Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
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Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 5:53:00 AM - Written by Doug Hignell -

Take a moment and think about the stories you've written for your life: the dreams you have for your children loving and following Jesus, for your success in the marketplace, for your health or the health of a loved one, for your financial security, and more. We all envision many stories for our lives, and we lose hope when those stories don't quite unfold as we'd dreamed.

Recent events in my life have threatened some of my dreams and, as such, have caused me to come face to face with several important questions: Am I trusting God for positive outcomes in my stories and in my circumstances, or am I trusting God even when things aren't turning out the way I'd like? How can I move forward in the midst of and after experiencing painful loss?

Before these events, a friend recommended a book by Carol Kent called When I Lay My Isaac Down: Unshakable Faith in Unthinkable Circumstances, which I recently started reading. A Christian writer and speaker, Kent one night received a phone call that her son -- a highly respected graduate of the US Naval Academy -- had been jailed for murder (he was later sentenced to life in prison). Clearly, this wasn't the story she had written for her son and his family.

About her situation, Kent writes this: "That day I took the first step in 'laying my Isaac down.'I admitted to God that I was helpless to do anything to make this situation better" (52). Continuing on, she then addresses the power of relinquishment: "Relinquishment is a poignant word. It means to 'let go of, to cease to hold in the hand.' It means giving up my rights to control the person, dream, expectation or preferred outcome of the object of my concern" (53).

Because of this book and because of these events in my life, "relinquishment" has recently become an important word for me. Relinquishing our stories to God and trusting Him for His story to unfold is certainly not easy, but it's definitely necessary in order for us to give God space to be with us and guide us through challenging times.

Quoting Kent again: "It goes against the grain of human self-reliance, and it seems wasteful of our perceived ability to fix things. But when we release our grasp, our relinquishment puts a stop to our manipulation of other people and releases the Holy Spirit to do the supernatural through the power of prayer. It's an act of trusting God when we cannot envision a positive outcome. But in the end, it's the only thing that works. I know. I have walked this road" (53).

Take a moment and ask God the following question: Do I have stories (i.e., people, dreams, expectations, preferred outcomes, etc.) that I need to relinquish to You? If you answered "yes," I encourage you to take some time to grieve over the stories that currently don't seem to be going the way that you'd hoped. After doing this, however, one by one, relinquish them to God, receive His peace, and allow His story to unfold.

Wow. Right where I am at. In business for over 6 years. We have been provided for and blessed, but this is not the business / ministry I envisioned and dreamed about. I am thankful for what we have, but I feel like we haven't accomplished what we set out to do.
Gary Larkins @ 11:43:00 AM 1/13/2013

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