Christine was taking me to the airport recently and we were talking about various desires of our hearts.
"I think what I'm struggling with right now is letting go of grasping and clutching, while still holding onto hope..."
"Maria! You need to write a blog about that!" Christine exclaimed.
So here I am, attempting to share about that struggle and what I'm learning. Perhaps many of you find this to be a challenge as well. As I was praying about what to write exactly, something my grandmother said to me shortly before she died kept ringing in my head.
I was holding one of my little nieces close to my heart and my grandma looked over and said, "You know, when you were little you always had your baby dolls with you and you would go around saying you were going to be a mommy when you grew up."
I flashed back to memories of me as a little girl; I was always playing house, convincing one of my brothers to play "husband/daddy" while I played "wife/mommy." We were always on outdoor adventures together, but also taking care of the babies haha. It's really funny thinking back to the sweetness and innocence of childhood.
As I grew, that desire to be a wife and mom grew with me and deepened, especially as I realized the depth of what that vocation entailed. I had a pretty crazy intense experience with the Lord in high school (and THAT is a whole other long story for another day!) that reinforced that desire and the goodness of it and that very possibly was what He desired for me, for my life.
Yet--here I am, years later, neither married nor a mommy.
I know many of you ladies have experienced this. Maybe it's not about being a wife and mommy, but maybe it's about hoping to get a certain job, or mission, or relationship, or a move, or adoption, or it could be anything really. Our hopes and desires can be endless.
Sometimes we desire something so deeply in our hearts that we are tempted to sacrifice anything and everything to get it. Sometimes we can mentally and emotionally get to the point where we almost don't care how or what we need to do, but we MUST have this thing we want. Sometimes to the point that we start grasping.....grasping because we want it so badly. Grasping because we don't trust that God is good and knows what is best for us and WANTS to give us good things. Grasping because we don't know how to open our hands to stop grasping while still proactively holding onto Hope...
But wait--how do you hold onto hope if you let go of grasping? Doesn't that mean you give up getting what you want?
When I find myself "grasping" (which it usually becomes the only thing I can focus on) I've started to stop and ask myself, "Why, why am I grasping?" Often times when I take that to the Lord, I usually find out it's because of fear. I'm afraid that it won't be given to me and if it won't be given to me then I'll just have to control it myself--take things into my own hands. This fear turns into control.
I've taken my eyes off of Him.
But wait, who does that sound like? Sound a little familiar? Like maybe Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden? They didn't trust that God would give them all good things. They started to grasp; they grasped after what He said not to. He wasn't with-holding something good FROM them, He was preparing a greater good FOR them through this. But they gave up hope and they grasped and it brought such serious consequences.
Same thing with hope. Too often I fear that if I let go of grasping then I've given up hoping for what I truly want. But not grasping isn't about not hoping, rather it's allowing my hands and my heart to be free, to be opened in a deeper more surrendered way so that Jesus can fill my hands, my heart, and my life with more goodness than I could ever desire.
I randomly met the most lovely gal recently who shared with me her whole story about how deeply she had desired to be a wife and mom (which she is now), but how the Lord actually used that desire to draw her so much closer to Him and deeper into His heart. It was actually in letting go of her plans and surrendering all of her hopes, dreams and desires to Him and trusting Him to take care of every single detail of her life, that she became filled with Him, filled with joy and life and love in a whole new way (which ironically did lead to some deep desires being fulfilled). But what she found and emphasized was that living in that open space gave her freedom like she'd never known because she was trusting her Heavenly Father to provide!
Letting go of grasping while holding onto Hope is really about being FREE! Free to love and be loved. Free for the Lord to come into our hearts and our lives and to surprise us with beauty and joy. It leaves space for the Lord to take us on some of the most amazing adventures of our lives that we would have missed out on had we not opened our hearts and surrendered. Holding onto Hope that HE IS GOOD! That He is bringing good into our lives even now!
A little prayer I like to pray when I'm struggling with that concept of letting go and holding on is this-- "Jesus, I trust in you, Jesus I hope in you, Jesus I love you..." This simple prayer I sometimes find myself saying over and over a million times a day, especially on the tougher days, can be so powerful.
That little girl who used to drag her baby dolls around the house playing mommy and daddy and tell everyone in sight she wanted to be a mommy when she gets big has since grown into a woman. Those dreams, hopes, and desires are still there--now more than ever. BUT as a woman, she can now choose to let go of grasping while holding onto hope.
Now I'm excited to let God surprise me with His best for my life! Maybe the timing is different than I would have chosen, maybe everything I've hoped for won't come to be. But maybe it will. Either way, if we keep our eyes on Jesus and remember HE is our ultimate end, then whatever the future holds for us will be GOOD.
Gosh, if life had gone the way I had it planned in my head years ago, I wouldn't be sitting here writing this. I wouldn't be singing with those lovely ladies of His Own. I wouldn't have had the pleasure of speaking to some of you at your schools and Churches...so many things would've been different.
Yet God knows best. He is Father. And He is faithful no matter what!
So Ladies, keep the Faith! Hold that torch of hope for each other and let's stop grasping and start hoping! We are all in this together!