Last week I got a precious gift from my sister. It was this necklace with the words “Let go” inscribed on it.
Two simple words, yet such a deep and powerful meaning for me. Really sums up my life in the past two months. Before cancer, I worried about my worrying and my lack of surrender to the Lord. So many times people just told me.. “Let it go”. Really? That simple?? Then I felt guilty because I couldn’t just trust enough or believe enough. The bigger issue wasn’t my lack of belief; it was my idol of control. The definition of “to let something go” is to “relinquish one’s grip on someone or something”. I couldn’t let go. Then came cancer. Showed up out of the blue. This wasn't part of the plan. Proverbs 16:9 We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. I do want to clarify something. The Lord didn’t give me cancer as a punishment for not trusting Him or something else I had done. But, I do believe that for me and my journey, the Lord has allowed this to happen for my refinement. For Him to be glorified. God is good, He wants us to flourish in this world and to bring others to Him. He only wants the best for us. My grip was so tight on my life and the lives of my family that I couldn’t let go. I controlled every aspect of my life and their lives so much so that it affected my relationship with Jesus. They were more important to me than Him. I believed every single truth about Him, except the one that He was sovereign and could care for the most important things in my life. I didn’t trust He was in control of my life and that He could care for every single detail. Suffering on this earth is everywhere. In fact, the bible tells us to expect it. Not only expect it, but have joy in it. James 1:2 2 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. Romans 5:3-5 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have trials. But take heart; I have overcome the world. How do you have joy with cancer? With any major loss? I never could have personally explained it without being where I am at now. Before cancer, I wouldn’t have been able to answer that question. I would’ve said “I have no idea. I can’t imagine how that is even possible.” See for the longest time, I have equated joy with happiness. I will never forget one Sunday at church, our worship leader Brad talked about how we can have joy without being happy. They aren’t the same thing. I never had truly understood this. But, now I do. Now, I was not happy when I got the cancer diagnosis, when my hair fell out in clumps or when I am dry heaving all day over the toilet. But, I have had an unexplainable joy throughout this journey. Joy that only comes from the Lord; from believing His truths and His promises for me. Suffering is one of those things none of us can escape this side of heaven. No doubt some people suffer more than others. I have some friends that have endured so much loss in their lives that it brings me to my knees. I have asked “why?”. I think that’s a natural response. But, one thing that is certain is that I know the Lord is good. He is in control. He is never surprised by any of this. One day the Lord will reveal to us why He allowed suffering in our lives. Just like Job in the bible, God will restore us. Though we will suffer, the Lord will bring us to a place that was far better than we ever imagined. A place that was way better than before any trial we endure. So, to let it all go. To trust. To surrender. Just as my sister wrote to me in the card she gave me with the necklace. This is a season of learning to “let go”. To surrender it all to the Lord. To lay my life down at the foot of the cross where Jesus gave it all for me. Where Jesus did all the work, so I wouldn’t have to do anything. Being a believer in Jesus doesn’t mean life is perfect and there is no pain. That’s what is so beautiful about the life of Jesus. He was God on earth. He suffered and experienced tremendous heartache on this earth, just like every other human being. Luke 22:42 "Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine." Jesus asked the Lord to take his suffering away… but then he also said “I want your will to be done, not mine”. Jesus had to suffer. He had to die so he could rise again. So he could conquer death fully. If the Lord would’ve taken the cup of suffering away from him, he wouldn’t have died on the cross. There would not be salvation or justification for our sins. We would have no hope. So, even though I and so many others have asked the Lord to take away the suffering in my life. I also want the Lord’s will to be done in my life, because my will would’ve never led me to this place. In fact, it would’ve taken me anywhere else but here. I can’t see how this will all play out in the future. I have no idea where this will all lead me. But I trust the Lord is painting a beautiful picture. He is creating a story that I will have full understanding of one day. I will know why He chose me to have cancer. Lord, I am letting go. I am surrendering it all to you. May your will be done on this earth. May you use my life to bring others to you. Lord, you are good, may others see you for who you really are. You are good. You are bigger. You are better. Jesus, this is all for you.