There once was a girl who believed that if she could try hard enough, she would maintain a dating relationship that was quickly falling apart. She tried writing notes, sending texts, and even being more fun. She clutched onto that relationship until it felt as if she would break from the exertion of warding off her fears.
And then one day, she prayed this very prayer:
Father, You are the only one who can ever truly fill me or assure me with your constant affirmation. Today I am entrusting you with my heart and his. I need you to guard what I have entrusted you with! Your Word says, “Yet I am not ashamed because I know WHOM I have believed and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day.” (2 Tim. 1:12) To entrust: to give You something in faith. I entrust my heart and this relationship to you. I let go. If this is not the one for me – do your thing. I trust you.
And then, the very next day (for serious):
Well. That’s it. Over. Thank you, Lord, for the immediate comfort of friends. Somehow use this in my life for Your Glory. I am Yours – wholly Yours. Father, You are faithful to answer my prayers as I call and I thank you for that. I praise You that You are sovereign in my life and You know what is best for me. I can’t explain You, but thank You for guarding my heart.
I meant those words. Even the day of my breakup, I meant them. I had tried clinging to my relationship and had watched it fall apart. In the midst of my fears God reminded me that my relationship didn’t belong to me. I didn’t own it. The moment I opened up my hands I was able to see that this relationship wasn’t what God had planned for me. Even though I was spending time with an honorable young man, I had warped my perspective to the point that I was living amidst fear and broken expectations. Hindsight now tells me that this breakup was a launching point in my life and ministry and that this wasn’t the guy for me. But at the time, all I had to hold onto was a belief that God was able to guard what I entrusted to Him.
Healthy Dating Relationship Principle #5: Open up your hands and entrust the relationship to your Heavenly Father.
(From Checklist for Life – for Women)
“Place a small rock in the open palm of your hand. Now clench your fist around that rock, holding it tightly, keeping your muscles rigid and tense. How long can you hold this position comfortably? Notice how quickly your hand tires. Now open your hand again, allowing the rock to lie comfortably in the center of your open palm. Do you think you could hold the rock more comfortably for a longer period of time in this open position?
Our bodies illustrate spiritual lessons. How often have you clutched your life in a clenched fist, fighting the natural forces, trying to control and confine life within the small boundaries of your fears and expectations? It is as uncomfortable for the human heart to be clenched and closed as it is for the human hand. We were meant for openness, movement, and freedom.
Grace is a gift that God gives to an open hand. If your hand is closed, you have no room to receive the surprise packages of life and love that God offers. Unclench your fist. Instead of trying to second-guess, judge, and control life, allow God to surprise you with new insight and unexpected gifts. Let go of your rigid opinions and limited expectations. Open your heart and hand to receive God’s gifts of grace and freedom and delight.”
P.S. Joy Eggerichs just wrote a great response to a question on her blog this week that pairs so well with this post. Check it out and be encouraged over at Love and Respect NOW.