I was ready for bed. Ready to relinquish myself over to sleep but the splash of cold water on my face left me with an alertness I didn’t welcome.
“Should’ve taken my makeup off earlier,” I thought to myself. But I waited until my lids grew heavy and my yawns were more frequent. And in that reluctant obedience of wanting clean skin I got up and carried on with my routine. Heightened, awakened senses quickly followed. It didn’t take long before I was rubbing on the lavender in hopes of greeting the Sandman sooner rather than later and settling myself on the couch looking to regain some sleepy tones after a few moments of reading or writing.
In years past I would welcome this second wind. This burst of energy to snatch away the hours of the night so I could write. Yet as I’ve continued to learn the ins and outs of chronic illness I sympathize with the sleep my body needs. Another act of obedience that leaves me a little reluctant…
You can imagine my frustration with this sudden, wide-awake-ness.
Still. Writer’s gonna write.
As the laptop opened, I gleaned inspiration from the lights on the tree. Light, of any kind, makes my words flow more easily. Whether it be sunrise, sunset or candlelight – it brings with it a new kind of song and my fingers dance across the keys to that particular rhythm. The morning light ushers in a soft, pinkish glow and while my words might start slow and sleepy they build into a crescendo as the dawn fully bursts over the horizon. At dusk, the fiery hues send a mellow tone – an almost peaceful finality to the day that rests behind me. The candlelight, on the other hand, brings with it a romanticized view of virtually any topic. Suddenly, that bowl of vanilla ice cream has words behind it that give it all the aesthetic appeal of Baked Alaska.
Light does that.
Yet, we tend to shove all of our unwelcome characteristics into the darkness – hiding them, if you will. But the whispers are there. Fueling our desire to keep them hidden all the more. Those soft voices feed us lies and tell us it’s because of those qualities we aren’t worth much. Every now and again that fake lighting falls against our cheek and we feel all those things that human beings search for.
But it’s only temporary. A false sense of security to keep us in the dark and away from the Light.
Why must we cling to that?
We don’t have to. It’s a choice we make. We can relinquish.
Light will always overcome the dark. Everything that’s exposed will be right and true and just. If it’s kept in darkness, it will always be elusive – cunningly tempting us to step further in so we might see it and believe it.
Darkness has clouded my vision repeatedly over the last few years because I’ve refused to let go. To relinquish control. Being fully exposed and handing it all over to Him isn’t always an easy thing to do. Especially amongst so much change. We hang on to what is familiar and what we feel is rightfully ours. If we release our grasp it’s no longer ours to cling to. It’s now fair game and when we don’t know the outcome we are hesitant. Quick to encourage others to release – yet fearfully unsure about loosening our own grip.
Hypocrite might be the word I’m looking for.
Quite a year it’s been. A year of giving up and gaining. A year of fear and courage. …a year of embracing change. And how much I’d be lying to you if I said it was an easy thing.
When this all began, back in 2013, it seemed to slowly take flight. I imagined myself as a Wright brother, just biting my lip during those first few flights. Briefly in the air and back down again to rethink the entire process. Yet the change isn’t always swift and the time it takes to come about is often a gift in and of itself, teaching and molding us all the while.
My word of the year for 2015, was “humble” and my scripture was 1 Peter 5:6. I can’t even begin to tell you how powerful this was for me. It wasn’t just another resolution that lacked commitment after a few weeks. It wasn’t a “good intention” gym membership or a promise to eat better. It wasn’t an oath to change this or that or the other. It was a reminder that humility must come to me no matter the cost. No matter what I needed to give up…no matter how desperately I wanted to cling to an idea that I deserved the same thing she has and for all those obvious reasons…
I must remain humble under His hand.
It’s doubtful that I go into the next year and toss that word aside. It’s a part of me now. Engrained into every thought that I have – right there in the forefront of my mind. It’s beginning to truly master over me now, kicking my pride square in the pants on an almost daily basis. And sometimes I grumble when I hear it…but other times I smile with gratitude and cling to it like a lifeline. My one word is doing its job…
This year, I have a new word to focus on. As 2016 sits on my doorstep I’m focusing on the word “relinquish.”
While this scripture of Hebrews 12:1 is incredibly familiar to me, I maintain that it is the best reminder for me to let go of the hinderances that are slowing down my race. Some of this is sin, yes. And some of it might be the daily distractions that keep me occupied on all the wrong things.
Whether it’s the bitterness growing in my heart or the blatant acts of unforgiveness that continue to resurface. Whether it’s too much routine, or lack-thereof. Maybe it’s the inflammatory foods that quietly slip back into my diet.
“Relinquish” means to let it go. To throw off things that hinder and cling to what is good and right and just.
That Light I was talking about? You know the one that turns plain vanilla ice cream into Baked Alaska?
That’s what I’m focusing on this year. I’m letting go. I’m exposing it to the Light.
And I’m going to relinquish control of anything that’s holding me back from seeing God’s mighty power at work in my life.
Have you participated in One Word yet? If you haven’t, maybe this is your year. Either way I’d love for you to join me in the comments to chat about the upcoming year or the one that is behind us. Tell me about your “one word…”
Linking up with the following authors today:
Faith Barista for #OneWordCoffee
Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory
Holley Gerth and Coffee For Your Heart
Love! My word this year is “fearless”. Specifically, I’d like to live and to love more fearlessly. I let my fears (of my self, of others) stand in my way way to often. I can be afraid to live and to love with abandon. This year, I hope to be much more fearless!
Wow…what a brave word! To relinquish control is huge. I am learning lessons in this, too. My One Word is Receive. And I’m learning a HUGE part of receiving is letting go and letting God. It’s amazing how He is gently guiding me through understanding this word and living it out each day. Loved this post…thank you for sharing your one word!
Thank you for visiting, Jordan. I think “Receive” is a wonderful word. I can definitely see that in just receiving grace. It’s so easy to not recognize it for what it is – and it’s something we need to receive with open arms. 🙂
Relinquish. I love this. And I need to do it too. Takes so much bravery to do it. I still cling to much in this journey, especially control. Perhaps our words aren’t too far apart. My word for the year is “dare.” Perhaps for you…dare to relinquish.
“Dare to relinquish.” Oh, and Allison – some days it certainly does feel like a dare. It’s not an easy step to take in letting go of so much. I’m trying not to get ahead of myself and just ask for His discernment in this. I want to let go of those areas where He’s searched my heart. Areas that He’s told me to let go. It’s going to be an emotional year… Praying for you and your word, “dare.”
Such good words! The word relinquish carries such power with it and letting go is a theme I always need in my life. I will be praying as you embrace the word “relinquish” this year and look forward to hearing what this looks like in your life.
My word is hope and I have already found how freeing it is to cling to hope rather than to remain stuck. Blessings!
Thank you so much for visiting, Mary!
Wow. Wonderful word. I pray it touches your heart every bit as much and more as last year’s. Beautiful writing!
Thank you so much for the encouragement, Meg. 🙂
I saw your link up at Holley’s. The One Word — “relinquish”, intrigued me. I like your plans this year to let go of anything holding you back from God’s plans for your life. There might be some tears of grief letting some stuff go, but putting it in God’s hands will also give you tears of joy! My One Word for 2016 is “re-focus”. I will be letting go of some things too, but notice I still left some of the control to myself to decide what to let go and what to focus on. You are braver than me, Jennifer. Praying for an amazing year for you!
Hi Janet – thank you for visiting. I can be very honest in saying that this word seems to be my hardest yet and I’ve barely gotten started. There have, in fact, been many tears already in this process of relinquishing whatever God puts on my heart. I can’t wait to see the growth from this experience – but I don’t doubt it’s going to be an emotional year.
such beautiful writing! I love your word, such a powerful one! I love the light that shines through darkness! May you enjoy a year of constant relinquishing! Visiting from #coffeeforyourheart today!
Thank you for your encouragement, Kathy!
Really good truth here! I think satan does want to keep us in the dark. Good for you to be willing to surrender and let the light shine on you! Visiting from #threewordwednesday.
Thank you for visiting today, Kristen!