The Art of Letting Go

This is my 100th post!

I wrote an entry on my birthday on Tumblr sort of reflecting on my trip to Taiwan this past winter break. It was a long-overdue trip I wanted to make for myself, and I think in a very intimate way, it was a trip that I really needed to make. Often times like my mom, I question why my dad uprooted us from where literally all of our relatives were, to a foreign land to pastor a church that came with so many problems. Of course now in hindsight, this land is not so foreign to me anymore, but I still find myself asking the same questions. I never really quite know what kind of answers I’m looking for, because I understand that when responding to God’s call, no excuse will come close. But even as the third generation, when I think about my grandparents who are all withering away of old age, I start to wonder why we are on the other side of the world, and can’t imagine how much more my parents feel. Yet as my aunt reminded us, though there is a need at home, that is not where the will of God was for us, and we shouldn’t compromise His work in order to save our heartaches. I was reminded again of their utter support to let the only son of the family move half a world away in pursuit of God’s work.

For several months now, I have attempted to move toward a life of total surrender. I didn’t realize how much I was still holding onto when I set foot in my hometown a month ago. Everything that was ever nostalgic in my life reappeared, and for three weeks I had the total freedom to relive, recreate, and revisit. Except, time is not a friend of nostalgia, and as the days went on I felt so helpless to the changing world around me. One of the most painful things to do, was being with my maternal grandfather, who could’ve, and maybe even should’ve left us a dozen times in the past few years. Growing up, I never said more than two words to gramps, because he was always so reserved and minding his own business. But this time, knowing how much determination he had to cheat death for more than 3 years, made what little time we had together the most precious days of my life. From what I know, gramps was literally on the edge of life after a stroke several years ago. Like my paternal grandmother, he lost the ability to speak, swallow, and be mobile. But for a little man, goodness does he have the determination. He would spend hours in therapy, trying to force his muscles to work again, and through the grace of God, rebounded to life. Each day he still looks like he is slowly fading away, but you just cannot help but feel his will to survive.

So what does any of this have to do with me letting go? In the next five years, significant changes are going to be imminent and inevitable. And though I seem to have been talking about it for a long time, I am finally really allowing God to take control of where to lead my life. I think I knew in the back of my mind that there were some good-byes I needed to say on this trip, and those moments didn’t pass by easily. Letting go has to do with more than just moving on, but it was being able to move on that allowed me to begin loosening my grip. I acknowledge that I have absolutely no control over what will happen in the next day, much less the next decade. And I know I have been fighting God for so long over the authority to dictate my life, but look at where that’s gotten me. It’s not that I didn’t know how to surrender myself, in fact, like most other commands found in the Bible, I find this command to be incredibly easy to perform, yet equally difficult to act upon. Honestly, I found that idea of total surrender to be incredibly scary, and why shouldn’t it be? But I let that fear prevent myself from really committing to God’s grace, and now after looking at the fragility of my OWN life, I am finally ok with letting that fear settle in and continue forward with surrender.

One thought on “The Art of Letting Go

  1. I’m reminded of the verses in James 4: 13-15

    “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’ – yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.'”

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