Saturday, July 27, 2019

Taking My Hands Off.

If you're around me much at all, you know I can't be still.  Not in an attention deficit way, I can totally focus on whatever I need to, for however long I need to. I just can't be still. 

It's just me. 

So, I struggled recently when I found myself again clinging to God's word, especially the Psalms. Specifically one that most people have heard whether they are believers or not, Psalm 46:10. 

The one that people have tattooed on their wrists and engraved on necklaces. The verse that says
"Be still and know that I am God" 

...well, I felt like I was failing Him because even in my devotion, quiet time and worship I can't be still. I wondered if I was being disrespectful or irreverent. 

This last year, especially with so much of my life that I cannot control or, even in learning the parts that I could control were toxic for our family, I was trying to be still.

Have you ever been there? Are you with me so far?

The hard lately, fear and insecurity about the most difficult decision of our lives (so far) keeps me even busier. Over-thinking every.single.decision. In trying to hold on to my son, to my marriage, to my faith, to everything in my life I find precious I realized I was actually striving, wrestling against God. 

Y'all, that ain't good. 

A few months ago I was reading a newsletter from a missionary friend.  He was telling about his daughter and how she loves it when he takes his hands off of the steering wheel when driving the hole-filled roads in Uganda. He explained the real meaning of Psalm 46:10 and how the Hebrew for be still, really means to let go, to take our hands off. 

Well, that certainly frees us up, doesn't it. 

So instead of sitting still and being quiet, I just need to stop striving. I don't need to figure it out, I just need to take my hands off and know that God is. 

He is bigger. He is more loving. God is working it out, with the entire picture in sight. He has an expected end and he doesn't need my help. But He sure wants my obedience and trust. 

We recently went to Pigeon Forge, TN to support our son and his youth group as they did ministry there. We were able to enjoy some free time with our young(er) friends.

When Rex and I have been asked what it is like to trauma parent, and ultimately make the decision to let our son go, the closest way to describe it is like riding a roller coaster. A big, scary coaster that twists and turns, goes upside down and backwards. The kind that you scream and think will never end, and then you see the straight stretch just ahead and you know you're at the end of that terrible ride and will be able to get off. Except, with trauma parenting, every time we would approach the gate and think we were finished, instead of the staff stopping the ride and letting us off, the coaster would speed past and take round again. Only the track is just different enough that we could never prepare for what was coming. No matter how much I screamed and cried and begged for an end, we just kept looping again. And again. The only way to survive was to hold on and pray that I didn't fall out. And the tighter I held onto to the desire to parent my son, to be part of his healing, to do everything I could do, the crazier the ride got.  

After much prayer and gallon jugs of tears (carefully collected and saved by my Jesus) Rex and I decided to let go- to relinquish rights to our son so he can have access to the care he needs if he will ever heal from Reactive Attachment Disorder. 

We decided to stop fighting what is, stop trying to figure things out (aka make things work the way we want them to work) and literally, take our hands off of our son; not knowing how it will end. 

While we were in Pigeon Forge, we spent several hours at Dollywood. These young friends of ours talked us in to riding a roller coaster. It has been a lot of years and both Rex and I had said we would never do that again. But we did. We got on The Thunderhead, a big wooden coaster that took us round and round, up and down speeding so fast I could hardly see what was coming. I screamed- the entire time and at no time did I let go of the safety bar in front of me. It was new and different and scary and I couldn't see the track. We got off and I felt victorious, but done with coasters. 


We walked up the hill and found another coaster- some people would call it a kiddy ride. But because you could see the entire coaster it seemed safer. So Stephanie and I waited in line (with the little kids) and took our seats on the coaster. 

There were hills and twists and turns and it even went pretty fast- but I could see the drops so you know what I did? 

Yes! I took my hands off, threw them in the air and enjoyed the ride. I laughed. Out loud. I felt safe and free. 

Stephanie and me on the Kiddy Coaster
The ride with our son, it's kind of like moving from that big scary coaster, to one where I can see more of the track and feel safer. 

I can't see the end of our story. I can't know the end of Elijah's story. I won't know where all the twists and turns and drops are coming next in our life, but I do know that in God's will I am safe. I am free and commanded to take my hands off. 
Joy in Letting Go
I'm choosing to stop holding on to the safety bar, to throw my hands in the air and laugh out loud- enjoying knowing that God is all I need and that He will be exalted. 

Y'all, can I encourage you to take your hands off. Practice being still by throwing your hands in the air and giving your hurts, challenges, fear and anxieties to the one who will be exalted. Trust in the safety of the One who can give you joy and laughter even tho' the ride is a little scary. 

Happy Saturday y'all!

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