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In my last post, I talked about a helpful visual tool that my mentor Madie gave me. She talked about releasing future plans just like Moses’ mom had to release him down the river and encouraged me to get with the Lord and release each specific plan I had for my future. This is what my time with Him looked like.


I sat in the backyard of the base, at a spot where the tile of the back porch ended and the lawn began. I imagined that the tile that I was siting on was the river bank, and the grass was the river. I pictured myself at a river in Tajikistan (where I grew up); I watched the freezing mountain water rush past me. I took each option that I had in mind for my future, and put them in a basket, one by one. Then, out loud, as I placed each basket in the river, I would say, “I release this to you, Lord”. As soon as I would place a basket in the river, it would rush down, out of sight. It was alarming how fast they whizzed by. As soon as I had physically released each basket, I questioned if I had truly let it go in my mind and my heart. I stared down the river into the distance, seeing no more baskets and feeling like I was still holding onto something.

That was when the river changed. It suddenly morphed into a slow, lazy creek, much like the ones I would see in Northern California (another place where I grew up). I kept asking the Lord, “are these baskets really gone? Did I actually release them?”. I kept looking off into the distance hoping I see one still drifting down. But they were long gone. 

That was when I heard the Lord tell me to lie down on the banks of the river. This river was a place in my mind, yes, but I also physically laid down on the tiles on the back porch. I laid there, with the sun on my back, warming me, body and soul. I honestly could’ve fallen asleep.

Then the Lord showed me something else. In this image of the river, I got up from my “nap” on the banks. I saw him, standing there in the middle of the stream, he was only knee deep in the water. He invited me in. 

The water was calm and warm. I waded in. 

And then, we just played! Splashing each other with the water, jumping around, laughing, dancing. It was liberating. Half way through, I stopped. The freedom I had just felt was quickly clouded over with doubt about those baskets.

“Lord, what about those baskets? I don’t feel like I really let those go”.

He looked at me, almost in disbelief. 

“They’re gone” He said. “Stop worrying about them and trust me. Isn’t it freeing to know that this is out of your hands? This freedom: it’s all I’ve wanted for you this whole time.”

Then, I understood. We went back to playing, laughing, talking, dancing. Once again, that presence of peace and freedom was so incredibly strong.


That image ended, but the freedom and peace I experienced didn’t. Since then, the Lord has returned some things back to me and some things not so much, but He has also made it so clear that I am supposed to be in a season of rest. I don’t need answers, I don’t need to make any big decisions, all I need to do is rest and walk in that freedom and peace that He has so freely given me. 

What I received from the Lord and what He taught me in that time was all the clarity and direction I needed for now. I am constantly amazed by how he works and instructs us. His ways are definitely higher than our own; far more than I will ever comprehend or understand. I still don’t know what my future holds, but I’ve learned to be okay with that and actually enjoy this season. 

I wanted to share this tool with you, too! SO:

What do you need to release down the river? This could be future plans, but it could also be anything you’re struggling with giving to the Lord: people, frustrations, fears, etc.

 I encourage you to get in a quiet space with the Lord and just RELEASE in whatever capacity that looks like for you. You never know what He will show you or how He’ll work when you take things out of your hands and place them in His.

Thank you for reading this and letting me a share a little part of what I’m learning here in Costa RIca! I appreciate you!



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7 responses to “Baskets (2/2)”

  1. Dear Emma:
    Thank you for sharing the gift of writing that the Lord has given you with us. It was really beautiful, just like you.

  2. dear emma,
    what a truth you have revealed, that if we give it, whatever “it” is, to the Lord we can trust Him to take it and liberate us from it. you have found the key to freedom. You described so plainly, and beautifully.

  3. That’s funny…me too. Now we have two Emma’s floating in baskets 🙂
    Really, love this picture Emma and the tool you left us with as the readers. God has gifted you not simply to write, but to engage with the reader.

  4. Since you are currently writing, you are a writer! It will always be a part of your future. It is a gift that not everyone has been given. It is a blessing for others! Thank you.

  5. SO GOOD, Emma! Sorry it took me so long to read and respond. ( Having trouble again w my computer. ). I really love your writing as well as the insights that you share!

  6. Thank you for the reminder to let go and let God take care of things. His plan is so much better than anything we could come up with.

    Praying for you and all of Squad D.