“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans
for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
Abandoning my daughter and husband were not part of my weekend plans, but time had come to let them go.
Nausea hit me like a ton of bricks. My body responded to my spirit. Sick to the core. Tears streaming I pleaded, “God, I want to say yes. But nothing is more important to me than my husband and daughter.”
“Exactly, my child,” He whispered. God knew my nothing included Him.
Panic set in. All the small steps of saying yes to God over the past several months led up to this extraordinary step of faith. With each surrender, the next area became easier to let go. This time it was different. What God was asking of me really didn’t have anything to do with me. Or did it? I knew God asked me to say yes to Him in a big way.
My soul ached. I sensed God’s nudge, “I want them both.” Tears flooded my vision as I struggled to hold on to the two most precious gifts God had given me. The wife and mother within me wanted to clutch them even tighter. To wrap them so tightly that nothing and no one could hurt them.
I dedicated everyday to see they were cared for. I didn’t want either of them to experience pain. If it were possible I think I would have wrapped them in bubble wrap and kept them from the world. “They need me to protect them. How can I let them go? Who will take care of them?” I questioned.
“I will.” God assured me.
“But they need me,” I pleaded. God responded again with a sure and strong, “I will. I knew both of them before they were born. Do you think I do not want good things for them?”
Agony consumed me. I was sobbing and physically sick. This was it. All I had left to offer. Fighting no longer, I surrendered.
In an instant of submission, they were out of my grip and in the arms of their Savior where they belonged.
Reality sank in. I had abandoned my two year old – alone with no protection. The intensity was more than I could bear. I wailed and cried out to Jesus. But in my soul I heard, “Emily, I’m with you. Trust Me. Just trust Me.” His tender words assured me I had not abandoned either of them, but provided them the greatest Protector possible. The weight of control lifted as each tear fell.
Up to this point, I was living in fear and my trust in God was shallow. Releasing my husband and daughter allowed me to be empty of everything. Empty so God could fill me with Himself. His peace. His strength. His love.
God is an amazing gift giver. He loves to lavish us with His blessings. But if we hold on too tightly, we will not have room in our lives for the blessings He has waiting for us. I filled my life and heart with the two most precious gifts I had been given, leaving very little room for the Gift that should have overflowed out of my heart all along.
We fear the unknown. In panic we hold on even tighter, refusing to let anyone touch our gifts. God didn’t ask me to stop loving or caring for my husband and daughter. He simply asked me to let Him be in control of their lives.
With a heart and life overflowing with Christ, I now can love and care for my gifts like never before.