Book Reviews, Books, discipleship, Growth

Facing Foward And Letting Go

For the next several Monday’s I’ll be reflecting on thoughts stirred by reading Mary DeMuth’s upcoming book, Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus. The following is a reflection the ideas in chapters 7 & 8

For a long while I mourned the delivery of my first child. While he was born healthy and beautiful, he came into the world in a way I hadn’t anticipated, in a way I hadn’t planned–in a way I hadn’t wanted. Despite my efforts to labor, a series of decisions were made and it came to be that I would undergo a cesarean.

For years I sort of curled my lips and rolled my eyes at the term, giving birth, because I didn’t feel as if I had given anything. Incapacitated on a table, they pulled my son from my body. I didn’t push. I didn’t breath in rhythm or count, or pant, or anything. Instead I lay there and wept, barely lucid.

This may seem an extreme reaction to the biggest moment of my young life, after all, I had a healthy child, and no major complications after his birth, apart from the usual soreness and healing process of a cesarean delivery. But still, I planned on laboring. I’d mentally prepared for the whole counting, panting, Lamaze thing.

I had not prepared for the delivery we endured, and for too long, I mourned that experience. I hung on to the past, and sometimes wished I could roll the clock back, have a do-over and do it right.

What was wrong with me, I wondered, looking at his beautiful golden face, his perfect nose and kissable tiny baby lips. Why couldn’t I just get over it? I realized some time later, two major issues explained my reaction: I felt like I’d failed at labor, and things happened that were out of my control.

Cuddling him in my lap one day, it occurred to me that the past was over. What I had now was a beautiful, healthy child and it made no real difference how he got here.He was here, and that’s what mattered.

God allowed the events to unfold through my development of pre-eclampsia and resulting cesarean. He never left my side as I received my epidural and lay motionless under the bright lights of the O.R.–I hadn’t failed, and I wasn’t in control–He was.

In chapters 7 and 8, Mary addresses our propensity to live in the past, spending too much time looking back, rather than fixing our eyes ahead.

God is the Great I Am. If we are to be like Him, we must understand the significance of heart-change now….A rear-view perspective minimizes God. ~Mary DeMuth, Everthing.

“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past. Isaiah 43:18

Fixing our eyes ahead is more worthwhile than dwelling in the shadows of yesterday. <—Tweetable, right?

Living with Jesus as my everything means living willing to let go of both the past, and my perceived control about the future. When Christ calls us to come and follow, He doesn’t usually hand out maps and itineraries listing the various pitfalls and mountains we’ll face along the way. He says, come and follow, obey His commands, and live as a free people.

What I fail to remember is that letting go of my need for control, allows me to experience just how in control He is of my life.

I’m learning. Slowly but surely.

What about you, how have you lived in the past? What’s it like when you release your grip and trust that God is in control?

Everything releases in October, however, you can pre-order now. Woot!




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  1. Kristen Hamilton

    Wonderful post on one of the most important, yet most difficult lessons we need to learn. I’m loving Everything – it’s so spot-on and right between the eyes! Your recount of your son’s delivery tugs at my heart, too. All 3 of my girls were c-sections. I’ve never “given birth”; never a waters breaking; never a real contraction; never labor. I, too, was very disappointed at first, but by the time of the third, I was happy it was going that way. (They were all stuck breech/sideways because of a uterine anomaly birth defect that I have.) Thank God for His faithfulness & trustworthiness… God is good all the time, despite our perspectives! Hugs!

    1. Yes, the book is wonderful and so full of wisdom. I also delivered all four of my children via cesarean and while I lamented it for a long while, I see that God was full in control, and count myself SO grateful to have four healthy, beautiful children. What a immeasurable gift THAT is?! Right? Amazing! Bless you, my friend. so thankful to hear a bit of yoru story!

    1. Thanks for your encouragement Mary. Yes, expectations have caused me much heartache in the past and not so distant past. I am continually learning to stop holding on to them, rather, trying to allow God to move without me tying Him up in my constraints. It is for me, a continual lesson.

  2. I can so relate. I’ve had two bookend C-sections, and 2 vbacs in the middle. However, my body does not go into labor. So, with each of my pregnancies I was induced. I don’t know what it feels like to have that experience and I always felt less than for that. I strive to look forward into the future, and not dwell on the past. It’s hard to let go when things are out of your control. I am enjoying your posts in this series.

    1. Thanks for your ecouragement, Barbie. It is So hard to let go sometimes. I’m getting better at it, by His strength, really, I think it comes down to trusting Him, with both the memories of our past, and the future unknown. It’s nice to know someone undsertands the strange mourning over a challenging delivery. I used to feel so ‘alone’ in my grief. Bless you, my friend.

  3. sarahannrogers

    This is a hard truth for me. I often live in the past – focusing on things that make me feel guilty or like I’m unworthy to move forward. Thankfully, we do have a God that helps us with moving on.
    Thank you for sharing! I’m loving your insights from this book!

  4. Sarah

    Needed to read this…I’ve been craining my neck to see my past and wonder if I could go back lately. I love the portion of the book you quoted: “A rearview perspective minimizes God.”


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