Let it go. That’s the new phrase in our house. It started with the song from the movie Frozen. We just couldn’t get that song out of our head. Then it became a theme song I would sing every time the boys would start arguing about something ridiculous. It stops the arguing as they just stare at me in wonder … wondering if I’m off my rocker. (If you would like to get this song stuck in your head … here it is. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
But the truth is I am the one that really has trouble with letting it go. I tend to hang on to things. Not things as in possessions, but things as in what has been said, done or could have the teensiest, slightest chance of happening. For instance, when people say – “I don’t care if my baby is a boy or a girl. I just want a healthy baby.” Drives me crazy! I want to say ‘what if baby isn’t healthy?! Then what? You don’t want it anymore?’ I know, I am way overreacting. People don’t mean it that way. Still, I can’t let it go … Some years ago I was told by someone who is a leader in education that my special needs son should just take two music classes instead of making appropriate modifications in a different class. Would this have been said if a child in gifted classes had run out of options?! I know this person was just misinformed. But still, I can’t let it go … Waaay back in high school I made fun of some people that I didn’t know were the parents of a girl that was nearby. I felt terrible. 20plus years later I still feel terrible. And still can’t let it go. These are just a few examples. I have many more like them constantly bouncing around in my head. Along with that I have worries of things that haven’t even happened yet. CAN’T. LET. IT. GO.
My son with special needs tends to be obsessive about things. One of the things he is obsessed with now is reusable grocery bags. He loves them all, any bag really. All shapes, sizes and colors. He can spot them from 100 feet away. He must have it! He probably has 50+ bags. But every couple of days a different bag becomes his favorite bag. We never know which one will be the day’s favorite bag. But if we cannot find that bag, look out. We must find that bag as he says, “right now”. He will not leave us alone. And since he carries these bags everywhere, it may not be where we think it is. Doesn’t matter. Find the bag. RIGHT NOW!
Lately I’ve been wondering how God feels when I can’t let something go. I obsess. It’s all I can think about. It’s all I can talk to Him about. I need an answer ‘right now’. Does God go crazy with my requests, yelling, “Stephanie!!” to get my attention? How does he try to get my attention? How does he try to redirect me? Does he ignore my constant begging for a solution ‘right now’? Is He thinking, “For the 47th time, Stephanie, I don’t know!” Obviously, I don’t really know what God is thinking or doing during my temper fits. But I’m pretty sure he handles it much better than I handle my son’s OCD. I was going to insert a Bible verse here about God being compassionate and slow to anger. But do you know how many I found?! Nine!! I think God’s point is He is compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.
A loved pastor and friend gave a sermon about giving our concerns and worries to God. He knew some of us (ME!) are visual learners. We need to see the concept in action, not just hear it, for it to become real, memorable, useful… (Remind me to tell you about the visual sermon he gave on Christ’s beating before he was hung on the cross. Holy smokes, that one stayed with me.) … But back to letting go — He had us write our concern on paper. Wrap it up/fold it, and actually give it to God. We got up out of our seats and gave it away. His point was in giving it away we weren’t to take it back. It’s God’s now. It was out of our hands, therefore out of our minds. Give it to God. How many times do I continue to take it back from God. Back and forth. It’s not really trusting that God will handle it for me, is it? It’s saying that I can handle it better. But not letting go isn’t working so well for me.
Just like I want my son to continue to come to me, I know God wants me to come to him for help. I know He is the one who can help me stop the obsessing and worrying (Phillipians 4:6-7). I know the closer I am to Him the closer I am to letting go and getting the help I need (Psalm 46:1).
Bible verse I’m loving today: Matthew 6:31-34