Today’s topic isn’t going to be a ton of fun, but I’m sure it’s one we’ve all had to deal with before. If you haven’t, you most likely will in the near future. Today I want to tell you a little about letting go, and my experiences.
Sometimes things happen, usually things that are really hard, and you want to stay bitter, stay sad… or even to keep hoping for something that deep inside you know isn’t in God’s plan for you.
Now this sounds pretty vague so far, so I will give you an example. My example.
I lived for nearly 10 years without any huge issues in life. In fact, I guess I could say I still haven’t had any HUGE issues- compared to a lot of people. But when I turned 10, someone came into my life. Not someone I had a crush on- or really liked…someone my sister started dating. This person ended up living with us for about a year…and he began to seem like an older brother to me. Keep in mind, I was only 10 or 11 at this time… I didn’t see anything wrong with this… I’d only ever had older sisters, but now I had more. I loved this guy as if he was an older brother. I loved him so much that-in my eyes- life was perfect…I didn’t realize I still needed God.
Time went on, and my sister realized the relationship wasn’t going to work, so they broke up. And in a single instant, he was gone- as in thousands of miles away gone…
I thought I had lost a sibling…in a way, I almost had… I didn’t know if I’d ever see him again in my life. And I didn’t want that. Nearly every morning I cried and cried, wondering why he had to leave. I would tell people I missed him- and they’d say “oh, me too”, but they never knew how much I missed him… I was bitter, so bitter. I wasn’t the happy girl I’d always been. My dad noticed, and he would try and talk to me every now and then, but I didn’t want to tell him. It got so bad that whenever I’d hear someone talk about this guy (we’ll call him S.E) or when I’d see a picture of him- I had to leave the room. I’d lost a family member. And there was a hole inside. I thought that the only way for that hole to be filled, was for him to come back- but really, God was the only thing that could fill that hole.
Yes, S.E moved away, but he was never really gone… He was still the main thing on my mind. He was still the main thing taking up my time… I had never opened my hand. I’d never let him go. I finally decided the only way to not be sad about it, was to be angry at him. And to try and forget him. I even put everything from around my room that had to do with him or his family in a bag, and threw it in the top of my closet. For a while, things were okay. It seemed better. But then I started desperately wanting an older brother. It was a terribly selfish desire, but I wanted one so bad that it became a daily routine to think about it. I’d let the skin heal over the first wound (losing S.E), but I’d never cleaned it. And the “infection” began showing in other ways(wanting an older brother). Some days were alright, others it was nearly unbearable. I prayed that God would somehow give me an older brother, but I knew he wouldn’t… I just didn’t want to admit that to myself.
After a while of figuring how to deal with it, I tried to move on. I prayed that God would use me. I told him that I was ready, I was ready for anything he would throw my way. Yet he knew I wasn’t. I was telling him I could move on, asking him to help me move on, but I didn’t want to let go of S.E, that very first person that hurt me. I found a quote recently, and it says: You can never cross the ocean, unless you have the courage to lost sight of the shore.
I had told God I was ready to cross the ocean, but I wouldn’t look away from the shore. It was like I was holding a rope, and I’d reached the end of it, yet I said to God, “oh yeah, I will move forward now”, but I wasn’t willing to let go of the rope, so I couldn’t move any farther forward.
Then I finally opened my ears to what God had been trying to tell me for two years- it was time. And to really let me know this, he had S.E in touch with my sister again. It brought back a tinge of hope inside of me, that he would come back… but then he was gone again..and I knew it was probably for the last time…. however, I wasn’t going to go through the same feelings that had torn my life apart before- so I said, “Ok, God. I’m ready… help me let go.”
And it hurt…it was hard to let go. But once I did (my way of doing this was to write letters to the person, although I didn’t send them, I just needed to get it out of my head) I felt so much better! And my wanting of a brother almost completely went away, as God began to reveal to me how many brothers in Christ I already have! Yes, I still feel a bit of wanting sometimes. Or a bit of sadness that I don’t have that brother I used to, or the one I wanted…but I know that without all of this happening to me, I wouldn’t be who God has made me, and is still making me…so I wouldn’t change any of it. God helped me to let go…to give HIM the rope, and let HIM deal with the shore… so that he could do with it what he wanted, and it was no longer my problem.
Now that was a long story, I know…but I hope you got the point. Yes, this was my story, and no, it wasn’t easy to let go. But God helped me to do it, so that with his help, I really can move forward now. You probably haven’t gone through my exact situation, but I bet you’ve felt similar before. Whether it’s anger towards someone that God is calling you to let go of, or if you want something or someone that you know you need to give to God…or maybe someone is on your mind…Just give it to Jesus. Let HIM deal with it! He’ll gladly take your burdens, your thoughts, and your hardships… And when you can let go of the past, he’ll help you to move into the future. When you can let go of what is in your hand, you can grab God’s hand instead. My heart is now filled with God… by letting go of the bitterness and anger I felt, I let more room in my heart open for God to come in.
It was hard for me to let go, because I had started to convince myself that that was who I was. I thought it was something people could feel back for me about, wanting a brother, losing someone so close to me…but I’m SO glad God opened my eyes on that…because I started meeting people in my life that were so happy in Jesus, and weren’t bitter as I had been..and God helped me want to be like them. And I don’t want anyone to feel bad for me now…because I’m glad God brought me through that, so that hopefully now I can understand more of what others are going through.
Now instead of just talking about me, I want to share some verses and quotes with you, so that you can see what God is telling you to do, and to maybe save you some of the pain that I went through.
When we’re constantly thinking about something we want, or crying about something of the past, we have no rest. God will give you rest, if you’ll hand him your burdens. God is the one ‘person’ that will ALWAYS listen to what you have to say, and ALWAYS take the burdens and scars you give him. He will give you rest, if you will give him your stress. Whatever it is you may be holding on to, no matter how big or small, no matter what shape or kind… give it to God. I skipped this step altogether..and I had no rest… So Trust God…and trust that he will give you rest.
- “It hurts to let go, but sometimes it hurts more to hold on.”
Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry.
Getting Past It
It can often be SO hard to let go of what we’ve felt and kept for so long. Whether it’s longing, hope, bitterness, revenge, or something different. But we MUST get past it, and in the right way. The option I went for with getting past it, was trying to just be angry. And then forgetting. I didn’t ever resolve it, I just tried to move on without letting go…and that hurt worse than if I would have just let go. God is doing a NEW thing in you, he wants you to be able to move on..and you must let go to move on…
- “Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” – C.S. Lewis.
Isaiah 43:18-19 “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
After you’ve gotten past it in the right way, keep looking forward. You’ll have things that come up that remind you of that pain, or anger, but you must continue forward on the right path. Don’t move to the right or left, just keep moving forward into what God is using you for now.
- “Let go of the past so that God can open the door to your future.”
Proverbs 4:25-27 Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.
Not Looking Back!
Just another stress on moving forward. You have to strive more to reach a goal, instead of dwelling on the past ones you didn’t reach. If you are in a race, and you stumble during the first 30 feet- if you want to win, are you going to be constantly thinking about that mistake, and be looking back? No, you have to concentrate on what is BEFORE you to win the race, and let go of the mistakes you’ve made. Now if you’re reminded of whatever hardship you’ve had come up, it’s not a sin to pray and ask God to continue to heal your wound…but don’t dwell on the past.
- “To heal your wound you need to stop touching it.”
Luke 9:62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Giving it to God
Yes, you must give it to God in “step one”, but you need to go even farther. Give your WHOLE LIFE to God, so that he can keep the same things from happening. When your mind is set on God and his word, instead of selfish needs, anger, sadness, and such, you will be SO much happier!
- “Let God have your life; He can do more with it than you can.” Dwight L. Moody
Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things
Reaching For What’s Ahead
When you let go, God will bring you so much more. He will not only provide you with the happiness you didn’t have, but he will be able to continue revealing his plans for your life and the impact he wants you to have on others. When you can let go of one chapter in your life, he’ll bring you the next chapter. And when you’re reading a book, you don’t just want to stay in one chapter the whole time! God is already bringing me a new chapter to my life!
- “When you finally let go something better comes along.”
Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.
There are also ways to turn your sadness you may feel into the opposite when you’re reminded of it! For example, sometimes I’ll see my friends having fun with their older brothers, or see a picture of S.E doing something with his younger siblings. Sometimes it still hurts pretty bad…but I’ve turned that sadness around so that when I’m reminded of wanting an older brother, I can be reminded to pray for my future brother-in-laws, and be thankful for the amazing siblings I have! Or when I see a picture of S.E, I can just pray for him, and that God would continue to protect him and use him the the lives of others. That’s my way to keep from becoming bitter.
You may know someone that you really loved, but realized it wasn’t a love that God wanted you to have. So you had to let go…and sometimes when you see them, and feel that pain again, you can try to pray that God will keep working in their life and bring someone to them that’s right for them…even though it’s hard to do that.
I hope this post helped you to think about whatever you may be going through right now. And if this doesn’t seem to apply to your current situation, just be reminded to give all of your cares to God, because he cares for you. He’ll always be there. And he’ll always give you rest, help you to move forward, and help you let go.
I don’t usually do this, but I’m going to write out my prayer for anyone reading this:
I thank you for what you are doing in each and everyone of these girls’ lives. I pray that whatever they may be going through right now, that you would heal their scars. That you would take their burdens like you’ve taken mine. That you would lift the weight off of their shoulders and give them the strength that only you provide. I pray that you would comfort them through whatever their going through, and help them to know that they are NOT alone. Help them to turn to you in every situation, and help them to let go of earthly things, so they can look to you instead.
In your precious name I pray,
Thanks so much for reading this post, and have a wonderful day! I’d love to hear what you thought of it in the comments! And please don’t be scared to ask for prayer on whatever you may be going through or trying to let go of. I would LOVE to talk to you, whether through our Contact Page, or just in comments! I love you all so much, and I pray that each one of you will be able to get something out of this post and turn to God for help ALWAYS! Thanks again for reading!