To be honest, when Amanda asked me to write a post on the subject of faith, I wasn’t entirely at a loss for words. I’ve been thinking about this very subject all year. Maybe it’s the knowledge that eighteen and college are just around the corner; but maybe it’s the fact that God knew best and taught me about faith just when I needed it most.
While I can’t pinpoint the precise moment when God deepened my faith, I can tell you that the process began more than a year ago, in May of 2014. In that month, for the first time in my life, I abandoned everything familiar and moved halfway across the country with nothing but my books, furniture, and family.
I’ll admit that it was a dream come true to finally live here in Texas. I was one of the people who wasn’t born here, but I got here as fast as I could. All the same, it was terrifying to pick up and run off for no reason but that God commanded us to go. I am not over-fond of packing nor of long road trips, but I can endure that. The hard part was saying goodbye to my two best (and, at that time, only) friends.
But after some time in my new life, I looked back and saw that a bit of God’s perfect plan. I hadn’t lost my friends. I kept up with them, and what’s more, God gave me new friends. We obeyed God, and He blessed us above what we had before. This is when I started learning to really, really trust Him.
Yet that was by no means the end of the story.
I still had an innate desire to fix everything. Call it what you like: perfectionism, eldest child syndrome, arrogance… I wanted to do everything and do it by myself. I would worry about mistakes I had made, analyzing them and figuring out what to do better next time. I researched, thought, and wrote, even to the extent of writing a book about the dangers of pride. I knew I was prideful, and I knew why it was a problem. Yet it still wasn’t clicking. I couldn’t fix it by myself, which was even worse.
Again, I don’t know exactly when, but God showed me over time that I was trying to rule my own life and manage the things which I thought were in my control. I was trying to be my own god, and I did it very ill indeed. God kept reminding me that I had to give everything up to him. I couldn’t fix myself. God made this clear by putting one phrase in my mind: “Let it go.”
I need not explain that phrase; two particular songwriters named Lopez have given us such a famous picture to go with it that you really don’t need a definition. (I.e., please don’t sing.) I didn’t need an explanation, either; I knew at once that I needed to stop controlling everything. However, instead of unleashing my torrential emotions or learning to understand them (which is a different post), I needed to give everything back to God. I needed to let go of the little strings that controlled my life and give them back into God’s hands.
Therefore, whilst lying in bed, when I would usually ask God to critique my performance that day and help me plan every detail of the next one, I instead tried just releasing everything and remembering that God was in charge. I let everything go- not into the blue, not into a giant ice castle, but into His hands.
This too was scary, almost as scary as moving halfway across the country, and sometimes I had to fight against my inner Type A. I had to ask God to give me the faith sometimes to trust Him. But when I did- I felt peace. Real peace. I can’t explain it perfectly, but it’s just like when you were a little kid, too young to worry about grades and relationships and impending adulthood after high school. You loved what you were doing right now and knew that everything would be just fine. I experienced God’s peace.
1 Peter 5:7 gives us the ultimate Type A cure: “Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” Enough said.
It’s true that I’m a perfectionist, but I’m not incurable. I can’t make myself smarter and more efficient and I can’t hold everything together, but God can. I know that I can’t fix the world, but I trust that God can. That’s a good thing. And I want to leave you with one thought, reader: try letting go this year. You’ve seen all the “keep calm” signs, saying to eat chocolate or read books or even trust God. Well, here’s one for you:
Keep calm and let it go. You don’t need to be the Snow Queen, and you can’t need to fix the “eternal winter” or anything else. God is God. He’s got this.