I am sitting in London’s Heathrow Airport awaiting our flight home from our daughter Molly’s wedding near London. From the rain holding off to the most picturesque old church building (parts of it were built in the 1300s) to a fantastic reception with some amazing people, the day could not have been better, and, oh yes, there was the most beautiful bride I have seen since my own wedding day!
Before we left for the church, we had photos taken of our side of the family. Immediately after they were done taking shots of me, I sat on a bench along the River Thames. As my daughter continued to have photos taken of her with different family members behind me, I found myself staring at the beautiful scenery before me and pondering Molly’s life. I thought about those years when she was very young and standing on the edge of the swimming pool in her “babing soup” pondering whether she could trust me to catch her when she jumped.
Jim Lange and daughter Molly 23 years ago (Photo courtesy of Jim Lange)
As such memories flood my mind while sitting in this airport, I am becoming quite emotional. My baby girl is no longer going to be under my care. This makes me sad – sad that my role has now changed, sad to leave her behind in another country.
However, at the same time I am tremendously excited for her and Daniel. They are so perfect for one another and it is so evident that they are madly in love. I know that God has amazing plans for them.
I am suddenly struck by the fact that this struggle I am going through is a good picture of our walk with Jesus.
I have come to the conclusion that the Christian walk is about control. God gives us control in the form of free will. Then He asks us to give it back to Him out of our love for Him. It is when we truly give up control, or in other words, die to ourselves as the Apostle Paul mentions, that we find true freedom and peace.
The battle we all face as humans is very similar to what I am going through now with Molly. I have a desire to maintain the role I have enjoyed with her since birth. Yet, I want her to grow into who God desires her to be. Thus, the tension.
In order for her to fly, I need to let go. Molly is much better off and can become who God designed her to be when I can fully place her in God’s hands and in her husband Daniel’s arms.
I thought I had fully let go on the wedding day, yet it appears I am still working this out based on the emotions I am presently feeling. I believe this is good, and I want to embrace this feeling of loss and the great memories for now.
However, I also want to understand that this is a picture of the struggle I face daily between my desire to maintain control in different areas of my life and my desire to be fully yielded to God. I am hopeful this will help me to let go in areas in which I am still hanging on.
Fully letting go can help each of us to be much more at peace. It can also help us to be better leaders, workers, spouses, parents, friends, etc. There is no drawback to this, other than fighting through our own thoughts and emotions, because God our Father always has our best interests in mind … even when it seems scary.
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Matthew 16:25).
- Author Jim Lange states that he believes our walk with Jesus is all about control. Do you agree or disagree with that statement?
- Name two or three areas of stress or worry in your life right now. Describe what role your desire to control is playing in the way you feel.
- How would dying to yourself change the way you feel about these situations?
Jim Lange is the president of Five Feet Twenty and the author of “Calming the Storm Within: How to Find Peace in this Chaotic World” from which this article is an excerpt. He attends Crossroads Community Church in Ottawa Lake, Michigan.2