Dancing naked around the house, burping and laughing, performing balancing acts on various pieces of furniture, making a mess everywhere possible, and loving every second of it… that’s the life of a toddler boy. At least it is for my son. He is all about experiencing the next moment and what it has to offer. He lives life with complete abandonment. He hasn’t a care in the world except for the adventure that awaits him.
There is one exception that brings his uninhibited ways to a screeching halt. It’s when he notices… I’m not there. When I leave the room where he’s playing, he is fine for a short moment but when he realizes I’ve left, he starts crying and running through the house searching for me. When he finds me, his tears stop almost immediately, he’s relieved, and his peace and childlike joy come back. He just needs to know I’m there. That security gives him the confidence to dive head first once again, sometimes literally, into his next adventure.
I’ve also noticed that when he is playing on the playground, he is not comparing himself to the other kids. He doesn’t care if he makes a mistake climbing up the steps to the slide. If he has an accident in his pants, it’s not a self-esteem or self-image crusher. He doesn’t see himself as a failure or embarrassed because of the red snow cone syrup all over his shirt. He doesn’t care about meeting the expectations of his peers. All he really cares about is getting the most out of each second he possibly can and that I’m there beside him through it all.
The only downer that I see about my son’s toddlerhood is that he will have very little memory of such awesome days of living securely with complete abandonment. He can’t truly appreciate how good he has it right now. How tragic that he won’t remember most of these days! God gently shared something with me in the midst of my “Debbie Downer” moment. He said, “You too can experience life the same way as your son is experiencing it now. You already have the ability to live in complete abandonment but you choose not to. I am right here beside you. Do you trust me the same way your son trusts you?”
BOOM!!! Yep. He hit me good with that one.
God was asking me to forget all my surroundings and live life for Him with complete abandonment, knowing and trusting that He is right there beside me. HE is my security. If I can step into this reality, because it IS A REALITY, I can live in true freedom every day no matter what comes my way. The possibilities are endless! The side effects would be peace, joy, comfort… I could go on and on. I can just watch the joy on my son’s face and that is enough confirmation for me.
Complete abandonment? How can I do that? What would it take to make possible what seems to be such an unreachable way of living? As I started asking myself these questions, a few key qualities that I would need in order to experience this freedom started coming to mind.
I believe this is the number one quality that has to take place in me. If my ego is in the way, I’m toast! After all, doesn’t ego stand for “Edging God Out?” 😉 Matthew mentions this one FIRST in The Beatitudes. It was listed FIRST for a reason. He knew we can’t hear God if we don’t practice this key ingredient. He says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. In this short but powerful verse, He’s telling me I’m blessed once I realize I’m broken and that I NEED Christ. If I know I NEED Him, I am open to experiencing Him, and there is no greater blessing than that.
“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” -2 Corinthians 12:9
Security In Christ
Knowing who I am in Christ is essential to carrying out His purpose for my life. Because of His amazing grace… because of what He did on the cross for me, I am made new every single day. Once I am His, He only sees me as pure and white as snow. Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come.”
And just as my toddler son was able to carry out his next adventure because he knew I was there, I am also able to carry out my next adventure for Christ because I know He is there for me. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
For me, vulnerability means putting myself out there regardless of what others might think or say. Being real, sharing my story, and being honest can be REALLY DIFFICULT. But if I know who I’m serving and I know He has me covered, all others lose their power over me. “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.“ -Psalm 91:4
Accepting God’s Grace
Sometimes it’s so much easier for me to give grace away to others than to accept it for myself. God gives me a new dose of grace every day. If he’s giving me that gift, it’s because he wants me to use it and that doesn’t mean only using it to bless others. It also means accepting the blessing for myself. This gives God glory.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” -2 Corinthians 12:9
What is harder than laying my own thoughts, desires, and wants down every day for another? I’ve come to realize this might be the hardest thing in life I ever do because it’s not a one-time thing. It’s a daily, lifetime thing. But it’s essential if I’m going to carry out God’s purpose for my life. He has a job for me to do… and a job for YOU.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. –Ephesians 2:10
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors as though God were making his appeal through us. -2 Corinthians 5:20
Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. –Hebrews 12:1-2
Will you join me on this journey of living in complete abandonment for Him? Let’s see what He does in and through us. I have a really good feeling about it…
With love and grace,