“If we hold tightly to anything given to us unwilling to allow it to be used as the Giver means it to be used we stunt the growth of the soul. What God gives us is not necessarily “ours” but only ours to offer back to him, ours to relinquish, ours to lose, ours to let go of, if we want to be our true selves. Many deaths must go into reaching our maturity in Christ, many letting go’s.” -Elisabeth Elliot
Three weeks ago, we decided to make a separate group for the teenage girls in the neighborhood. Alina, Nee, Ray, Elia, Shantel and Tamara— these are the girls. The girls who until yesterday I would’ve called “my girls.” But, kindly and unexpectedly The Holy Spirit said they aren’t mine.
Their spiritual achievements and challenges aren’t mine. Their hearts aren’t mine. Their troubles and questions aren’t mine. Their being in my life doesn’t make them mine. Me being their mentor or leader, doesn’t make them mine. They are and have always been strictly, solely His. And oh how freeing that is.
Given to me as a result of a divine appointment, yes, but given so that I may give back, never so that I may keep.
Christ is ever mindful of what He gives, and perpetually desires that we give right back to Him; that we give Him the authority to do with His gifts what He wishes.
These girls are a gift. They are an unforeseen challenge and blessing. They were given to me, so that I may bring them before their Father, so that He may give them more of Him.
His ways are so liberating.
Lord, I give these girls right back to you. I give their hearts right back to you. Lord, their lives, their progress is all given to you.
I want to present these girls before your throne with my own conscience clear, knowing that I took care of what you were careful to give; knowing that I did everything I could, with all my strength to infuse their hearts with truth; knowing that I was responsible and grateful for the ones you’ve chosen to give me.
You give so generously and “Because of this I try with all my strength to always maintain a clear conscience before God and man,” Acts 24:16, but not that I should hold tightly to them, your treasures, not that I should squeeze our time together; but rather, that I should freely release every moment with them to you; that in every conversation and every hug, every bible verse we read, my grip loosens, so as not to be confused or troubled or burdened by my failure or my inability, but rather to be lifted and freed, to stride with my chin up and eyes fixed on things above.
The key to freedom is giving— even giving up my definition of success; giving up my habit to measure success by the world’s standards.
Jesus, take these girls. Right now, Lord I am bringing them before you with my hands open, and my ears alert, ready to act on what you tell me. These are your daughters, your precious ones, and I’ve been given something quite undeservedly. Not mine to keep, but only mine to give back to you Lord. I let go of my failures, of my inabilities, of my ideas of success. I let go of myself, of my thoughts, my ideas and offer them up to you. Make them new. Make me new. Create in me a pure heart, so that I can speak into these girls purity, so I can speak into them with the evidence of your Holy Spirit. Lord, I offer myself up to you in my limited understanding. I offer up everything you’ve ever taught me, shown me, or spoken to me, so that you may do with those things, those gifts, what you see fit.