Light and Loveliness

Reflections of Emily Sue Allen

Life & Faith / Motherhood

When You Open Your Hands

I have spent 95% of my life holding on tight. Desperate for reassurance that everything will all be ok. Seeking control of as many factors as I can, thinking that somehow if I can control it, I can come out of the storm in one piece. I have lived afraid of many things. Some tangible, some not. Some rational, many not at all rational. And my need to always hold the reigns with a death-grip has colored every part of my life, from the very personal and nuanced, to the very public and pronounced…often at a greater cost than I realized at first.

It’s hard to live any other way when you are constantly in emergency mode, which is the mode I’ve operated in for as long as I can remember until recent years. I know the tougher days of life better than I know the light ones,  and quite honestly, it’s easier to close fists tight around the things I hold dear than to trust that God is actually good, and generous, and interested in the wholeness of little me. But He clearly is all of those things, and even though I have been stubborn, slow, afraid, and resistant to the idea that His goodness could color my world brighter than the grey that I know…here I am. I feel the weight of blessing…the weight of glory of the human soul…the magnitude of love and the depths of peace that I never understood when I was trying to hold my world together by the strength of my will.

There is a lot I don’t understand. Many things that are tough to accept. Oceans of tears and prayers sent up in desperation for myself and others. And I find myself struggling to keep my hands open even though I know with all my heart that I can’t receive anything from God if they’re closed. So when the hard moments come, I breathe in deep, remind myself of true things, and lean on true friends. I will not live in fear of what I might lose or what I might never have. Instead I will trust God by walking forward as He calls, believing that He will hear me and He will help me too.

Isaiah 64: 4-5 “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him. You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember Your ways.”

As for these photos, I love them for many reasons. They remind me that:

1. Toddlers find everything. Including Theo chocolate bars.
2. I have a choice about how to respond to every situation. I can take the reigns and remove the chocolate immediately, or I can just move the kid to a better area and let her finish what she started…much to her pleasure and delight.
3. Life is messy. And sometimes the mess is worth the trouble, even if it does ruin a pair of pants. Wasn’t able to get the chocolate out on the first wash, anyway.
4. My blessings are many, and I’m utterly grateful for them.

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