Daily Step – Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands?

Yesterday, I wrote about the desire for control and added a prayer from Henri Nouwen.

Well, he has more than one prayer that applies to relinquishing control, and today I was reminded of one of my favorites.

“Dear God,

I am so afraid to open my clenched fists! Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold onto? Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands? Please help me to gradually open my hands and to discover that I’m not what I own but what you want to give me.

Amen” -Henri Nouwen

I so relate to the clenched fists visual! 

A couple weeks ago, I was on a tight schedule. I had to drive up to a retreat twenty minutes away as quick as I could after dropping the boys off. I had to be on time that day more than any other. So, of course, something happened outside my control. One of my twins was fooling around on a rolling chair in my office and it flipped over. Luckily, I saw the moment he hit his face and anticipated what was coming. I told him to take off his mask and stand over the trash can. Let’s just say we saved the mask, but the trash can quickly looked like a crime scene from his nose. Of course, he did this just a couple minutes before I was to walk them to school. 

“Sorry, mom,” he said. “I don’t know why this happened.” Yea, sure you don’t. 

Looking back, I was very overwhelmed in that moment. I had planned everything right and gotten everything together perfectly. Of course, there is no perfection in humanity. 

In the end, despite my freak out, his nose eventually stopped, he got to school, and the retreat was a success. Turns out, I didn’t have to grip so tight on control that morning. God had the reigns. 

My prayer this morning is for open hands for you and for me. May they be open to receive whatever God wants to give us today, even if we don’t understand it, even if it’s not in “our” plan.

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