Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Letting Go: a Hard Sacrifice

In the silence I willed my aching feet up the step ladder one more time. My weary heart sank deep as I dunked the paint brush deep
into the sunny yellow paint can. One more step. One more stroke. Just. one. more. 

Twenty-five years prior and five months pregnant with my daughter, I jumped up the rungs of that ladder, my heart feeling ten pounds lighter than today. You see, then I was painting God's gift to us--the house I longed for...prayed for...every time I strolled by. It was the perfect gift where my husband and I raised our two children, entertained friends and ministered hope. It was a true desire of my heart that God wrapped up with a shiny red bow long ago. 

And now? Now, God asked me to let it go, to change course, to release it all. 

With every coat of paint I rolled over memories hidden deep and dear inside my heart. The weight of all God asked me to sacrifice now grew heavier with every stroke. How could I release this precious gift? How could I let it go and allow strangers in? Would they know how precious this house has been or would they just consider it a place to hang their hat? 

But then God whispered, "There's something more. There's something new. Let. It. Go."

You see, I'd been white-knuckling this house like an idol--wrapping my fist around it and hanging on with all my might as though without it I'd lose my true identity; like it was my source of blessing rather than the blessing.  God was my source--is my source--and this house was but a very good gift and now He was asking me to let it go; to sacrifice something very good for something even better. 

In the midst of hard sacrifices, God calls us to worship; to refocus our attention off of ourselves and onto His goodness; to offer up our thanksgiving for His faithfulness in our past and thanksgiving for all His promises for our future.

"For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

So, I transferred my focus from myself to God's goodness and worshiped God with every roll of the paint, thanking Him for the life lived between these walls and the family He helped us raise. And when I did, my whole attitude changed. I realized God wasn't asking me to give up something very good for something even less, but rather to release the hold this home has had on my heart and to prepare for change.  Something better. Something lovely and freeing and full of His hope. Because that's how God rolls.

The paint dried and every surface reflected the Son just right. We staged the rooms in picture-perfect-excellence and manicured every corner of the yard. It was time to release the gift and let strangers in.

Have you ever been asked to make a hard sacrifice? If so, was it easy to release that something? How did God use that sacrifice for His glory?

Precious Lord, thank you for the blessings. Thank you for the years of family memories and your faithfulness in providing all our needs every single day. Now we release these treasures back to you. We freely offer your gifts as a sacrifice of praise to use as you see fit. Prepare our hearts for the next chapter, the next adventure, the next new thing. Help our eyes to stay fixed on you.  Amen.

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