We’re all praying for something, right? We’re all holding on to something, hoping it will come right, work out, be fixed, healed, restored, returned, changed or… God, just something, anything would be better than this.
I know what you mean. I’ve prayed for and about a heck of of a lot of things. And I’ve had my miracles.
I’ve also had my complete catastrophes.
And sometimes they are the exact same thing.
I don’t know about those magic prayers which are said to get you just what you want from God, and never anything bad, unpleasant or unwanted. I only know those times I received an answer to my prayer was when I let go of what I knew in my heart I needed to let go of.
In every instance, while I prayed for a miracle, I was holding on to something I thought I absolutely needed to survive with sheer desperation, thinking if I could keep it all together, I could keep it all, and everything would be all right, and I would get what I wanted, and nothing bad would happen to me or anyone else, and everything would be okay.
God, I held on. To my fear of risk, of change, of the disapproval of others. I held on to my bad behavior, my habits, my addictions, and I held onto the people in my life I blamed for causing those things.
I held onto stuff, places, ideals, ambitions and tribes. I held onto the limelight. I held onto my hiding places. I held onto what others told me I should hold on to, even though it didn’t fit me, and I became someone I wasn’t and never could be.
I held onto my shame, my pain, and the stories which defined me. I held onto my past success, and the identities I adopted for myself and others put onto me. I held onto being good, being a rebel, being dumb or smart, being up front, being invisible. I held on with all my might to things I thought were the cure, but which turned out to be the disease, all the time praying to be healed.
I prayed to be saved, forgiven and redeemed, whilst doggedly clinging to my victim stories and the deep, seemingly immovable belief I was worthless, bad and totally useless.
I prayed for God to heal my cancer, while holding onto the life I’d made for myself which led me away from self-care, truth and authenticity. I prayed I would survive, but I did not want to give up living to please others and proving I could be clever, independent and good and not too much trouble.
I prayed God would heal my marriage, but I would not give up my husband, not to the journey he needed to go on to heal and become whole, and not to the alcohol he was killing himself with.
And then, after almost dying from holding on, and almost witnessing the person I loved most in the world self-destruct, also from holding on, I realised that holding on was not facilitating the miracles we needed not just to heal, but to actually survive it all. Holding on was not all it was cracked up to be.
We needed to let go.
I lost the life I built for myself out of holding on. And so did my husband. And we even lost each other.
For a while.
There is a miracle awaiting you in the letting go. Learn it, teach yourself to do it. And practice it often. The world tells us we must own, accumulate, conquer, build, possess and at all costs be right, but this isn’t how miracles are made. Empires, addictions, exiles, vices, wars and debt are made this way. But ownership, wealth and power won’t cure your cancer, restore you to your children, heal your relationships or bring back the years you wasted rehearsing your deepest fears.
For His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
Your miracle is born in the crucible of your surrender. It will be terrible, and it will be painful. But you know in your heart there is no other way.
Trust. Everything is going to be all right.
Love, Jo xxxby