Life is, in large part, a lesson in letting go. As children we innately try to get things and then hold on to them. As we grow, we accumulate stuff, friends, and memories. Throughout the entire experience, we lose things every once in awhile, and we have to learn how to deal with those losses. As we get older, we come to understand that we have to let go of things (people, dreams...) out of choice and sometimes against our will. Eventually, we have to let go of life itself. The acceptance and grace with which we learn to let go has an immense impact on the life we live.
When little boy #1 came into this world, and the world as I knew it changed completely and forever, I didn't try to convince God to heal him or make an unspoken deal with Him...but I hoped beyond all hope that this was my trial by fire. And I mean the heart diagnosis - and that was all! Little boy #1 has since had multiple other diagnoses that continue to teach me to let go; let go of dreams I had for myself, for my son, for my family, and possibly one day to let go of my little boy himself. This learning how to let go feels like a battle, one that is waged in my mind on a daily basis; a fight between my desire to hold on and my knowledge that God is in control and I can find rest and peace if I trust Him. It is amazing how deep our trust must reach. I have accepted that God has a unique will and plan for little boy #1, but I have come to understand that although I trust God's will for him, I still have a lot of letting go to do.
Perhaps I did not make a specific deal with God, but I know my hope did come along with other hopeful expectations along these lines: I will love this little child you have blessed me with and walk through every type of storm with him....but cancer won't creep into my life, my husband will not be put in harm's way, my other children will be healthy...right God? One of my greatest fears is that while I am waiting for a complication to take the life of little boy #1, some random catastrophe will steal the life of one of my "healthy" kiddos.
Fear robs me of complete peace. But, God does not want us to live our life in fear. He desires to be the fortress we run to - a stronghold protecting us if we allow Him to. Everything on this Earth is on loan to us from God. Remember, that we will all eventually have to let go of life itself. So whether we choose to let go or something is ripped out of our hands or our hearts, we can take comfort in knowing, in trusting, that God is our refuge even if this Earthly hurt stings deeply. You can love dearly but hold on loosely, resting in the knowledge that all we let go of is in entrusted to God's care. This trust will yield peace even when letting go hurts.