The other night, through a series of circumstances (that I now see were God-orchestrated), my sister spent the night. As we were lying in bed chatting, one topic led to another and we ended up with a deep, serious talk about deeply personal things that we’ve never talked about before, particularly regarding our childhood and some things in our pasts.
One thing that came out of this conversation was a realization I had that I was still holding on to some deeply rooted bitterness and hurt toward someone I needed to forgive. It wasn’t really something I’d ever thought about forgiving. I knew it was there. I’ve studied psychology; I knew how and why these things affected and influenced who I am today and how some of the things I struggle with are directly caused by this childhood experience. But I’d never really thought about the fact that I had never forgiven this person.
As we talked, my sister said to me, “Think how much better you’d feel not having that in your life anymore. You have a legitimate right to be hurt, those are your wounds and it’s understandable that you may not be willing to let them go, but wouldn’t you rather be free of that? And if you’re not willing to let go of it, be willing to be willing.”
It sounds funny when you say it out loud, and it sounds like maybe you’re just saying the same thing, but it is a distinctive concept. If you’re not ready to let go of something, if you’re still holding on even though you want to be free of it, whether because it’s familiar, it’s ingrained, it’s legitimate, it’s comfortable, whatever, be willing to be willing.
The Scripture that came to mind was when Jesus healed the boy who was demon possessed and told the boy’s father anything is possible if you believe, and the father said, “I do believe! Help my unbelief!” Similarly, if we want to be willing but have trouble, Christ is willing and able to help us overcome those strongholds. I am willing, help me to be willing.
There were things I was holding on to. Things I wanted to release into God’s hands, but a part of me still wanted to cling to. Thoughts, feelings, struggles–I wanted to let go, but couldn’t. I wanted to be willing, but couldn’t quite get there. But I could be willing to be willing. I could tell God I was willing to be willing and ask for his strength to be willing.
I am willing to be willing. Are you?