, and He is working it for my good and His glory.

My friend Christin Ditchfield’s beautiful book What Women Should Know About Letting It Go: Breaking Free from the Power of Guilt, Discouragement, and Defeat was just published.

I’ve been sitting with her words.
Underlining.
Page flagging.
Marinating my mind and heart.

Christin was a stranger to me until a Holy Spirit filled night at Laity Lodge in November. After a group of women prayed circles around me she pulled me aside. Shining with Jesus she shared Isaiah 38. At the beginning of the chapter it says King Hezekiah was “ill to the point of death.” God told him to get his house in order because he would die. He would not recover. I’m pretty sure if God sent me a real life prophet that said I was going to die I would make some funeral plans, hug my husband and girls and submit to it as God’s will. Hezekiah did something different. He turned his face toward the wall and as he wept bitterly he prayed, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.”

Guess what? His prayer changed God’s mind. Here’s that tricky sovereignty thing again. If Hezekiah hadn’t prayed this prayer would God have taken his life then? Did God plan for this prayer to open Hezekiah’s eyes all along so He would get the glory?

Listen to these beautiful words penned by Hezekiah himself after his illness and recovery:

I said, “In the prime of my life
must I go through the gates of death
and be robbed of the rest of my years?”
I said, “I will not again see the Lord himself
in the land of the living;
no longer will I look on my fellow man,
or be with those who now dwell in this world.
Like a shepherd’s tent my house
has been pulled down and taken from me.
Like a weaver I have rolled up my life,
and he has cut me off from the loom;
day and night you made an end of me.
I waited patiently till dawn,
but like a lion he broke all my bones;
day and night you made an end of me.
I cried like a swift or thrush,
I moaned like a mourning dove.
My eyes grew weak as I looked to the heavens.
I am being threatened; Lord, come to my aid!”
But what can I say?
He has spoken to me, and he himself has done this.
I will walk humbly all my years
because of this anguish of my soul.
Lord, by such things people live;
and my spirit finds life in them too.
You restored me to health
and let me live.
Surely it was for my benefit
that I suffered such anguish.
In your love you kept me
from the pit of destruction;
you have put all my sins
behind your back.

For the grave cannot praise you,
death cannot sing your praise;
those who go down to the pit
cannot hope for your faithfulness.
The living, the living—they praise you,
as I am doing today;
parents tell their children
about your faithfulness.
The Lord will save me,
and we will sing with stringed instruments
all the days of our lives
in the temple of the Lord.

Since I’ve been back from Maryland I have been trying to force some kind of illusion of control over what’s coming next. I have forgotten the rich treasure of knowing for sure even this is for my benefit. In one of my favorite chapter’s in Letting It Go Christin writes, “We’ve got to learn to trust Him and His leadership. Trust Him and His power. Trust Him and His wisdom. Trust Him and His love. It’s because we trust Him–trust that He is in control–that we can let go.” By this I live.

The mountains I face are very real.
The physical.
The emotional.
The spiritual.
The relational.
The financial.
None of those need moved today.

Instead I will pray with my Jesus, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, Your will be done.”

I am holding on to hope and letting the rest go.

What are you trying to control in your own life? What mountains are you facing? What truth reminds you to let it go and rest in Jesus? I am giving away a copy of Christin Ditchfield’s book What Women Should Know About Letting It Go: Breaking Free from the Power of Guilt, Discouragement, and Defeat. Comment here to be entered into a random drawing Sunday morning, May 10th. Share on social media for an extra entry and please use the hashtag #LettingItGo.

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8 Comments on Holding On. Letting It Go. And a giveaway

  1. Chelsea
    May 5, 2015 at 6:45 pm (3 years ago)

    This is beautiful. I have health problems too, so that’s certainly an area I have to continually surrender to God.

    Reply
  2. kristin
    May 5, 2015 at 6:48 pm (3 years ago)

    Praying for you!

    Reply
  3. Jen Linville
    May 5, 2015 at 9:41 pm (3 years ago)

    As I think on this, the words “abide with Me” echo softly in my head like a gentle song wishing us to just be and listen.

    Reply
  4. Lynn D. Morrissey
    May 5, 2015 at 10:19 pm (3 years ago)

    Monica,
    Thank you for sharing about your difficult struggle with such great courage, and for sharing how Christin spoke such encouragement into your life. She has mine now twice in rapid succession, recently, when I needed to hear her words of hope. One thing is certain: When she deems you a friend, she will not let you go. I can just hear her speaking words of truth, power, and confidence in Christ into your heart. Cling to this sure expectation that God, through her, has given you. Someone did that for me in 2000, when I faced excruciating pain and even more debilitating surgery, and God used that powerful encouragement to buoy me and to give me the grace to cling to Him for health and wholeness. And He healed me. I am so glad that you are sharing Christin’s book. May God bless you both abundantly for sharing such wealth.

    Reply
  5. Abby Breuklander
    May 5, 2015 at 10:25 pm (3 years ago)

    I’ve been battling various health issues for almost 11 years now, one right after another. I’ve had to quit my job, lose my church and social lives the last year which has been so heartbreaking. Through it all I know that He has a plan and purpose in all of this somewhere. It’s why I’m still here, trusting that we’ll get through this together!

    Reply
  6. Carol
    May 6, 2015 at 1:02 am (3 years ago)

    Oh boy, I am so far away from He who I owe everything. Busy being busy. Why do I wander away from His comfort….then find myself…yep, feeling, guilty, totally discouraged in the most important areas, and defeated…all of the above.
    And wondering why our Sovereign God is allowing all the horrible things in this world to continue. It’s so much for me, who loves little in comparison to Him who loves completely. But a special young man gave me this verse and it Had to be a special delivery straight from God “He will keep in perfect peace Him whose mind is set on Thee.” Peaceful to say it or speak it or write it. So, we turn back-and in our chaos, and fear, and set out minds on Him, our Savior and Prince of Peace. What a prodigal I am. Needing to feel more hope. Feeling insignificant until I rest in His presence.

    Reply
  7. LeighAnne Busby
    May 6, 2015 at 7:30 am (3 years ago)

    Oh Monica! My heart cries out to the Lord on your behalf. He is with you. He will never leave you or forsake you. Love you!

    Reply
  8. Jan
    May 7, 2015 at 7:48 pm (3 years ago)

    Absolutely beautiful writings. Thank you for sharing. Can’t wait to read the book

    Reply

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