“It’s Time to Let Go!”
In January of 2013, I was driving home from work trying to unwind from the day and refocus my thoughts before I reached the house. My drive was usually very relaxing and enjoyable because it was mostly on quiet country roads with no traffic. About halfway through, I noticed something different about my surroundings; I was amazed that everything had lost its “green”, and it seemed to happen so suddenly; the grass was brown, the trees were all faded or barren, and there were no signs of wildflowers anywhere. As I looked around it kinda bummed me out. And then it hit me– “this is exactly what has happened to me!”
I used to be full of hope, joy, and life and then it all dried up. It’s not the first time it’s happened, but this time It seemed as though I had really “given up”. I was done. I had cried out over and over again, “I can’t do this anymore! I’m done! I’m tired! and I’m confused! God, where are you?!” Emotionally and mentally I gave up. I quit. And, I didn’t care anymore.
I had left California in 2011 after my world, as I thought it was supposed to be, was flipped upside down, and my life and plans were in shambles. I was very disappointed and confused that God had not answered my prayers the way that I thought He would (should). After moving to Texas and trying to start over again and get back on my feet, things just seemed to get harder and harder and I struggled, it seemed sometimes, daily. I was truly in a “wilderness place”.
I had been desperately asking God to speak to me, and He finally did, however, it wasn’t what I was expecting.
I went to church that night to help with childcare as I always did. That Tuesday, we were watching the movie “Finding Nemo”. I had watched it MANY times, but this time God spoke to me very profoundly through it. As I sat there, with a little one sleeping in my arms, completely “detached” from all of my struggles, He was able to reveal to me what He had been waiting for me to “get”. The Holy Spirit was preparing my heart throughout the movie through certain scenes and dialogue, but it wasn’t until they were inside a whale that the message came through loud and clear.
In the movie, Marlin is always expecting bad things to happen or only seeing the bad in his circumstances, not having a good attitude, and pretty much is a bummer to be around. Dory is just happy–no matter what– and very positive and encouraging, usually seeing the best in every circumstance. The contrast between them was so apparent to me this time, it made me realize how disappointing I must have been lately to my Father in heaven. My attitude was not pleasing to Him, or anyone else for that matter. He created me to be a joy and a blessing to others, but I can’t do that if I’m all “dried up and faded” like the grass and trees that I had seen earlier that day.
I realized I identified with Marlin because bad things had happened to me in life; painful, sad, and unpleasant memories were something I had in abundance, and I chose to focus on those, and the negatives of life, instead of trusting God with them and allowing Him to use them for my good. I was a grumbler and a complainer.
(Have you read 1 Corinthians 10:10 ?!)
I continued to watch the movie with anticipation of more lessons to learn from it, I wasn’t disappointed.
When they became trapped in the whale, Marlin, in his anger and frustration, practically killed himself trying to get out of, what seemed like, a hopeless situation, complaining and insisting it was never going to get any better. Meanwhile, Dory’s in the background enjoying her time in the whale without a care in the world. When Dory heard the voice of the whale telling her to go to the back of the throat, she did so without question. Marlin, however, thought she was crazy and assumed that their situation was only getting worse…he was intent on doing it his way, trying to control a situation which he had no control over. It was only when Dory yelled at Nemo,
“He said IT’S TIME TO LET GO! Everything’s going to be alright!”
It was then that Marlin had his moment of faith, choosing to trust in what didn’t seem to make any sense. (It may sound silly, but in that moment it was as if she was saying that to me!) And, again, I identified with Nemo, realizing that is where I was also. I needed to let go and simply trust God.
God wants me to trust Him–no matter what. Operating out of fear of the unknown only kills the soul. I have no idea why things in my life have been so difficult and at times sorrowful, but God does. And He’s using every struggle, every trial, every difficult, painful situation to take me right where He wants me. I need to trust Him…even when I don’t understand. I need to “let go” and enjoy every moment of life that He gives me, and look for ways to be a blessing and encouragement to others.
You see, Dory and Marlin were on a journey and getting stuck inside the whale only “seemed” to be keeping them from what they were trying to achieve. The whole time they were stuck inside the whale, they had no idea where they were headed or what was going to happen to them next, but when they let go, they were set free to find themselves right where they needed to be.
Trust Him, where ever you are in your journey. He knows what He’s doing.