Letting Go of My Lanyard

I cling to things. Stubbornly. My opinions, my rights, my place in line...a silly lanyard name tag.

At the very beginning of the She Speaks conference, as I helped Glynnis prepare the appointment rooms for publishing guests, I noticed her beautiful, sparkly, beaded lanyard name tag. I pointed to it and with a grin asked "What's a girl gotta do to get one of those?" I was truly joking, however, because I knew that only P31 staff members wore those. Everyone else wore the plain black cloth lanyards. Not nearly as pretty, but it didn't matter, and I forgot all about it.

Later that morning, a fellow volunteer approached me. She had presented two publishing guests with their clip-on name tags, and they asked if they could please have lanyard name tags, instead. The lanyards don't mess with your clothes like those heavy-duty clip-ons do.

As she spoke, she lifted her lanyard name tag over her head. "I won't be able to get into the room that has the other lanyards until later this afternoon. So let's just give them ours, okay? We'll switch with them and hopefully later on we can replace the clip-ons with lanyards."

Suddenly my plain black cloth lanyard wasn't so bad. I had just tied a knot in the back of it so it hung exactly right--not all the way to my belly-button, yet not at chest level. Childish stubbornness arose in me. I don't want a crummy, clip-on name tag, either. What if it damages my blouse? I felt surprised by the indignation quickening my breath.

I immediately grabbed hold of myself in a silent reprimand and handed over my lanyard name-tag, accepting the crummy clip-on in it's place. But as I attached it to my blouse, I could feel my bottom lip extruding. Finally some maturity roused itself from the corner of my being. For Pete's sake, Julie, let it go! It's not a big deal. Seriously.

And I listened.

A few minutes later Glynnis and I ran into Wendy, the woman in charge of the lanyards. When we asked her about the spare lanyard name tags, she handed me her hotel room key, explaining I'd find them on a desk near the door. Can you guess what I found there?

Beautiful, sparkly, beaded lanyards. That I got to wear. For the entire conference.

I raced downstairs to return Wendy's key, and found Glynnis standing right next to her. I grabbed hold of my glittering, beaded lanyard and with a grin said "Glynnis, look!"

Glynnis looked at my shiny new lanyard, smiled, and said "All you had to do was give up what you had!"

It was a God moment, and a profound lesson for this sometimes stubborn Jesus girl who is learning to let go.

How about you? Is God asking you to let go of something? Is it easy for you or do you sometimes stubbornly cling like I sometimes do?

Oh Lord, when You are gently coaxing us, help us to relinquish the very thing we're holding tight. Help us to give up what we have simply because You ask. And thank you for delighting us with sweet surprises because You love us. Thank you for giving us the desires of our hearts (even sparkly, beaded lanyards). In Jesus' name, Amen.


Kelly said...

Absolutely, positively love this story. So great, and what a huge lesson for us! Thanks for sharing.

(I loved it from the moment you shared it at lunch at She Speaks, and so glad we got to have lunch. So excited for you as you become a published author.)

Tara Sloan said...

Wow, what a message in your story... And what a revelation God just gave me through your words. Thank you!

Cindy in PA said...

Ah yes. I constantly catch myself thinking I am in control and God consistantly taps my shoulder to get my attention and redirects my understanding in His plan and His being in control. Obviously the answer to your follow-up question is that I have a bit of a stubborn streak in this area. I'm thankful for God's patience with me!

Thanks for sharing your lanyard story. I actually just found out what a lanyard was at my "new" job just a couple months ago. Yet we don't have sparkly and beaded ones. :)

Christina Parker Brown said...

Beautiful truths!

Diane said...

I do get stubborn sometimes too. God is trying to teach me not to become too attached to anything in my life. Good lesson to put him first. :O)

Rachel Beran said...

Love this! Boy, can I relate to it. Yet, so amazing to think that if we will only let go of what we have, God will give us His best...

Bonita said...

Love this, Julie!

Cheryl Barker said...

What a great picture of how God works in our lives so often. His plan and provision for us is always best, isn't it?

Have enjoyed reading tidbits about your experiences at the conference. So glad it was such a blessing!

vcradlebaugh57 said...

Thanks for sharing a touching moment. It was a blessing to read about how awesome God is. Though He is Elohim, there isn't anything too small concerning us that He works for our good. Our God is powerful and personal.

achildoftheking said...

Oddly enough, the Spirit stirs inside me. I'm guilty. However, I can not pinpoint what it is. Please pray for me. =-|

Kimberly said...

Oh! I love this! He is so tender. I love how He speaks.

(And, indeed, I sure do like those sparkly lanyards, too.) :)

A gal who also needs to learn to let things go,
K :)

Josey Bozzo said...

Ok, Julie
How'd you do that? How'd you know to post this? Becuase just last night I was whining to my husband about something I may have to give up and I really don't want to. I say may because I'm still not sure what is going to happen. But I know I'm holding on to a little bit of anger towards God and my husband about it.
And now I'm crying because your post struck a cord with me.
I just don't understand what God is doing right now.
I'm sorry I know this doesn't make much sense, I'm rambling.
Oh and BTW, thanks for the strawberry milk

Jenny said...

Great story! Give up what you have so you can get something better! I love it!

Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

God is so cool when He does that! Thanks for sharing! Love ya gal!

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