Sunday, May 25, 2014

Let It Be


Let it be. The good, the bad, the ugly…let it be. The big things and the small things…let it be. Mike and I have found that the best times in our journey together and the most beautiful things in our lives have happened not been because of anything we planned or did. The best things in our life, we never saw coming. And as it turns out, the bad things have happened in spite of our best efforts to plan and protect ourselves. The bad things happened when we were trying to do good. Oh and the ugly, let us not forget the ugly! We call this 2011! Because of 2011, we no longer live a life of fear and control, but of peace and surrender. Not peace as absence of conflict but peace as in flourishing, wholeness, harmony and delight in spite of circumstances. Freedom.
{All ya'll southerners are gonna blame our tattoo idea on Seattle ;) But actually we've been sitting on this for a few years now. Mike's is John Lennon's handwriting. How cool is that? Mine is just pinterest pretty handwriting. Either way, it's a beautiful part of our journey and can't go out of style.}

Mike and I have been forever changed by a really difficult year. Comfort, security, health, friends, jobs, homes, future plans, finances, family, sickness, our baby. It didn’t take long for us to realize how difficult it is to have faith in God in the midst of extreme challenge (And yes, we heard and already knew the "right" answers to have as well-informed Christians during these times; but God was moving us beyond a relationship with our theological tradition and into a direct encounter with him). It was so bad, it was almost easier to believe we could do a better job than God. And that’s why it’s easy to get stuck in the cycle of fear and control. We were afraid God wasn't going to come through or that we could do a better job than him, so that led to strife and exhaustion trying to control the world around us. But this cycle leads to more fear, anxiety, striving and exhaustion. But, amidst the chaos of 2011, we encountered God in a way we never had before. It was there we experienced this peace “unlike the world” gives. Somehow, while the reality of 2011 was very clearly still surrounding us, we experienced the deep pleasure of abiding in Jesus, a stronger sense of intimacy with one another and profound hope in God’s future for us. We realized how easy it is to cling to Him when he’s all you really have. And once we started clinging to him, we didn’t want to let go and go back to clinging any of the lesser things we once held tightly to. We didn’t know what would happen in the future, but for the first time we knew that anything could. For the first time we “let go and let God”. Not because we're super spiritual like that but because we had no other option. In that season, we began to function out of a new cycle—peace and surrender. We became convinced that the “current” of life you feel tugging at you, the one that feels like its pulling you under to drown you, is in fact the pull of Jesus reconciling all things to himself.

Our faith that had only been minimally tested provided a comfy and safe life. But we were blind to so many things. We were living on the surface. Our faith now having been challenged as it has gives us a deeper joy in life, a profound love for others and each other, an unimaginable peace seeing first hand how God made beauty from ashes and a freedom to live life to the fullest because of this. It has changed us. We no longer see things, live or make decisions the same way. We parent differently. Our marriage is a rock. We are strong. What if God never allowed 2011 to come our way? How much of life would we be missing out on? 

When you have nothing, He is everything.  “Let it be done to me according to His will.” That’s what Mary said when she heard the news that she would be carrying Jesus, the Son of God. A Jewish teenage girl amidst Roman captivity who had everything to lose with this “virgin birth”(which I’m sure everyone was whispering under their breath as she told them), including her soon-to-be husband, Joseph, felt the same pull on her life that we felt in 2011. It was her reply that inspired us. “Let it be done to me according to your will”—there is life and goodness and beauty and love in the activity of God, therefore I can’t help but to surrender to you. There, in surrender to perfect Love, we have found a life bigger than we dreamed for ourselves with more meaning and true joy. We live without fear of the future, but great anticipation at what God has in store. Nothing is too big for Him. He has given us a beautiful life with more than we ever imagined. God’s goodness and faithfulness in the worst of times has led to the best forever.

“Let it be” will forever be our story. Our song. Our verse. Our anthem.

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be and answer, let it be
For though they may be parted
There is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be

And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be
I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

- Mike and Amber

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