A few days ago, I posted about having an ugly, meltdown. In the end-I prayed that God would pry my fingers off of things I can’t control- and help me to trust in him- not myself. I needed to let some things go.
Yesterday, I had a few unexpected (and some unwanted) opportunities to do just that.
I had my whole day planned. I like plans. Especially when I make them. And -when they are plans for a day of doing something for myself. Which- is what I had planned for yesterday. A ME day. Then, my plans changed. I was disappointed. But, I went with it. I let it go. I adjusted. I drove the youngest to school. I worked out. I wrote, hit send and am trusting God with the outcome of that risk. I even managed to knit a bit between laundry loads and researching some options for a situation we’re in need of answers for. (A topic for another day.) I cooked dinner in the crock pot. I didn’t even freak when I noticed my right rear tire was flat yet again. I just- asked my husband to help.
All was manageable.
Until, I got home from after school pickup. And did what I always do.
First- I shed my outerwear-(And a few other things. Home is where the girls are free to be. Home an underwire free-zone. You’ve been warned.) Then, I did what I always do next: I take off my jewelry and put it away. First my rings go into the jewelry cleaner- then my earrings.
Every. Single. Day.
Yesterday was the same as any day- first the rings went into the tiny dunk tank- then one earring. Then: Crap. When I reached for the second earring- there was nothing there.
“Don’t panic. It’s probably either: a) already in the dunk tank and you’re a dork and weren’t paying attention to what you were doing, or b) entangled in my scarf or, in the car.” My husband had just eft to get the tire fixed- so I checked my scarf. Nothing. At which point the whole “don’t panic” thing went out the window. I texted him 42 times to have him check my car for the earring. No response. I envisioned an evil car repair dude finding my beautiful earring and pawning it for cash, before my husband could even get home.
I searched the house. Just in case. Nothing. I called the only places I had gone yesterday- CVS and the school. Nothing. I went outside in my yoga shorts and slippers and searched the snow and ice packed driveway. Nada.
After trying to call my darling the 43rd time- I realized his phone was dead and I’d just have to wait.
I wanted to cry. I know- it’s an EARRING. Get a grip. right? But, I’ll be honest-I used to have a sickening amount of expensive jewelry. Over the past few years- I’ve let most of it go. Some, due to necessity- (Hello, sell your gold place in the strip mall. And thank you – gold market for going through the roof. You helped pay some bills, tuition and funded some giving we couldn’t have done without your cooperation.) Some went toward creative financing of a gift. (I surprised my husband with fancy wheels and tires for his classic car. When you’re a single income family- it’s kind of hard to surprise your spouse with anything.) I’ve pared down to what I actually wear and only the most sentimental pieces. It’s been painful, but also good to let things go.
This earring was not on the “let it go” list.
When my husband got home I told him what happened, then tore through the car. Nothing.
“I’ll go over to the school and check the parking lot, if you want me to.” He offered.
“Don’t bother, if it’s there- it’s smashed to bits. I was in the first pick up. Hundreds of cars and people tramped that parking lot after I left. And I couldn’t even tell you where I parked or, where I walked.”
We ate dinner. I tried to let it go. I think, I actually did. I did however- check online to see what it would cost to replace it. Not an option. If the earring was gone it was gone. I gave up.
My husband did not. He could see I was struggling. He knew it was more than ” just an earring” It was a gift from him. He knew how many things I’ve let go of over the past few years- some joyfully, some sadly. And I’m not so shallow that I’m just talking about jewelry. Loss comes in a lt of forms and we’ve lost a lot in the past 4 years. After dinner, he said: “I’ll just go over and look in the school parking lot. Ok?” My response: “You can if you want – but I doubt you’ll find it. If you do, it will be ruined” Because- you know I am an awesome woman of faith and hope. Not.
He left. I pouted and tried to let it go. I had no hope that earring would be found. There was just, no way.
I distracted myself by complaining on the internet. I asked for prayers that even I- thought were stupid. (Earrings- not a 10 on the important things to ask God about list.)
Soon. way too soon for the news to be good, I thought. The dogs started barking and I heard a car door slam.
The front door opened and I heard these words: “Thank you, Jesus! ”
My response: “There is NO WAY.”
My husband’s reply: “I found it. It’s perfect. I drove up and immediately in the headlights I saw a glimmer in the snow. I was on the phone. I walked over and there it was. I had to put my customer on mute- cause I lost it, when I found it.”
“Show me.” I was sure it had to be at least damaged. It wasn’t. It was perfect. Whole. Sparkling.
I matched it with the one in the dunk tank. Just to be sure he hadn’t done anything stupid -like gone straight to a jeweler to buy a replacement we can’t afford and tried to fake me out. Nope. Perfect match.
I can’t explain it. It doesn’t make sense. Especially since the very same man cannot find the dog treats in the pantry or anything in the fridge even when he’s standing there with the door open and it’s right where it always is. He may not have household item locating skills- but he had faith and hope for that earring to be found.
And he DID.
And when he did- I found myself refilled with hope. Not just for earrings- but for other things: like his cancer. Like: actually getting this book I’m working on, published. Like: things I’m anticipating going very badly- going much better than I expect. I tend to be a worst case scenario type Christian- “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst” is my unspoken motto.
It reminded me of the parables of the lost sheep, coin and son. I even posted online -before he arrived home with my mind-blowing surprise- that I sometimes feel like I live those” searching for the missing” parables in a Christian version of ground hog day. Over and over.
The thing is- I forget the lost items are found.
And the finding leads to rejoicing. Over lost coins, sheep and prodigals in the bible. Over lost Fitbits, keys, earrings and way too often-paperwork at my house.
Like in the movie Frozen- sometimes when we let things go- we find them, and we find hope, and ourselves.
In hitting “send” on a submission- I let go of myself and Like Elsa in the movie- I see a bit of what I can do when I stop trying to be perfect and try.
In letting go of the earring- and having it found? I found a spring of hope for all things.
My question for you: Is there something you need to let go of? Let it go- whether it’s holding back on something you’d love to do but are afraid of- or something you need to let go of like your past. Maybe- there’s something you’ve given up hope on, or, have been searching for but haven’t been able to find- and you need to look one more time. Let it go.
Give it a try- you just might find a diamond of hope and joy- in the snow.
Here are the parables-I re-read last night- Read them and see what you can find there- for your situation.
And here’s what I closed out my devotions with last night— a reminder to let some things go-and a reminder that God is compassionate and longs to be gracious to even me- A crazy chick who’s overly attached to her earrings-
From Isaiah 30- verses 18-22
“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!
People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Then you will desecrate your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, “Away with you!”
Dear Lord- help me to let go of the things I need to- and hold onto hope for the things I should. I don’t always know the difference. I love you lord- and pray you;ll help me let it go- in all the best ways. Thank you for restoring my hope….I pray you;l do the same for all who read- I love you lord- amen.