Recently I have been letting go. I have been letting go of control, letting go of what I can do, letting go of things I have chased.
Over the years I have heard that sometimes we have to give things up. We have to place things in the hands of God and allow him to take them. I have also heard that most of the time, he gives them back. I’m learning that I do not have the same idea of getting things back that God does.
In the book of Job, everything that Job has is lost. He loses most of his family, his fortunes, his livelihood, and his health. And then, at the end of the book, it says that God restored Job. In one sentence he restores him. In one sentence, he has seven sons and three daughters. In one sentence he is back.
I really doubt that he was really back after what we think of as one sentence.
God has a tendency to work in the little things and over the long haul. I do not really like that. I want instant results. I want God to wave his hand and fix everything; he should make everything just the way it was supposed to be. I want results. I want them now. God wants somethings else, though, and he is in charge.
Looking back on my life, I have had to give a number of things back to God. I have had to relinquish them knowing that I may never see a semblance of what I had. If someone were to look at my life now, they may not see any of the giving away that has transpired. They may see confidence, purpose, and calling. I can tell you, those bright spots were not always there.
It has taken years for God to bring me back to a place of confidence. I lost most of my professional confidence after a work experience I would rather not repeat. I forgot what I was good at. I forgot how to live. I forgot what it meant to work well. I may look confident now, but it has come after years of therapy, years of help, mentor after mentor who believed in me, and founding an organization with a good friend.
Nobody sees all of that.
When people run into me, I think they see someone who feels calling and purpose. With some of my mentees, I have been discredited because someone where I am now never could have been through the things I have been through.
But I have.
I share with Job in being restored over time. This means lots of pain, lots of patience, lots of time, and eventually being restored. It does not take place in an hour or a day. In my case, it has taken place over years. I think Job is the same. We just read “he was restored” but we do not read about the struggles, the trials, the tears that were shed to remember the dead. We do not read about the hurts and the struggles, the healing of his marriage. We only see the redemption, but we do not see the time it took to redeem.
In my life, I have had to let go of a number of things. I have had to let go of being “normal,” of having it all together all of the time, of being able to live like the people around me. I have had to turn it all over and not see redemption for years. But then, years later, after a great deal of pain and time, redemption is here.
I do not like God’s timeframes because they take so much time. But in the end, it is worth it.