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Go With the Flow

By Martha Bush Go-with-flow

After much soul searching, my daughter and son-in-law decided it was time for their two little girls to change schools in the fall. So, they sat the girls down for a talk, and as gently as they could, told them their reasons, hoping they would understand they were doing it for their future.

Immediately Hadly, ten-years-old and the drama queen of the family, started crying big crocodile tears, and re-created her famous feet stomping “It’s not fair scene!” The drama continued on into the next day.

Up to this point, Hope, seven-years-old, had not said anything, just watching the shenanigans of her older sister.  Finally, my daughter said, “Hope, what do you think about this change of schools?”  Without looking up from what she was playing with said, “Well, Mom, sometimes in life, you just have to go with the flow.”

Say what??  What does a seven-year-old know about going with the flow?

I've heard that phrase all my life, as I am sure you have, too, but I thought I would look up the meaning of it, just so we will all be on the same page as we talk about it.

Go with the flow defined:

Be relaxed and accept a situation, rather than trying to alter or control it.

(Oxford online dictionary)

Relaxed, accept, don’t alter or control it - ugh!!  I don’t like those words. I admit, I don't readily adapt to life's changes as well as my seven-year-old-granddaughter. My immediate response is more like Hadley: “It’s just not fair!” And then I try to find ways to fix it!

But, Hope’s carefree analogy of her current situation made me realize that she knew she couldn’t fix it; she might as well go ahead and accept it, and trust her parents’ leading.

It brought me back to a teaching on this form of acceptance a few years back as I listened to my pastor’s wife, the late Melba Berkheimer, teach on Acceptance vs. Approval.

See what you think of this analogy and see if it helps you to go with the flow.

There is a big difference between ACCEPTANCE and APPROVAL. We sometimes think that we have to approve something or someone in order to accept the situation, but that is not true. We have to accept a lot of things in life, but we don’t have to approve them.

Think of it like this: If your body gets a transplant of a particular organ and your body accepts the transplant, you have a new life. But if your body rejects it, you don’t have a new life.

So, it is with some situations in our lives; acceptance is what we have to do in order to have a new life. Otherwise, there is a portion of you going this way and another portion going the other way. When things go opposite one another, it produces friction. And that’s exactly what is going on inside - friction and turmoil when we're saying, “I can’t accept it.”

Begin to go the same direction by accepting it, even though you don’t approve it. Sometimes you will even feel like you are a traitor because, after all, the situation is wrong. You are not a traitor. You are just accepting the facts of reality for your peace.

I admit, it took me awhile, but I finally learned how to work my way into the acceptance stage when situations arose in my life that I had no control over. “How did I know when I had reached the acceptance stage?"

1, When I could talk about the situation freely, and it just didn’t sting or tear my insides out like it once did, I knew I had walked through forgiveness. Accepting one another and forgiving one another; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.  (Colossians 3:13 HCSB)

2, When I began to learn who I was in Christ, and He had a plan and purpose for my life, regardless of my situation. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."   (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

3. When I started receiving joy by helping others who were going through trying situations in their life. Out of the comfort God has comforted you, go forth and comfort others. (Paraphrased from 11 Corinthians 1:3-4)

4. When I learned to set boundaries and make adjustments to live with the situation in a healthy way.

5. When I realized that some things in life are seasonal, and in God's perfect timing, He will put things back together again when the season is over.


What about you?  Share in the comments what you feel you can now accept, even though you don't approve of it, and do as Hope said, "Just go with the flow."


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