Be Not Afraid

31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 14 & 15 Letting Go

Because of John Paul’s baptism this weekend, Mike and I have had a lot of wonderful friends and family in town.  Some have been staying with us, and many have been coming and going in and out of our house.  All week our tiny living room has been filled with energy and love, and every bed and futon and coach has been filled with a warm body.  The laughter, tears of joy, and love that has filled our house this week has been a beautiful outward manifestation of the way Mike and I have been carried by family and friends throughout these past seven months.

Unfortunately, one of my faults is that I’m a bit anal.  I like things in their place at all times.  I even recently stopped keeping anything on our coffee table in the living room because I so hated when the coffee table books or coasters weren’t in their proper place.  And keeping the coffee table bare guarantees that no one will move around any carefully, obsessively placed items.

So, despite how wonderful it has been to have so many dear friends and family members in our home the past few days, there have been a few times when I’ve had to remind myself how unimportant it is for my home to always be perfectly neat.  It’s much more important that my dad is sitting on our coach than it is that the pillows on our coach are perfectly fluffed.  And it’s much more important that my sister and her son are napping in our bed than it is that the bed is perfectly made.  In short, I’ve had to face my fear of not having the “perfect” house – to let go of my need for constant order – and instead embrace the beautiful chaos that comes when we open our hearts and our homes.

After a wonderful week, we were blessed with an incredible day today.  This morning John Paul was baptized by a dear friend of ours, at a church that has become a loving home to us.  In baptism, John Paul was welcomed into a faith that has shaped Mike and me, and into the Church that is the mystical body of Christ here on Earth.  Today, Mike and I saw grace poured upon our child through blessed water.  We saw John Paul die to himself in order to completely follow God’s will.

Christening

At John Paul’s baptism, Mike and I renewed our own baptismal vows, and vowed to raise John Paul in the ways of faith.  We also acknowledged that John Paul is now a child of God, and although we will mother and father him here on Earth, it is God who is truly his Father.  For as Pope Benedict XVI said, in baptism, “we restore to God that which has come from him. The child is not the parents’ property, but is rather entrusted by the Creator to their responsibility, freely and in an ever new way, so that they help him to be a free child of God.”  Today, we acknowledged our responsibility to raise John Paul in the ways of the faith, but we also let go of him as our child alone, and gave him back to God, his creator.

It was hard to let go today, for letting go forced me to face many fears I have about John Paul’s future.  Letting go forced me to acknowledge how little control I have over what difficulties and trials John Paul will undoubtedly encounter.  However, seeing John Paul put on Christ brought me great peace, as well as the knowledge that no matter what chaos he encounters in life, God will be with him.  How beautiful!

My prayer for you today is that you let go of a need to control with grace.  Acknowledge that you cannot always control everything, and that this lack of control is not failure.  Rather, accept this lack of control as an opportunity for growth-an opportunity to grown stronger in faith and deeper in trust.  You never know what beauty you might discover hiding within the chaos!

Thank you for joining me on my 31 day challenge!

Previous days:

Day 1: Be Not Afraid
Day 2: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Day 3 Keeping a Faithful Heart in Light of Suffering
Day 4: Facing Fears with Laughter
Day 5: Listening to My Heart
Day 6: Daring to Love Myself in Order to Love Others
Day 7: Opening Up My Idea of a Remarkable Life
Day 8: Giving Voice to My Fears
Day 9: Being a Bearer of Joy
Day 10 & 11: Give Everything
Day 12: Switching My Focus
Day 13: Reaching Out

And click here to read all the other wonderful blogs joining in on this challenge!

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16 comments

  1. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 16 Giving Voice to My Dreams | Be Not Afraid

  2. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 17 Putting Fear into Action | Be Not Afraid

  3. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 18 Clear Eyes, Full Heart | Be Not Afraid

  4. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 19 Strength, Wisdom, Courage, and Clarity | Be Not Afraid

  5. Kathleen Loewen

    Dear Ali,
    A few weeks ago I met your mother at church. She updated me as to what has been going on. I tried unsuccessfully to connect with your blog earlier, but today I did! It is wonderful how you have been able to share your deepest fears and thoughts…and blessings with so many. I am so glad I found Day 13…may your complete healing continue! Your Mom told me that John Paul’s baptism was forthcoming and the beaming smile on your and Mike’s face tells it all! What a beautiful little boy you have!!! I shall continue to pray for all of you.
    Blessings!
    S. Kathleen
    PS. The picture that was on your wedding program brought back many memories!!!

    • Sister Kathleen,
      It is so wonderful to hear from you!! Thank you so very much for your prayers…that means so much to me!! And yes, John Paul is so beautiful and so sweet! We are so blessed by his presence in our lives! I pray that you are well and look forward to seeing you at Christmastime!! Can you believe our wedding will have been four years ago this December???

  6. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 20-22 Facing the End of Things | Be Not Afraid

  7. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 23 Showing Delight in Others | Be Not Afraid

  8. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 24 Embracing the Dawn | Be Not Afraid

  9. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 25 Saying No and Letting Go of the Guilt | Be Not Afraid

  10. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 26 Find Love, then Give it All Away | Be Not Afraid

  11. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 27 Doing what I Have to Do | Be Not Afraid

  12. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 28 Snow in October | Be Not Afraid

  13. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 29 People Should Know | Be Not Afraid

  14. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 30 Finding Myself Surrounded in Beauty | Be Not Afraid

  15. Pingback: 31 Days of Facing My Fears: Day 31 Keeping Faith and Hope Alive | Be Not Afraid

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