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Letting Go is a Hard Sacrifice

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Café Menu for Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Today’s Special is: Releasing the Treasures
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Dawn Aldrich
Main Ingredient:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord.  “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Entrée:

I willed my aching feet up the ladder one more time.  My weary heart sank as I dunked the paint brush deep into the sunny yellow paint.  One more step.  One more stroke.  Just.  One.  More.

Twenty-five years prior and five months pregnant with my daughter, I climbed the rungs of that ladder feeling ten pounds lighter than today.  Then I was painting God's gift to us—the house I’d prayed for.  It was the perfect gift where my husband and I raised our two children, entertained friends and ministered hope.  It was my true heart’s desire that God wrapped up with a shiny red bow long ago.

And now?  Now, God asked me to let it go, to change course, to release it all.

With every coat of paint I rolled over dear memories.  The weight of the sacrifice grew heavier with every stroke.

But then God whispered,

There's something more.  Something new.  Let.  It.  Go.

I'd been white-knuckling this house—wrapping my hands around it as though it held my true identity; like it was my source of blessing rather than the blessing.  God was my Source—is my Source—and this house was but a very good gift.  Now He was asking me to let it go; to sacrifice something very good for something even better.

In the midst of hard sacrifices, God calls us to worship; to refocus our attention onto His goodness; to offer up our thanksgiving for His faithfulness in our past and thanksgiving for all His promises for our future.

So, I transferred my focus from myself to God's goodness and worshiped God with every roll of the paint, thanking Him for the life lived between these walls and the family He helped us raise.  And when I did, my whole attitude changed.  I realized God wasn't asking me to give up something very good for something even less, but rather to release my idolatrous hold and trust Him for something better, lovelier, freeing and full of hope—because that's how God rolls.

The paint dried and every surface reflected the Son just right.  We staged the rooms in picture-perfect-excellence and manicured every corner of the yard.  It was time to release the gift and let strangers in.

Take Out:

If God’s asking you to make a hard sacrifice and your heart’s having difficulty letting it go, spend some time reflecting on the reasons.  Be honest with God and take time to listen to His plans for you.  Write down what God whispers to your heart.  Pray that He will increase your faith as you release your hold on whatever He’s asking you to release to Him.  God’s got good plans for you.

Dessert:

Precious Lord, thank You for the blessings.  Thank You for Your faithfulness in providing all our needs every single day.  Now we release these treasures back to You. We freely offer Your gifts as a sacrifice of praise to use as You see fit.  Prepare our hearts for the next chapter, the next adventure, remembering that You have good plans for us.  Help our eyes to stay fixed on You.  Amen.

For more encouragement, visit Dawn at Dawn’s New Day where an ordinary woman encounters an extraordinary God in her every day experiences.

© 2015 by Dawn Aldrich.  All rights reserved.

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1 Comment

Dawn, thank you for the reminder. In being still before Him today, moments prior to reading today's Encouragement Café, I could hear the still small voice of God saying Let. It. Go. Something new is for you when you can release it. Let it be about Me and what I have to give you today and your future. ~ have a great 'Son'shine filled day!

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