Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
The Beginning of Faith – The Problem With Expectations – Part 3
Learn to let go.
We hold on to expectations with a tight grip. We declare and sing and chant that our faith will see the miraculous, that God will come through, that what we expect will happen. ‘Lord, I come with great expectations of your power and might…” we pray. And we wait for the heavens to speak, the earth to move, and for God to show up and exact our expectations into reality.
But he doesn’t. Most of the time the unexpected happens. And when it does, we have to let go of what we thought was going to happen and accept what is.
Don’t mistake this for giving up. It’s not. It’s a very powerful thing to come to terms with what is happening in your life. Too many people go through their days ignoring the deeper issues, stuck in a cycle of negativity or hopelessness. Too many people never face their own darkness, they’re too busy running from it or band-aiding it with anything from scripture to alcohol to power. Anything to keep reality at bay. We have to let go.
What do we let go of when we “let go”?
So many things. Our need to be right. Our need to be in control. Pride – that’s a big one. Pride’s often the thing that keeps us stuck. We can’t admit that we’re wrong, or that things didn’t work out, or that we’re disappointed. Let go of the expectations placed on us and the expectations we place on others. Let go of fake, of the facade, of the “I’m great and busy and super fine.”
There is nothing to prove and no one to prove it too. You are loved.
For me, letting go has meant to cease the endless pursuit of my worth and value in things and achievements and reputation, and rest in who I am and the fact that I am enough.
Let go. Be still. Breathe.
I think that’s at the heart of Jesus words:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matt 11:28-30 MSG).
Letting go is how we take responsibility. It’s the beginning of faith.
When we release people from our expectations, we can see them for who they really are. When we release ourselves from the expectations of others (and often ourselves, too), we can make peace with who we really are. When we release situations and circumstances from our expectations, we can see what’s really going on.
And that my friends, allows us to take responsibility and to move forward in faith.
“WE FIND BY LOSING. We hold fast by letting go. We become something new by ceasing to be something old. This seems to be close to the heart of that mystery. I know no more now than I ever did about the far side of death as the last letting-go of all, but I begin to know that I do not need to know and that I do not need to be afraid of not knowing.” – Frederick Buechner, “A Room Called Remember.”
Written by Liz Milani