Let Go, Revisited

On January 8th, in the dawn of the New Year, I wrote a post about my theme for 2014: “Let Go”.  At that time it was something the Lord was softly whispering to me, and as I thought about it more I realized that it was something that really needed to begin to happen in my life.  I began to realize how much of my life I hold on to every day, and because of that, how much less I am holding on to Jesus.

photo 1 (4)

I sit here now, chuckling to myself about what God really had in store for me in the “Letting Go” realm.  Chuckling as in, if I don’t laugh I’ll cry, sorta chuckle.  Annnnnd it’s only March.  Ha!

Much of the letting go in that post was concerning the need for me to let go as a mother.

“Before they were our babies, they were His. My kids belong to God. Forget what our culture says is required for a happy childhood. What does God say my kids need? What does God say is important for a child? Those are things to focus on and invest in. If my kids have all the happiness in the world, but their hearts are far from the Lord, what have they gained?”

photo 3 (3)

Little did I know when I wrote that post, that a month later Addy and Ezra would be attending our local Ukrainian school.  Never in a million years would I have predicted it.  Before we moved and people asked about what we would do for school I answered them that we weren’t sure, but definitely they wouldn’t be in a local public school.  Oy.  Yeah, what do I know??

photo 4 (2)

Addy and Ez have been in school for a month now.  That act of “letting go” has been one of the hardest undertakings in my life.  I know they don’t understand much of what is said during the day at school.  I know at times they are nervous.  Making friends has been difficult because they can’t speak more than a couple of words to the other kids.  I so want them to be happy.  I don’t want them to be lonely. They say they like school, but I wonder, deep down, are their little hearts okay?

Let go.  We are being obedient to the Lord.  Their happiness is not reliant on me.  God will give them all that they need.  He created them KNOWING this would be their life.  Addy and Ezra, Havalah and Seth were each called to Ukraine, just as Jed and I were.  So what if the American culture says they need lots and lots of friends and activities to be happy?  They have each other as friends.  They have a Mommy and Daddy that love them.

Let go.

Little did I know when I wrote that post about letting go, that 2 months later Ukraine would be at the brink of full-on war.  With Russian troops moving further and further inland, no one knows what will happen next.

What does it mean to truly LET GO when face to face with war?

I have no idea, but I’m learning every day.  We never could have anticipated that God would call us to this.  But, He did.  He knew full well what was going to happen in Ukraine a week after we arrived.  He told us to come, to love on His children who have been hidden away for far too long.  We came without a Plan B.  Ukraine is our home now.  Ukraine is God’s plan for our family.

photo 2 (4)

What does it mean to lay it all down for the sake of Jesus?  What does it mean to be ALL IN, and to really mean it?  What does it mean to say YES, without conditions?  It means the same thing now as it meant to us when we came here.  Only now we better make sure we really believe it.  Is our Yes truly without conditions? We are here in Ukraine until God tells us not to be here anymore.

photo 1 (5)

Because of the political situation here, many people have been asking us when we will come home.  Many have asked us if we have a red line, like “If such and such happens, then we will leave.”  We have no line.  All we have is the voice of the Lord, just as we did when we flew out of Portland on November 12th.  We are watching the news; we are not seeking out danger, but who ever said God will always steer us clear of danger?

Let go.

photo 2 (5)

I know we have our children to think of, and believe me, there is no one that wants our kids to be safe more than Jed and I do.  But more than parents who try to keep them safe, what our kids truly need is parents who will listen to the voice of the Lord and follow Him no matter what- letting go of all else, and clinging with all they’ve got to the hand of Jesus.

Our friends here in Ukraine have no exit plan.  Our boys at Romaniv have no exit plan.  What of the countless others who lay in their cribs day after day, completely unaware of their homeland’s turmoil?  They have no choice, no option of leaving their crib, let alone their country.  

photo 3 (4)

So here we stand and here we stay.  We continually ask the Lord for wisdom.  At the same time we continually ask Him to help us let go of ourselves, in order that we might hold more tightly to Him.

Please listen to my heart.  It’s not that we are trying to call ourselves some sort of heroes or attempting to be foolishly brave.  The Ukrainian people are the ones who are brave.  The heroes are the Ukrainians who live for Jesus despite the injustice that has surrounded them all their lives. We are simply reminded that a life of obedience does not always equal a life of physical safety.  The Ukrainian people need the hope of Jesus more than ever right now.  With a new government being formed there is new hope for the children we have come to serve.  We believe with all of our hearts that we are here in Ukraine for such a time as this.  If you’ve followed our story at all you know that we didn’t arrive here by accident.  🙂  God made the way and He has a purpose in it.

photo 4 (3)

When we very first started on this journey, way back in 2010, God gave us some verses.  They have been my comfort more times than I can count.  It had been quite a while since I looked them up, and today I wept as I read them again.  Just knowing that God knew all about this way back then is such a comfort.  He does see.  He does know.

“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.

For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities…

‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord who has compassion on you…

All your sons will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children’s peace,  In righteousness you will be established: tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear.”

Isaiah 54:2, 3, 10, 13-14

Let go with me, will you?  He promises to be more than enough.  I intend to trust that.






Let Go

I've been reading about a new trend for 2014. People are giving up the whole New Years Resolution gig and are instead choosing a theme or a word to aim for or focus on for this new year. I like that! I never was one for much New Years resoluting..or resolving…or however I'm supposed to say it. But how do you choose just one phrase or word?? I thought I couldn't do it, but it just happened. BAM. I was debating about what to write about tonight (knowing I owed you all a blog post but not feeling very motivated to write) and it came to me. All my thoughts were sifting around in my brain and one single thing just kept creeping up- “my theme”…

Let Go.

 

Let go of fear.

Let go of the expectation of others.

Let go of my life.

My life is not my own. I belong to Jesus.

 

The more I try to hold on and keep up to a standard that the world holds dear the more anguish I feel inside. It's not about what the world says I need or my family needs, it's about what God says and what is important to Him.


His ways are SO MUCH higher than our ways.
Let go of the way I think our life should look.

Let go of the things I think I need.

Let go of the things I want to do.

Our God is a good Father. We can trust Him. He doesn't fill our hearts with His dreams and then not fulfill them. When our hearts are set on Him, when our eyes are focused on Him He WILL lead us. He might not always take the path I think looks best, but really, what do I know? If I know what's good for me I'll let go.
Let go of Mommy guilt.
Let go of what the world says my kids need to be happy.
Let go of the responsibility of creating my children's happiness.
Let go of the lie that my children's relationship with God depends on me.
Before they were our babies, they were His. My kids belong to God. Forget what our culture says is required for a happy childhood. What does God say my kids need? What does God say is important for a child? Those are things to focus on and invest in. If my kids have all the happiness in the world, but their hearts are far from the Lord, what have they gained?

Holding on to my own life is exhausting. So, I've decided to let go. Or, probably much more accurately, I've decided to begin the process of letting go. It's sure to be a daily battle of the heart. 🙂 But, my heart needs it. My heart was made to hold on to Jesus alone. There just isn't enough grippage (is that a word?) to hold on to anything else without losing my grip on Him. You might be thinking it was a big freefall, a big “letting go” when we moved to Ukraine. Yes, that definitely required some big-time letting go, but I know what's in my heart and I know how much I still hold on to. –mostly in regards to mothering. I know there is so much more to be gained from holding more tightly to Jesus. This needs to happen.
What about you? Do you have a theme for 2014?