016withhold [ with-hold]  ; 1. to hold back; restrain 2. to refrain from granting

i’ve been a chronic withhold-er for most of my life.

i only gave what felt safe- and only in the amount that was tolerable to my soul.  all in effort to not be consumed.  or depleted.  or used up.

something in my story had spoken the lie that i was useful to others but not necessarily seen or delighted in for just being me.  and so began the years of resisting.                         and withholding.

i began to dispense bite size portions of me.  my gifts.  my talents.  my heart.  my truest self.  always keeping back and editing for fear of losing myself somehow.

strangely, i was the one feeling more lost and buried by the hours, days and years of withholding.

162 author Frederick Buechner says it better then i…

“The original, shimmering self gets buried so deep that most of us end up hardly living out of it at all. Instead we live out all the other selves, which we are constantly putting on and taking off like coats and hats against the world’s weather”

and i found the trouble in all my dispensing and managing to be- that I was the one living in lack.  my withholding efforts hadn’t left me fuller-but instead empty.

wanting and empty.

worn out and wary of those who might consume or devour me.

so,  what and how to unravel this tangle of strategies?  how on earth do i learn to live with hand open …and to rediscover my truest, “shimmering self” ?

that’s when i heard Him say let go.  let your heart live in reckless trust with ME.  I’ve got you.  and nothing can destroy or consume you.  NOTHING.  so… give yourself away.

okay okay. so basically the choice is mine…hand closed or hand open.  and i know clearly which choice brings the truest Life.  but all i can take is baby steps.

thankfully His mercy sweeps low and He is always ready to meet us in our lack and fear.  and our giving away of “self” is ALWAYS met with a pouring in.  by living open- we can offer generously and not fear being used up.  for there is no scarcity or limits in the Father’s love.  it is free and lavish.  and His glory is endless.  it is beautiful and it is IN US.

it’s the very thing that makes us shimmer.320

And this is the secret: Christ lives in you . This gives you assurance of sharing His glory.  Colossians 1:27

so, we can give and give and give -and it will never run out.

it’s entirely counter-intuitive to my human heart but that doesn’t make it any less true or real.  God’s economy is almost always mind-blowing and beyond what we can wrap our humanity around.  for He withholds nothing from us-His beloved children.

He is the giver of good things and in Him there is plenty.  always abundance…never “not enough”.

and in Him we are always full, no matter how much is given.  for He fills every empty space with Himself…no withholding.

For the lord God is our sun and our shield.  He gives us grace and glory.  The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.                    Psalm 84:11

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4 Responses to withholding

  1. I love this! Beautifully written!

  2. evermorecolor says:

    I so resonate with this. Erecting “wise boundaries” –I would justify–to keep myself from being ALL USED UP. yes yes yes! And ugh. I love what you share as truth here!! Christ in me: never used up, glorious, infinite life and resource.
    Love to read your posts!! Love the shiny in you. Missing you.

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