Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Name:
Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Knowing When Its Time To Give Up

We live in a society that values persistence, tenacity, and endurance. The veritable "never give up spirit" is the fodder for made for tv movies. It is the theme for graduation speeches, Sunday morning sermons and the words written in "Thinking of You" cards. We like people who never give up!
Certainly there are things on which we should never give up. We should never give up working for the Lord, even when it seems fruitless. We should never give up praying for ourselves or for others. We should never give up worshipping together. We should never give up loving one another. We should never give up growing in our faith, love and mercy. No matter what happens, no matter how long time extends, no matter what struggles come our way, on these things we should never ever give up.
But, there are somethings in our lives that have become detrimental to us spiritually and have crippled and handicapped our spiritual walk. There are times when we need---for our own well-being, sanity and even spiritual growth,---there are times we need to give up.
Sometimes we have to give up on a dream. When Eddy was alive, we dreamed about growing old together, becoming a part of the Sojourners group, traveling in our RV, helping small churches, visiting our grandchildren and our children. We'd shared that dream for quite some time and as his illness progressed, we adapted the dream to fit his physical abilities. But we never gave up our dream. When I kissed his lips for the last time and they lowered him into the dark ground, I knew I was not only burying my husband, but that very casket also held my dreams. And I wept for both of them. I knew it was time to give up on that dream.
Sometimes we have to give up our hurt. I have a friend who has been married for almost twenty years. Her wedding was eventful and in her mind "ruined" by her in-laws. Everytime the family is together, my friend replays the entire wedding day. She hopes that by bringing it up, she will be able to show them how much they hurt her, show them how they ruined what was supposed to be "the best day of her life" and that in doing so, they will feel guilty. But, it never works. It re-wounds her heart and makes her angry and bitter. The family, they still think that was a fun and funny day. They still don't see what the big deal was and they feel like she is overreacting----still. It is time for her to give up on her hurt. She cannot elicit an emotion from anyone else. She cannot make them feel the pain they caused her. She cannot force them to be sorry.
Many of us have hurts in our lives, we have huge heartwounds and enormous emotional scars. And it really isn't fair that those who have harmed us go on about their daily lives, as if nothing happened, while we are left to bleed and weep. We want them to acknowledge their part in our pain. We want them to hurt and we want them to apologize. But some people are devoid of conscience, they are oblivious to the effects of their actions and they are selfish. Their world is limited, very small and only what happens inside their world, only what effects them at this very moment, is important and worthy of their attention. We cannot instill a sense of remorse or an awareness of others in one like this. And yet we try! Eliciting an apology or a confession becomes our life work, becomes our ambition, becomes the very filter through which we view the world. And our walk with God suffers. Our relationships with others suffer. We make the other person our focus and our ability to heal is inhibited. But our Jesus can heal us whether our nemesis is involved or not. And He will if we let Him. That may mean giving up on our hurt.
Sometimes we have to give up our control. Control of the situation, control of the actions of others, control of the outcomes. Sometimes it is time to let go. We often hold on so tightly to situations that growth and experience are hindered and wisdom is therefore absent. When my children were small, there was a time when all I really wanted was to be a great housekeeper. I wanted my home to be so spotless that someone could eat off the floor. I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. I taught my children how to make their beds and then I remade them so they would look perfect. I became easily frustrated when they brought in dirt or bugs. I said ugly things to two small, cherubic boys with dirty faces, holding out a wildflower bouquet with roots still intact, the roots letting go of dirt all over a freshly mopped kitchen floor. I needed to give up that control. I needed my children to learn to make a bed, the same way I did, by trial and error and gentle instruction. I needed to appreciate my children for being little boys, for their adventurous and inquisitive spirit. I needed to weep with gratitude for wildflowers bouquets, roots and all, even if it meant giving up control.
While this was a simple story with a simple lesson, it is a complex struggle for many of us. We exert so much effort trying to get our congregations to do certain things, trying to get our families to behave in certain ways, trying to get our spouses to feel certain emotions. We rob them of the chance to grow. We rob them of the chance to learn and we rob God of a chance to bless us all. Sometimes we have to give up control.
I will never ever stop praying for my wayward son to return to God. I will never ever stop loving my Lord and striving to work for Him. I will never stop trying to be the best minister's wife and best mother, mother-in-law and grandmother I can be. But it is time for me to give up on some of my dreams, I can dream new dreams. It is time for me to give up past hurts, I can not only heal but can use those past wounds to expand my ministry for the hurting. It is time for me to give up control. God will not force His control on my life. He will take control if I let Him. It is time for me to raise my hands and surrender----it is time to give up.

Peace
Neva

20 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow!
You done good, sister


Dan

10:25 AM  
Blogger The Preacher's Household: said...

Amen!

The offender may not seem to suffer but many times they do. Both they and I know what they did was wrong and whether I can confront and have them admit it is not the question. Sometimes that is not an option the other person may be deceased.

Giving up the bitterness and resentment and forgiving is easier said than done. Maybe that is why Jesus said seventy time seven.

I'll be given up with you.

James

11:22 AM  
Anonymous brian said...

how many of our problems can be traced back to control, lack of control, wanting to control others, etc.

thanks for this, sis

brian

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Chris said...

This past Saturday night, at approximately 9:00, after hitting a double, I was standing on 2nd base feeling like I was about to pass out. We had been playing softball since 9:00 that morning. We were battling for the championship -- we were exhausted, sore and needed to win two games because the team we were playing hadn't lost any. For the first time in my life I was thinking "second place isn't too bad."

Sometimes, as you have said, we need to give up because it is best.

Thanks for your post, it was very good.

1:11 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Household: said...

That was really good - I give up too!
I think I'll start with my dish and laundry chores.

On a serious note, I know that you are grieving with James the loss of someone very dear to you. He was truly one that did not give up for the sake of Christ and he encouraged many others to do the same. Part of the reason why I loved him was how he treated you and I am glad I got to be a witness to that love from one heart of God to another.
I love you too,
Kathy

2:33 PM  
Blogger jel said...

Wish I could give up on some of my hurts!

2:55 PM  
Blogger His Girl said...

Another great one. It's so hard to let go of past hurts...to let go of the control we think we have - or ought to have. Thanks for the great reminder!

3:47 PM  
Blogger Monalea said...

Neva, I'm glad you posted this. It took me years to let go and give up some things in my life. I still have to take stock and make sure I'm not gathering up things that are better off given up.

Love you 2-3-6

Monalea

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a very good post. None of us like to give up but we cannot heal until we do and we cannot dream again until we give up on now impossible dreams and we cannot remain in control and expect God to be. Love it.

Love
Kel

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its time--it really is time to give up. I realize now how I have been trying and trying to control my family, especially my husband and my mother-in-law. I have only been frustrated, angry and disappointed. Today, I was so angry I wanted to leave. I saw your site name on CWO and was intrigued by it. What a clever name! I decided to come visit. I think God led me here. I read this along with some of your other posts and tonight I have been down on my knees asking God to heal me and forgive me. I have apologized to my husband and will do so to my MIL first chance I get. You are right. I cannot be Gods child and act like this. Thank you for your words. Please pray for me that I will grow and forgive and give up my need to control. Thank you Neva

Sarah J.

10:40 PM  
Blogger Neva said...

Dear Sarah,
I will most certainly pray. God promises to bless a broken spirit and a contrite heart. While you give up on the control and the hurt, please believe that God is not giving up on you! Rest well.
Peace and prayers
Neva

10:53 PM  
Anonymous lisa leichner said...

Beautiful, Neva. I needed to see this today. I had a few of those moments with my kids today -- frustrated & stressed because the plans I had of cleaning & straightening were not happening -- instead kids were at each others' throats because I wasn't paying them enough attention. Who was I frustrated with? Really myself, but I was taking it out on them. It took me most of the day to realize I had to give up my plans for cleaning and let the kids make the plans for me today. But until reading your post, I was still a little frustrated with that. I am almost always able to find something to relate to in your posts -- you have such a gift for reaching others!

11:31 PM  
Blogger Beba said...

Yes, you are right. He is the one who is in charge.

3:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah J.
Your confession is powerful and moving. I also am praying for you. I am convinced God will bless you for you heart, just as Neva said.

Blessings
Rachel

6:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Giving up is hard, you are right but it is also necessary.
It is time we all gave up.

Carol

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I need to give up.


love ya
Pat

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Neva


Sarah J.

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like this one, too. I like them all but sometimes they really talk to me, this one did.

Jean

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like this one, too. I like them all but sometimes they really talk to me, this one did.

Jean

9:21 PM  
Blogger Marie said...

Thanks Neva! I have such control issues. Some with in my family, but I still struggle with letting it all go and resting in the peace that God will grant me. It scares me. I let most go but not some things. I had a situation with my MIL that for years went on after having our children. One day I just had enough and let it go. What a liberating experience to not have that burden on my shoulders. We are still growing and working, but things are better. Better because I listened to God and did what he asked. Thank you so much for the reminder of whose I am and what I need to do.

7:45 AM  

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