This week one of my friends buried her dad. Our friendship group, lovingly called the beach house girls, decided to take that dear one out for tea so she could tell us all about the service, her memories of her dad, and how she felt about the whole life transition. Since most of us could not make the out-of-town service, that was our way of saying to her, “You matter to us.”
As we come to the end of the first quarter of 2016, Becky and I want to update you on how things are going at Restore and Rebuild. We have one big announcement, a number of things we’re grateful for, and some significant prayer requests.
One accomplishment of mine this past year was running a half marathon.
When my husband and I were in college, a professor in our Educational Psychology class taught us six words that we’ve never forgotten. We attended Biola University, a Christian school, and I still remember the professor telling our class that he would be teaching us six words — three two-word phrases — that sum up what the Bible teaches about people. Since then, Dave and I have remembered these six words and incorporated them into our teaching, our parenting, and our view of life. The six words are: Very Special, Deeply Fallen and Greatly Loved.
In The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, Robin advises a young follower, “Tell us thy troubles and speak freely. A flow of words doth ever ease the heart of sorrows; it is like opening the waste where the mill dam is overfull.”
Robin Hood was trying to set an environment where people were free to share their burdens and find peace and safety. Isn’t that something we all want? Being able to share our sorrows not only releases our burdens, it empowers us to feel like we aren’t alone. We have someone who will enter our pain.
We’ve all had those times when life feels out of control. Intense demands at work, chaos at home, and next thing you know you’re completely overwhelmed.
Letting go of the things we can’t change requires a shift in perspective. We have to see relationships in a new light. Boundaries that were invisible to us before start to become clear. We begin to realize we’ve been trying to control things that really are not our responsibility.
In this process of learning to let go, these wise words have helped me to clarify what it’s like to let go.
Letting go. Having “the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,” in the words of the Serenity Prayer.
We want that serenity; we want to let go. We’re tired of constantly trying to control things that we can’t change. We’re tired of worrying, criticizing and obsessing.
But how can we learn to let go? What are actions that we can take that can help us grow in our ability to accept the things that we can’t change?
I’ve been thinking a lot about the first part of The Serenity Prayer these days. You know, the part that goes, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.”
It often seems like I live my life by another prayer, one that goes something like, “God, please bless my attempts to control the things I cannot change.”
In every relationship there will be conflict. How we deal with the conflict will determine the level of health and intimacy. Taking responsibility for our mistakes and forgiving others is critical. But it is not as easy as it sounds.