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Watch this very brief video as our friend, Nathan LaGrange, shares why he and his wife, Tricia, have joined An Unhurried Collective.
When we sent the first draft for our current book project to our editor, I felt many moments of pause. “What would she like? What would she edit out? What would need more work?” Allowing someone else to take your creation and edit felt scary to me, even though I trust that the writing will improve with her masterful suggestions and corrections.
Last week we turned in our second draft in which we responded to her suggested edits. Again, I experienced some anxiety. But this time it wasn’t about the edits, it was about the content. “What if I left something out? What if could have said something more eloquently? What if that story doesn’t make sense?”
Rearranging is good. Pruning is good. Refining is good. However, we can often find ourselves resisting this necessary work in our lives. But think about it: isn’t God the best editor? He takes our very selves and, over time, guides and transforms us into the best version of ourselves. He sees the big picture. He is the one who knows well how to craft a compelling tale--the story of our lives.
But we become attached to certain aspects of ourselves. We come to think that we may miss them if they are cut out of our stories. “How can I live without that?” Or if something comes up that feels like a major shift in direction, will I have another chance to write that up? Letting go is hard.
It is not an accident that I bring up my writing and life anxieties in this Advent week of Peace. My anxieties stand in stark contrast to the peace into which I am invited.
Over the course of this year, I’ve been making my way to peace little by little through one simple act: letting go.
Most recently, I took a leap of faith by letting go and releasing the book manuscript back to the editor a second time. Acts of faith like that have been working well in other circumstances in my life, especially when my peace is at risk because I am holding onto something unnecessarily.
Some of our situations may be more complicated and will take more time to release. But many situations in our lives are just the right size for us to practice letting go. Our struggles with perfectionism. Our worries about what other people think. Our fear that there isn’t enough or that we are not enough.
Just for a moment, bring to mind one of these areas and imagine yourself letting go. See yourself as separate from it. See yourself as separate enough that you can make a decision about whether you will let it bother you anymore.
And remember this: peace is not overwhelmed by a difficult circumstance. Things don’t have to be “all better” for you to experience the kind of peace that Jesus gives. He is Emmanuel—God with us. The Prince of Peace. It is his presence that is our peace.
I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught. (John 14:27, The Message)
Our pastor often reminds us, “You are always safe in the Kingdom of God.” This truth washes over me and bears the fruit of peace in my mind and heart. Why not try it on this week and see if it changes your perspective a bit.
- Are there any ways in which you find yourself anxious?
- Are you holding onto something that God might want to edit?
- How might you make your way into the peace of the season?