How are you doing maintaining the New Year’s resolutions you established in January? The fact that we’re in a new decade may have added some pressure to making those resolutions even better than ever. But, maybe just maybe, your resolutions are… not working.
Personally, I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I like choosing a single word that I feel God is giving me. Have you tried this?
This year, my word is relinquish. It’s not an easy word. To relinquish means to surrender, give up control. It is a powerful word because it goes a step further and acknowledges, “I’m letting go, but this is really hard.”
Relinquish is a significant word in recovery programs.
If we are honest, aren’t we all in recovery for something? We all have wounds—emotional, relational or sexual—that need to be healed. Life can be excruciating. So, we find coping mechanisms, a binge of cookies, that porn site or whatever it is, to self-medicate. The cycle of shame and repetition can leave us feeling alone.
Choosing to relinquish means choosing freedom from shame and then partnering with God.
So, right now, ask “What am I clinging to instead of you, God? A child? My job? Trauma?”
Invite God into the process and ask Him to speak truth to you. Tell God, “I want to let this go and this is really hard, but I believe you are with me.”
Get in touch with the lies that you believe to be true and share them with God.
True surrender doesn’t happen in one sitting. It takes time and practice. Here are some ideas to help relinquish on a daily basis:
Start your morning with this prayer, “I give this day to you Lord.” I want my heart and body posture to be surrendered to the Lord.
Another way I can relinquish my thoughts to God is to take a walk in the woods with no obligations or outside noise.
If a walk isn’t your thing, maybe you need to pull out your bike and race for miles to clear your head and invite God in. Whether it’s shaping clay on a pottery wheel, lacing up boxing gloves and punching away, lighting a candle and taking deep breaths, find a way to invite God in the broken, in the healing, and start the relinquishing process.
To relinquish means being aware of what’s broken and releasing it. God wants to be in the broken with you. Romans 8:3 reassures us that “God sent us His Son in human form to identify with our human weakness” (The Passion translation).
In closing, I offer you this prayer.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time,
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it,
trusting that You will make things right if I surrender to your will;
so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next.
–The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr