Letting Go…and the God Box

Winter in the Northeast

Winter in the Northeast

The holidays are over and boy, it’s chilly and cold here in the Northeast. I’m trying to get back in the game of Life by settling into a somewhat regular routine. Eating more normally (getting out of that holiday cookie habit is tough!), trying to sleep well, trying to take care of myself.

The holidays don’t take away problems but they do seem to temporarily disappear during that time, don’t they? Or maybe we’re just too busy to care much about them.

When I settled back into my routines, I don’t know if it was tiredness or a bit of winter depression, but a few issues loomed in the background. I began to focus on them, picking them apart, festering and making myself a bit miserable over them.

I tried reading inspirational books and that helped a bit, but it wasn’t really banishing my dark cloud. In a moment of radical desperation, I decided to try an idea I’ve heard from my friends in recovery and from my favorite author, Anne Lamott. I decided to try a God Box.

My God Box

My God Box

At first, I thought I’d try and make myself one. I envisioned finding a small box, making it pretty, then cutting a slot in the top. Then I remembered a heart shaped gift box that my friend, Jeannine had bought me with pretty earrings inside. I wrote a couple of problems, each on its own piece of paper, each summed up in just a few words. I said a prayer, folded up the problems and slipped them into the box.

One issue was solved within a week. I was greatly relieved and very grateful. The other issues are more challenging; God really has his work cut out for himself with those. I know he’s up to the task though and I’m striving to put them in his hands. Letting Go is really the hardest part.

Here’s a great reading I found inside of “Help Thanks Wow”, Anne Lamott’s new prayer book, that hit the nail on the head for me this week: “Even though I often remember my pastor saying that God always makes a way out of no way, periodically something awful happens, and I think that this time God has met Her match- a child dies, or a young father is paralyzed. Nothing can possibly make things okay again. People and grace surround the critically injured person or the family. Time passes. It’s beyond bad. It’s actually a nightmare. But people don’t bolt, and at some point the first shoot of grass breaks through the sidewalk”.

My friend Larry’s funeral was Thursday. I wrote about him in my last blog post. Since his passing, everything else feels insignificant. Life is short and we must remember how special and important each day is. Though we miss Larry and the situation is awful, I know one day we will be walking along and there will be a blade of grass coming up through a crack in the sidewalk. Thank you Anne, for reminding me of this.

There is no problem so big or so small that Faith cannot fix it. If we but get out of the way and Let Go, things will work out.

What are your tools for dealing with problems or issues? What works for you?

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14 thoughts on “Letting Go…and the God Box

  1. totallyimperfect

    Thanks for the beautifil post. It’s a great way to start Saturday! I used to feel like I had to be in control of everything or I wasn’t doing my job as a mom. Working on myself in recovery, my experience has made me aware that God does a much better job than I of handling problems. Why would the creator of the universe need my help??? So now I pray a lot more. I give it all to Him. Most of the time. And when I catch myself taking something back, I pray more!

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  2. Kathy Brittner

    Hi Jo. This is the second time this year that I have read about a “God Box”. I think that is my sign that I need to start my own. I think I will start a mine with a thank you note!
    God bless you! -Kathy

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  3. cindy

    I love your God box!! Heartfelt worries put in a heart and given to God! So meaningful & symbolic!! I have given special gifts in this very same heart shaped gift box, but I’ve never thought to use one of my own as you did….from one heart, to another heart and right to God’s heart…what a perfect place to put our worries!! Those little heart boxes are special.

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  4. Gallivanta

    I think a God Box is a great idea. There used to be a place in our former Cathedral where you could pin your prayer or concerns. I am no longer sure but I think the papers were collected and given to prayer groups who would pray about your concerns/worries. That was a type of letting go which I enjoyed.

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  5. Cathy McElhaney

    My chiropractor has a prayer board in the waiting area of his office. I really like the God box idea. I have a notebook I write my concerns in and ask for Gods help in solving them. I think many of us have a problem LEAVING our problems in Gods hands. I know I do…Great post Joanne!

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  6. rkb665

    I read somewhere years ago about a similar concept, but it was a pottery bowl that you burnt the prayer/ worry/ intention strips of paper in. It allowed you to let them go into the universe where you couldn’t snatch them back and fuss with them.

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  7. Marianne

    Hi, Joanne,

    So much insight here. I often wondered what it meant to get out of my own way, when it came to me about a month ago…stop thinking negatively about something, stop saying things with doubt, etc. If I want something ‘fixed’ then I have to see it fixed, I have to feel it fixed, I have to say things that are in line with it fixed.

    Yes, I understand about nurturing problems or a thought that shouldn’t be a thought within us. A thought will come, and we have the choice to scatter it, to let it dissipate as quickly as it came. But sometimes we tend to compact it into a nice package by brooding over it. I grows and then it’s a lot harder to get it to leave.
    I’m learning to dispel or scatter quickly and replace.

    The God box idea is a good one. Your box is very pretty.

    May your day be worry free,
    Marianne xo

    Reply
    1. KatherinesDaughter

      Marianne, I love your words. I think it is very true about seeing things as “fixed” and to try and banish negative thought. Some days I am better at it than others. I am trying to live with intention; to manifest the things that are positive in my life. Thank you so much for stopping by! xo Joanne

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