Monday, September 15, 2014

Letting Go by @emilylaney

Image via Google Images (creative commons)

 “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” – Isaiah 43:1-3 

I’m writing this to you all from thousands of feet, flying cross country to my beautiful home in Atlanta, Georgia. I’ve been in Tucson, Arizona this week for work. So of course, two plane rides necessitate completing this journey. I’ve been on a lot of planes in my 29 years, nearly 200 if I had to guess. I spent much of my twenties traveling to the developing world doing missions and humanitarian work, and some of my destinations required 6-7 flights. But guess what?

I hate flying.

I really do. I love the destination, but I hate to fly. Some of this is likely due to my control freak tendencies and desire to always have a plan in place. I like to be in control, and when I’m flying, I’m not in control. I have to trust the pilot, mechanics and other involved airline employees to get me where I’m going. Flying, for me, is a practice in letting go. I don’t do it well, but I have no choice. In fact, on this very flight we’ve experienced turbulence during take off. I felt my heart beat rapidly and fear entered my mind. I anxiously picked at my nails and fumbled for my phone so I could listen to some worship music to take my mind off the bumps and impending fear in my heart.  Some of you reading may roll your eyes at this, but others of you know EXACTLY how I felt during that moment.

Fear is part of life. Relinquishing control is part of life. It’s not an easy part of life, but it is a necessary component of our journey. It may be plane rides, or public speaking, or illness, or rejection- but these tough moments happen more often than we would like them to. And much like I have to let go and trust the pilot of my plane right now, I have to let go and trust God in moments of uncertainty in life.

Why is it so difficult to trust God? I wonder that in moments of difficulty. I feel doubt and uncertainty creep in and anxious thoughts fill my mind. God has come through in countless ways for me in my life. He’s rescued me from danger, he’s comforted me during grief, and he’s provided for me when I wasn’t sure how I could make it. In many moments, it’s much easier to try to control situations on my own instead of trusting God. But I know in my own life, the times where I relinquished that control and passed my burdens, my fears and my doubts to my Heavenly Father, a peace that I couldn’t explain washed over me. So whether it be a bumpy flight or a lost job, God is there to wrap his arms around us and soothe our fears. He’s there to provide for us in ways we can’t even fathom, and comfort us in such a supernatural way that it can’t be explained. I’m so grateful for the cross, and so grateful for God’s grace. Without it, I truly don’t know where I would be.

What areas of your life do you need to ‘let go’ and allow God to take control? 

Emily Laney is a social worker, educator, and justice seeker.  She has worked with vulnerable populations in the United States and abroad and loves to help startup nonprofits reach their goals.  She is a Passion City Church door holder and leads a team of abolitionists at Not for Sale Georgia.   She loves her husband Brent and their rescue pup Biscuit. Sunsets and Sushi make her happy.

You can connect with Emily on twitter @emilylaney or on her blog

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