Losing My Grip...

I'm horrible at letting go.  I hang on tightly to what I have (whether it's actually mine to hold onto or not).  I'm threatened by the mere mention of change. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that my particular mania (as in -- the opposite extreme in my particular brand of bi-polar depression) is the inability to see that I'm obsessively, manically doing whatever I "need" to in order to keep from letting go of something, as irrational as the clinging may be.  I hold so tightly to that which I "care" about that I squeeze the life out of it, out of me, and out of those around me.

Of course, there are ramifications of the extreme neediness.  It takes a toll on relationships, it takes a toll on careers, and it takes a toll on me emotionally as well as physically.  The upside of this particular "character flaw" is that my friends can pretty much count on undying loyalty, no matter how dysfunctional the relationship becomes.  

And this includes God.  God and I have our arguments, our fights, and our... dysfunction, but in the end, I can't let go.  And believe me, I've tried.

But here's the thing.  I think (s)he is telling me to let go.  

Where will this leave me and my obsessive need to cling to something, anything?  It leaves me wanting to cling harder, of course.  I can't deal with the thought of not having those "security" blankets.  I've been clinging so hard to most of them that my hands have permanently cramped in a tight-fisted position.

So, if I let go, will I fall through space and time, completely abandoned and alone?  I sure hope not, but I suppose that this is where that "trust" thing comes in.  I guess it's time to let go of stuff...

Who am I?  What am I?  It's time to let go of the me that I've created, and figure out who I am.  I've spent too much time hiding myself away, locked inside myself to know who I even am anymore.  So no wonder I usually feel like no one understands me.  I don't even understand myself.

There are unresolved issues that it's time to let go of: hurts from the past that need to be forgotten, forgiven, and forever buried, relationships that need to be pruned -- or at least released to test where the true loyalties lie, expectations of myself and the ones I love (including God) that are unrealistic and unattainable... the list goes on.

I've let go of perfection (a huge step for a perfectionist such as myself): the perfect life, with the perfect house, perfect family, perfect friends, perfect job... perfect... anything...

And it's time to let go of God... At least the God of the current incarnation of the church.  It's time to rediscover who (s)he is as well as who I am... and what our relationship looks like in the "real world".  I've let go of the church.  Oh, I still attend and still sing on the worship team, but I've left go of holding God responsible for the church's screw-ups.  I've let go of the God who can be understood, explained, or even completely known in this lifetime.

And I'm falling.  And it's terrifying, but somewhere along the line, I hope and trust that someone, somewhere will catch me.  And I'll be able to hold on gently next time, not suffocating myself or anyone else.  And maybe I'll find a real, true God, whose image I can be glad to be created in.
"...I'm not letting go of God, I'm just losing my grip..." (Over the Rhine, When I Go)
"'Tis better to have loved and lost/Than never to have loved at all." (Alfred Lord Tennyson)


Anonymous said...

I think letting go of preconceptions is probably a necessary part of growing closer to the Lord; we just have to be careful when we do it that we're suffusing our search with prayer and Bible study. It's very likely that no church, no denomination, no one person has everything absolutely right. However, if our search for God is directed by earnest and honest prayer asking for guidance and wisdom as well as a vigilant, heart-open study of Scripture, I believe He will lead us in the right direction. If we don't take the time for prayer and Bible reading as we search, it seems like a ripe opportunity for Satan to come in and influence our spiritual lives through misguidance. I'm praying for God to give you wisdom and discernment as you move forward. God bless your journey of discovery, and may your sense of falling soon turn into a sense of moving more heavenward.

melanie said...

reminds me of this quote i love:

“We are afraid of that which we cannot control; so we continue to draw in the boundaries around us; to limit ourselves to what we can know and understand. Thus we lose our human calling, because we do not dare to be creators, co-creators with God.

“We live under the illusion that if we can acquire complete control, we can understand God, or we can write the great American novel. But the only way we can brush against the hem of the Lord, or hope to be a part of the creative process is to have courage, the faith, to abandon control.

“However, when we try to control our lives totally with the self we think we know, the result is that growth in self-awareness is inhibited.

“Faith on the other hand, consists in the awareness that I am more than I know. (when I realize my status as a child of God)"

Madeline L’Engle – Walking on Water