Releasing: Surrendering Control and Understanding

Releasing: Surrendering Control and Understanding

John and Stasi Eldredge have had a significant impact on my life. Through their books and through their teachings, I’ve experienced a deeper understanding of who I am and Whose I am. I’ve become aware of the battle. A battle for my heart and for the hearts of those I love. If you read the news or turn on the TV, your heart with break. Death, destruction, and tragedy are all too common. Yet our souls were never meant to carry such weight. There are circumstances that have been written into my story that I likely would not have chosen; however, through the wisdom shared by John and Stasi, I’m learning the beauty and the hard in releasing. Releasing everyone and everything. Taking a posture of surrendering control and understanding in exchange for life and breath.

Control

Control is a form of comfort for me. I use it as a way to self-protect. I unknowingly find myself hiding behind the banner of mom, wife, sister, daughter. When the hard, when the crisis, when the thing I’m nervous, scared and uncertain about rises, my grip on the banner tightens and I shrink.

  • Bullying, school shootings, and suicide have become prevalent in our culture today. Do I allow myself to be overwhelmed and overcome by fear when I send my children to school?
  • A husband who is a pilot in the United States Air Force, flying missions around the world. He is also an aerial firefighter. Do I allow myself to be overwhelmed and overcome by fear each time he deploys or steps out the door to fly?
  • Walking with another family member through an aggressive cancer diagnosis. Do I allow myself to be overwhelmed and overcome by fear thinking through the impact losing another loved one to cancer will bring?

Making the choice to release everyone and everything feels risky. It feels vulnerable. It’s countercultural as the lies whisper I must not care or love my people enough if I don’t choose to hold fiercely to their hearts. To their pain. To their fear. Choosing to release or choosing to be overwhelmed and overcome by fear not only affects me, but also affects those I love. When my hands are held tightly to the the crisis, to the hard, to the thing that makes me nervous, scared, and uncertain, it holds me and those I love prisoner to the smaller story. It creates a barrier and impedes what our Father, God, wants to do in and through us.

Releasing

As I close my eyes and breathe deeply, I whisper the words, ‘I release everyone and everything to You, Father.’ As the words pour out, questions begin to rise in me…

But what if …
I pause. Breathe. And say it again. I release everyone and everything to You.
But how will …  
Pause. Breathe. I release everyone and everything to You.
But how can …
Pause. Breathe. I release everyone and everything to You.
Daily. Moment by moment. I release everyone and everything to You.

When I release. When I surrender control and understanding. It is not from a posture of apathy but rather from a posture of deep love. I’m stepping out of the way and allowing God to step in. My arms are open, my head is lifted and I’m free to catch a glimpse of the larger story. I allow God the opportunity to take the banner and blow it away. To show up for those I love and allow their eyes a glimpse at the larger story as well.

A Choice

The Father does not simply see the crisis, the hard, the thing we are nervous, scared and uncertain about. He sees His daughter. His son. The Father SEES us. Hears the thoughts and feels the emotions swirling through us. Longs to sit with us. To be our companion. To keep us company. It’s our choice. We can have understanding or we can have God. But we cannot have both. We can have control or we can have God. But we cannot have both.

“The story of your life is the story of the long and spiritual assault on your heart by the one who knows what you could be, and fears it.”
John Eldredge

Robin Pantusa

Robin lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado with her husband and three children. She taught kindergarten and first grade for ten years before making the choice to stay home and care for her children. She enjoys the beauty of the Rocky Mountains and the laughter of dance parties with her family. Robin finds life in honest and vulnerable conversations and in the partnership of writing with her Father.

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