You know, that Elsa was really onto something…
“It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all
It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry
Here I stand and here I stay
Let the storm rage on”
I swear I must have sang this song one thousand times. I wish I were exaggerating, but I’m not. What’s funny is sometimes the things we’re most aquatinted with, are the things lost on us entirely. I mean, did you really know those were the lyrics? I knew because I sang them- loud and proud- but I didn’t really KNOW them.
I know them now. Like I KNOW them.
Y’all, I’m walking through a season of pruning, or refining if you’d rather put a more optimistic spin on it. But here’s the truth: Pruning means deep cuts and taking away, where refining means severe heat and separation. Either way you slice it, it’s painful. But on the flip side, in both cases, it’s for the good of what ever is being pruned or refined.
I’m studying Gideon right now and I have to laugh at the timing because it’s the exact perfect story to be amerced in. If you’re not familiar with this little slice of history, Gideon and his band of 300 misfits face off against the 130,000+ militant Midianites. And they win.
What I love about the story, though, is not the victory. I love that Gideon is the least likely person to pull off such a thing- this gives me great hope for my lack of ability sometimes. And I love that God was intentional in stripping Gideon of his resources. Gideon started out with loads of soldiers, and it would have been a pretty matched battle had it all remained that way. But had the cookie crumbled in that direction, the glory of God would have been entirely missed and none of us would have the opportunity to grow our faith in the aftermath of victory. It probably would have been a completely unremarkable battle in a history that is chalk FULL of battles that are unremarkable- unless you were there of course.
Slowly but surely, God stripped Gideon of those men. So much so, he faced his foe under impossible odds. To say these 300 were the underdog would be putting it mildly for sure.
So as I walk through a season of pruning and refining, and as I’m being asked (forced) to let it go, I’m reminded that it’s on purpose. It’s not something to be intimidated by. For one, as I said before, there has to be refining and trimming in order for things to flourish. But also, these are the only seasons where our faith is truly strengthened and our trust is really solidified.
Think about it… when you were in a season of abundance- plenty of money, a secure job, a definitive path, good health and everything settled- did you feel the need to lean into God and grow your faith? Of course not! Those are the seasons we strengthen our gratitude and practice generosity.
But when you’re required to let it go… release…
That’s when faith gets real. That’s when you really start to see what you have, what you need, and where you’re going… but also… who’s walking with you.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength. Phil. 4:12-13
I’m learning a lot about this verse right now. I know that just because there are obstacles, that doesn’t mean I’m not exactly where I need to be. I’m also learning that everything changes and nothing is guaranteed. It’s hard to let go, it’s hard to move on. No one loves change. But here’s the deal: When we’re clinging to the things that once were, we’ll never step into the things that are meant to be.
So I’m learning to let go.
Here I stand and here I stay… Let the storm rage on!
The cold never bothered me anyway.