[This is a follow up to my last post, Let them drop. It was written last fall, and I just found it, buried in a file where it definitely did not belong. I’d forgotten writing it, and it was so good to be reminded that I’ve made progress in this journey called life even though it’s super hard to keep going sometimes. I suggest you read my previous post (if you haven’t already) before reading this one.]
Such a word picture Jesus gave me about letting the balls drop! Like New Year’s Eve in Times Square … the ball drops and a new year begins. And so it seems for me now – the beginning of a new season.
To celebrate, you won’t believe what I did. I ERASED MY ENTIRE WHITE BOARD! What was on it, you ask? My enormous to-do list that’s been staring me in the face for so long now. I disappeared it, without so much as taking a picture of it or writing any of it down first.
With a little help from a friend, I suddenly saw clearly how much that list was stressing me out. And immediately after I erased it, I knew I’d found a new and beautiful kind of freedom! It was a very heavy ball that was shockingly easy to drop.
I saw you! Good job Child – I wanted you to see how doing a hard thing can bring joy and peace, and relief from all that stress. Did it work? How do you feel now?
Well, I feel like I was released from the dungeon! Out of the darkness and out from under the incredible weight of that list and into Your light, again. That dungeon really had a hold on me though.
It did. Welcome back. Tell me: why is that bothering you so much? If you found freedom …
Because it feels like I took a detour, wasting time wallowing around in the muck.
I never waste your time. So when it looks and feels to you like a dungeon, take care to look up – you will find that it’s not dungeon at all, but there’s no denying that it IS a dark place.
Well based on what I’ve learned from you so far, I’m guessing that means I’ve wandered off your lighted path?
You got it! [He smiles.]
Why are you smiling??
Because you’ve just learned a Very Important Thing. You are not helpless in the dark and I won’t bind you in a dungeon. Just stick with me, and stay in the light.
One month later …
Well I sure did pick a few of those old balls back up just like he said I would from time to time – balls of anxiety mostly! Better put, I created a few more balls for myself to carry, about things that ultimately are not my concern at this time. All the things I was worrying about will have be be addressed eventually, just not today, or even tomorrow. But it was a process …
It was. Looking back on it though, can you see a difference between these new balls and the old ones?
You’re right – they look exactly the same. Anxiety will always look like anxiety. And that particular one, my child, you will have to fight against until we’re face to face in heaven. But fight you can, and I know you – you will.
That’s a bit discouraging.
Just reality. A thorn in your side, of sorts. But discouragement is not necessary. In fact, you should be encouraged!
Help me out …
How long did it take you to realize you were holding these new anxieties? And how long did it take you to drop them? Because drop them you did.
I did! It didn’t take very long to realize, and once I did it was easy, so easy, to drop them.
Yes! Look at how far you’ve come, and you’ve done it by staying at my side.
I don’t get credit for the realizing, though. It was my Team. They are the ones that made me realize.
It doesn’t matter how. Just recognize it as a helping hand from me through them. I use my people this way all the time. I use YOU this way, often.
Without meaning to be prideful, I agree. I have had so many conversations and written so many things, yet when I’m reminded, I don’t even remember speaking or writing them. They may have come from my mouth and my pen, but these are his words alone, and I see that clearly now.
So why do you seem surprised that I would work in your life through others?
I guess I think I shouldn’t need that. That I should be hearing from you clearly enough that I don’t need other people to tell me. WOW is that ever wrong thinking and I’m embarrassed to even type it. So arrogant, so PRIDEFUL! Such hypocrisy. You may work any way you choose, and who am I to discount the idea of other people speaking into my life, or rather, you speaking into my life through them? Yes, I know and expect that from a very few, but I guess I’ve been thinking that for everyone else it’s important that I look like I have it all together.
I used one friend especially, didn’t I. She reminded you about the balls, and then yesterday she encouraged you to be real and vulnerable with your team, because THAT’S what they want to hear, and those are the things they want to be praying about. She’s right, you know.
I do know, and he most certainly did use her. It was humbling in an incredibly good way. I also know that I need holy help to be this kind of humble before people. And I know I must stop worrying about what I look like. I haven’t had it together for a very long time now (ever, actually), so pretending like I do would be a good thing to let go of. Perhaps another lead ball I didn’t know I still carried?
Is it? Because I thought I dropped all those! Didn’t I?
You did. You dropped all the ones you could see. Exactly as I asked you to do.
Oh no. Does that mean there’s more to come? Why do it this way?
It’s called Grace, Child. I only let you feel the weight of the ones you needed loose of right away. You couldn’t have managed any more – it would have been impossible for you. Now that you’ve dropped those though, the next ones will be easier to release. If you let them be. This one, your image. Let’s just put that down right now. Does that feel difficult?
No. I don’t even want to look at it.
Good. Don’t. Just let it slide from your hand. That one you won’t be getting back, by the way. Get ready to live raw and honest and vulnerable, like you’ve never done before.
Wow that does feel uncomfortable to think about, I have to admit. But it also sounds like a very free way to live. And that part sounds great!
There will be hard parts, for sure. But stick with me – here and only here will you find the freedom that only comes from me. And here you will find rest for your soul. Remember words – I put them in the book of Matthew:
Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your soul.
Yes Lord, teach me! Amen and amen,