Saturday, June 28, 2008

Laying Down My Isaac

     I feel the waters of my soul stirring tonight.  Papa has asked me to lay something down that I have carried for a long time and I feel the weight of letting go.  It's not a circumstance, it's something inside me, a place that I have carried on my own.  

     Sacrifice is the act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.  (Websters)  

      In the midst of giving up I feel the cost of what I am laying down.  What will happen when I let go?  I have carried this place for so long, will it be OK?  What if it falls through the crack? What if it doesn't get better?  What if it emotionally kills me?
 
    Have you ever really thought through the story of Abraham and Isaac, not just read about it but considered it in your own life?  So many parts of that story speak to me tonight.  I have been here before.  It was a few years ago when I had my first laying down of an Isaac in my life.  As the tears poured forth I knew I had no other choice but to surrender.  As long as I held on, I was in control, holding myself back from God's move.  

     Surrender is the place where God's will meets our need. I knew He was asking me to trust Him.  It came down to one question.  Do I trust Him, even if nothing changes?  Everything comes down to trust.  Do I really believe He has my good in mind?  Do I really believe He will protect me?

    Being here again, I know I'm being invited back to the mountain of sacrifice.  Like Abraham I know I have to go there, but as I make the steps forward I feel the weight of each move.  It has been a place I have fought for and guarded.  I have given much of who I am to it.  What will it look like when I no longer carry the weight of it? 

     Abraham headed for the mountain, knowing God was asking him to lay down the fulfillment of his desires.  He knew he would never have another chance at having a son.  This was his one and only chance.  And God was asking him to give it up.  I believe he felt the weight of each footstep up that mountain.  He didn't know the outcome but somehow he trusted.  Did he look at his son as he placed him up on the altar and bound him?  Did he have to look away?  As the knife was raised to kill him, did their eyes meet?  What went on in the seconds, minutes and hours of his surrender?

     He couldn't fix it, or change it.  He was brought  to a dependence on the only one who had the answers.  He still believed.  That's what sacrifice does.  You let it all go and trust in the one you leave it with.  No longer dependent on yourself or another your face is turned towards God to fill your every need because you believe.  You believe He moves mountains, raises the dead and parts the sea.  You lay it all down because you believe in who He is.

     My holding on has kept me independent.  Unknowingly I have carried it on my own.  I thought what I was doing was good.  But I realize now it wasn't.  I have to let go.  It is my reality.  My emotions hold on, but my hand lets go.  As I wait for Him to catch up my emotions with my choice, I trust.  Though I feel the weight of each step as I move forward, I believe God will provide a ram in the thicket of my life.   I know what He's asking of me.  I know He will come for me as He did Abraham.  I know I will see Him afresh... That's why I choose this day to lay my Isaac down and trust.

     Is there an Isaac in your life that Papa is asking you to lay down?  

     "I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.  Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed because you have obeyed me."  Genesis 22:15-18
Jewelz
©copyrighed 2008 by Julie L. Todd

33 comments:

selahV said... Reply to comment

Powerful thoughts. Thank you. selahV

Gretchen said... Reply to comment

You have me thinking of my Issac(s). I need to chew on this for a while. Your words just.pierce.my.soul. today, Julie.

Hugs. xxxooogretchen

Laura said... Reply to comment

Your words are speaking to me tonight...
Putting aside our agenda to listen for His. So hard to do sometimes. But you give me courage, my friend. You are so obedient, so desiring His will. Thank you for your example. It strengthens me. I will pray for you as you lay down your Isaac...

lori said... Reply to comment

Wow....laying it down....I will go lie down tonight with this on my heart....You are so eloquent with your words....they just bless my heart and make me go deeper...Thank you for that friend...

Thank you for the blessing tonight...
lori

~j~ said... Reply to comment

Beautiful Julie...
thank you for the beauty of your honest heart. one that echos the very thoughts of many of us.
love to you,
j

Trish said... Reply to comment

Wow!

Just this morning, in a quiet moment, I felt God leading me to reconcile a relationship in my life. It will be difficult, but the hardness that I have been holding onto is just my way of keeping control. I want to be fully Gods and this is holding me back.

Thank you for sharing!

I went and read your post about letting go of your daughter, It was beautiful! And as a mother I hope that I am able to do so with the same grace that you have.

Thanks for visiting my blog, may i link you?

Becoming Me said... Reply to comment

I am feeling so heavy my friend,yet your words have encouraged me. I do have an Isaac...

Oh, stop by my blog anytime tomorrow after 6 am and you'll see a surprise for you.

Laura said... Reply to comment

Julie,
you cannot imagine how I felt when I stopped by yesterday and read your words! Papa is so good. He knows how slow I am...Need constant confirmation of what He is telling me! Thank you for your prayers, they mean so much. I know you've walked these steps before and understand how difficult it can be. Thank you, my friend!

Tracy said... Reply to comment

Thank you for sharing these challenging, yet encouraging words. I'll be pondering on this one for awhile and then asking the Lord to help me lay down my Isaac, too.

breaths of the heart said... Reply to comment

Very convicting and thought provoking, thank you!

angie said... Reply to comment

I really like this post and how you ask the readers to consider Abrahams sacrifice of Isaac in a broader context than just what is on the surface.

I'm so glad you popped over to visit my blog so that I could discover yours.

My BBF in High school was named Julie and spelled it Jewely. :)

Lisa writes... said... Reply to comment

To lay it all down, knowing my God will indeed provide...

Difficult truths, but truth nonetheless.

Thanks for your visit and comment at my site!

Blessings,
Lisa

Connie@Little Red Hearts From God said... Reply to comment

How precious is our Lord that HE would

lay down His own life for us..

surrender out of love

through obedience ( a word that keeps coming up lately, hmmmm)

you are so beautiful my dear one...

Connie@Little Red Hearts From God said... Reply to comment

Julie..

I got side tracked on another book from Karen kingsbury.. but I am trying to finish He Loves Me..

what did you think...??

dancingdreamer said... Reply to comment

What an awesome reminder of how we need to lay things down in order to experience God's greatest blessings!

You have SO much wisdom!

Love you,
Amy

Gretchen said... Reply to comment

Julie, I think I know who/what my Isaac is now...

Thank you for always getting to the heart of my heart.

xxxooogretchen

Heather@Mommymonk said... Reply to comment

Wow - surrender is never easy. It takes great courage to give up our dreams and to trust God with a better plan. Thanks for sharing this!

Marsha said... Reply to comment

Beautiful! Yes, I have an Isaac I must lay down. I've laid it before, but I never took my hands off of it so it would come off the altar of sacrifice. (You know the old saying, the problem with a living sacrifice is it keeps getting up off the altar!) Thank you for these poignant, timely words.

Sheryl said... Reply to comment

Julie, thank you so much for your encouraging words on my post. I agree that we have to see the one who is doing the wounding as acting out of their woundedness. My husband is definitely wounded and wants to take us all down with him.

That actually ties right into what you're asking here today. Is there an Isaac I need to lay down? I need to lay down my marriage (I don't mean give up)-I mean that I need to let God do whatever needs to be done there. Trust Him completely. Not just say that I trust Him but walk in it!

Thanks
Sheryl

Lelia Chealey said... Reply to comment

I loved this:
Surrender is the place where God's will meets our need. I knew He was asking me to trust Him. It came down to one question. Do I trust Him, even if nothing changes?

Thanks for letting God use you to meet me right where I'm at in my life.

This was really beautiful. Printing copies off for my husband, parents and sister who are all hurting & praising right along with me.

Love ya,
Lelia
Thanks so much for your prayers!

Connie@Little Red Hearts From God said... Reply to comment

This really touched my heart Julie...

We all have our own journey but there are so many similiarities AND the goals are all the same.. to be with HIM...and to be loved by HIM...

thank you for this sweet post

Connie

still want our breakfast time soon

Lyric said... Reply to comment

Thank you.

emily said... Reply to comment

Julie,
I'm so glad you left a comment on my blog so that I could find you. This post is so relevant...I can't begin to tell you how much without writing a letter. It is indeed a scary thing to surrender and trust even if nothing changes. But I guess that is what trust is...not trusting that the situation will change, but trusting in the One who knows and holds that situation. To be victorious in the midst of it rather than always think I'll be delivered from it.

Thank you again for your words. They are personal, vulnerable and speak straight to the heart.

Michelle Bentham said... Reply to comment

Julie,

I am going to get your CD in the mail this week. I don't know exactly where the last two weeks have gone but they have seemingly flown by!

This post... Man, it is something I dealt with in that last year of Justin's life. I have come to Isaac moments in many other areas of my life but not like I did with surrendering Justin in that last year of his life. It hurt, it was frightening and it required more internal strength and dependence on the Holy Spirit and my faith in God than I ever believed I would be capable of relying on. But, He was there with me the whole way, and like Abraham - I would not have traded a moment of my journey because I found God to be so faithful - even in the absence of my son. He is so good. Thanks for sharing. Blessings

Sandy said... Reply to comment

Hi Julie - uh .... yes .... laying it down can be so painful, but yet so freeing at the same time.
Beautifully said and encouraging and honest. Thank you!
Happy 4th weekend, a little late!
Sandy

Sarah said... Reply to comment

Hi,
I'm Sarah (from myshadygrove.blogspot.com) Thanks for contacting me. I met you at the homeschool Christmas party...I knew right away you were a kindred spirit when you proudly showed off your new suit. I look forward to getting to know you at co-op. Laying Isaac down--Lord help us to believe that You are who you Say You are...the God who is enough....no matter what.

Laura said... Reply to comment

Hello, precious Jewel! I am most definitely praying for your Hannah. She is so blessed to have a mommy like you and have such a strong desire to serve God. I pray your holiday was special and you were able to enjoy the blessings Papa has given you today!Love you, lady!
Laura

Jenny said... Reply to comment

Good good thoughts, Julie. Thank you!

Melinda said... Reply to comment

Just what I needed to read today...thank you!

And thanks for stopping by my little place in cyber-space!

Blessings,
Melinda

Irritable Mother said... Reply to comment

It's been over a week since you wrote this. I trust you are seeing God's goodness, even in the midst of something which is hard to do.
Yes, we can trust Him, and He does always have our best in mind. Though we may not see it, we can trust.
Thanks for sharing your heart.

Tiffany said... Reply to comment

Thank you for finding my blog. Your words are an encouragement to me! Thanks for sharing. I'll visit here again.

Tiffany Stuart said... Reply to comment

Wow, Julie,

Look at how many hearts you've touched. God is using you. I'm so excited for the plans He has for you. Your obedience is bringing a harvest and I couldn't be happier.

I'm sorry you have an Isaac. I have one too. During different times of my life my Isaac is different, but still an Isaac the same. As we surrender and trust Papa, peace comes. I'm believing for strength for your mountain climb. Step by step, breath by breath, Papa is leading you. Carrying you in times of weakness. Go and watch him provide a ram.

Much love to you, sweet friend.

Tiffany

Superhero Mom said... Reply to comment

I loved your blog today! I have actually read the book by Carol Kent "When I Lay My Issac Down - Unshakeable Faith in Unthinkable Circumstances". I heard her speak for the first time at the "Extraordinary Women's Conference" in Orlando a few months ago. Her story is amazing! I have learned so much by laying down my Issac(s) in my life as well! Powerful!