Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.
The Freedom of Dying to Oneself
by Jennifer Slattery
When my daughter was young she and I spent hours at the park, running through the grass in search of “blow flowers.” At first, she was drawn to the dandelions, but after picking a few, she tired of their stately petals. Seeded dandelions, on the other hand, offered hours of entertainment. Smiling at me, she’d bring the soft tufts to her lips, laughing as they tickled her nose, before letting loose with a chest-caving blow. Then, she’d hurl the stem behind her and chase after the seeds with squeals and giggles.
Often as I sit in God’s presence, I’m reminded of those days and those carefree seeds drifting on the wind. How I long to be like those weightless tufts, so in-tune to my Heavenly Father that I drift effortlessly on His will. Many times I’ve repeated the words Jesus spoke in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Not my will, but Thine be done.”
But all too often I resemble the bright, cheery dandelion that stands tall on its stalk, roots clinging to the soil. “Look at me!” it calls, as it sways in the breeze. It’s proud of its beauty and strength, but the dandelion must die in order for its seeds to take flight. The petals, which once clung securely to the stalk need to let go, allowing the steady flow of the wind to carry them where so ever it will.
The same is true of us. In order to fly, we must first die. To our dreams, our ambitions, our will. But like that carefree seedling drifting on the wind; that is where we find abundant life.
We know this intellectually, so why do we cling so tightly to the stalk, begging God to do things our way and in our timing?
Perhaps because we don’t truly understand the love of God. He who emptied Himself for us, He who allowed men to stretch His arms upon the cross, He who created our inmost being and numbers the hairs on our head says, “Let go. Let me carry you like that weightless seed drifting on the wind.”
But He won’t rip us from the soil. To be carried, we must first let go.
“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit” (John 3:8 NIV).
Abandoned by her husband for another woman, Tammy Kuhn, an organ procurement coordinator often finds herself in tense and bitter moments. After an altercation with a doctor, she is fighting to keep her job and her sanity when one late night she encounters her old flame Nick. She walks right into his moment of facing an unthinkable tragedy. Because they both have learned to find eternal purposes in every event and encounter, it doesn’t take long to discover that their lives are intertwined but the ICU is no place for romance….or is it? Could this be where life begins again?