Down the long, flat highway, I watch fields of cotton stand at attention, saluting my journey. We pass more fields, and my mom begins her test...
"Anna, what crop do you think that is? This is your heritage..."
I have no idea. I don't even pretend to know. But, I listen, because it's important to her. Maybe this is the way she is coping with her not-quite 18-year-old moving into an un-airconditioned dorm, four hours from home. And almost at the end of the earth....or so it felt.
Up seven flights of stairs, my world is unloaded into half a closet, small desk, and 5 drawers. Flip flops are tucked by the door, waiting for the germy showers. A shower basket filled with bargain shampoo and a loofah is on top of the dresser, about to be consecrated in the group bathroom.
I'm feeling quite sure of myself as my parents surround me; yet, that evening I can barely eat the chicken tacos at Chilis.
What in the WORLD was I THINKING??? Four hours away from the only home I know, to a college where I know absolutely NO ONE. I determined right there that it was just do it or die trying. It was about survival.
I still remember saying good-bye. Both parents had sunglasses on, as if it would hide the bittersweet tears that were falling. Where were my sunglasses when I needed them?
They pulled away in the forest green minivan, waving, crying, and probably praying. I waved back, refusing to crumple into a disheveled snotty heap, took a deep breath, and marched off to the neighboring dorm to try and make friends.
My heart was aching. My mom cried all the way home.
They let go.
I let go.
We let go....in order to survive.
For eleven years I lived in that college town. I grew to love the flatlands and waving cotton. The roar of the crowd from the football stadium echoed in my heart. I was proud of my school, and I made this my home. I met my husband at this college, had my baby at the hospital, and experienced joy and tragedy in this town.
I had to let go. We were given the opportunity to move closer to family, with job opportunities that were encouraging and confirmed our decision. I also had gotten accepted into a doctorate program in this new town, so we let go of the life we knew to embrace a foreign life.
My world changed right before we moved, but God didn't.
I'm still letting go. I'm relinquishing my control on other people that I can't change. I'm slowly loosening my white-tipped knuckles from my own self and reaching my hands towards heaven.
I'm letting go of anger, hurt, pride, future dreams, past wounds, and current hellish situations.
It's not just about survival. It's about walking in Grace and dancing in Freedom.
It's about living the liveliest life.
What are you grasping with your desperate heart?
Loosen your grip.
Let it Go...and do MORE than just survive.