Letting Go to be Free
“O God, it is hard for me to let go, most times, and the squeeze I exert garbles me and gnarls others. So, loosen my grip a bit on the good times, on the moments of sunlight and star shine and joy, that the thousand graces they scatter as they pass may nurture growth in me rather than turn into brittle memories. – Ted Loder
What if we could trust God like we trust our breath? What if we could take in all the nourishment of the moment and then let it go fully from us- trusting that He’s designed more nourishment to come?
That’s what freedom looks and feels like.
Pay attention to your breath. Notice how it comes and goes. How it both expands and nourishes, and cleanses and takes away. It’s good and it’s reflexive. It moves and grows and is not forced.
Life is like our breath. It fills us with good and essential things; our homes, meaningful relationship, God’s beautiful creation, and impactful work are proof of that. However, the stuff that life delivers is only good for us until we get too attached to them. If we cling and grasp tightly, we forget to trust God, exhale and let go.
Like the breath when it is held too long, the things that nourish us can become toxic.
“For everything that happens in life- there is a season, a right time for everything under heaven; A time to scatter stones, a time to pile them up; a time for a warm embrace, a time for keeping your distance; a time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away.”
- Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 5-6 VOICE
Breathe in and retain your breath. Notice how holding your breath makes you feel. How your mind and body experience a brief panic before you are forced to let it go- only to be refreshed and restored by the next breath that is to come.
Sometimes we must let go so the next thing can come.
Think of a time in your life when this has been true.
Notice how God was faithful to restore, provide and renew- His great gift arriving only after you obediently let go. Say a prayer for thanks for His good work and blessings in your life.
Letting go is a spiritual, emotional, mental and physical process of releasing to God that which we are clinging too tightly to.
When we become too attached to our stuff, our people and/or our image, we are living in deadly territory. In this space, our hearts grow sick with discontentment, our minds overflow with thoughts of “not enough,” and our souls shrink further away from the freedom that calls our name.
Holding on and squeezing tighter doesn’t help solve the problem, change the person, or get the outcome we want. Our tight grips don’t help us. In fact, hanging on often blocks us from getting what we want and need.
This reminds me of the old school method of capturing monkeys where hunters would place small cages with narrow bars throughout the jungle. They’d place a banana inside the cage and wait for a monkey to come along, reach in between the bars, and grab the banana. The monkey would engage in the impossible task of trying to pull the banana through the bars. And, while the monkey was preoccupied with retrieving the banana, the hunters would come along and capture the monkey.
The tragic part of all of this is that the monkeys are free to scurry away as the hunters approach. All they have to do is let go of the banana. Instead, they refuse to release the banana and are taken into captivity.
We are like those monkeys when we hold on to things for too long.
We can be free, but instead, we let our expectations, our attachments and our greed strip away our freedom.
What we hold begins to hold us, and that is tragic.
Is there something you want to let go of today? Think about what it would look and feel like to begin loosening your grip on that thing, that person, or that circumstance.
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” – Matthew 16:24-26
Letting go is the action part of faith. It’s a behavior that gives God permission to send us what we were meant to have, and creates the optimum environment for God’s best for our lives.
Letting go sets us free, connects us to God and starts the wheels in motion for things to work out in the best possible way.
Give God whatever is upsetting you the most today and trust that your obedient act of letting go will free up space for God to restore and replenish you.
“Let me paint you a picture of open-space freedom where trusting Me becomes the new habit- the new heart born again in the woman I created. You are only as strong as you are weak. You are only as fearless and free as you are willing. Willing to not have the answers or the perfect plan. You are only as free as you are willing to surrender.” – Living Inspired
Love is what is left when you let go of all the things you love.