"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." -- Hebrews 12:1-3
It is New Year's Day, 2011. As I finished transferring birthdays from last year's calendar to this year's, I realized that this is the year my firstborn will turn eighteen. The past couple of years have been challenging for us as he has struggled to find his wings and I have been slow to find the scissors to cut the apron strings. But make no mistake, the time has come. This is the year of letting go.
Before writing my son's birthday on the calendar I had already determined that the thing I want most to accomplish this year is absolute surrender to the will and ways of God. I can think of no greater challenge as a mother than surrendering my son to God and relinquishing my control over the choices he will make. As parents we want the very best for our kids, but sometimes the very best requires hard choices on our part -- choosing to let them fail and learn from their mistakes, choosing to be wounded by their hurtful actions rather than protect ourselves by controlling them. Whoever said surrender was sweet?
As we face the New Year, we all have areas of our lives we need to surrender to God, hindrances to lay aside so we can run the race God has set before us. We will all face opposition by those who sin against us and sin against God. Such is the nature of the fallen world in which we live. Surrendering a loved one or a stronghold of sin to God doesn't relinquish our responsibility to pray for that individual or work to overcome the sin. But letting go does free us up to "fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
May God bless you this year and draw you closer to him than ever before as you learn to "let go and let God."