Letting go is easier said than done for me. I’ve had to let go of a lot of things I was grasping too tightly, and every time, it has been a struggle. Most times, I feel like God has had to pry my fingers off of a situation that I couldn’t stop worrying about, thinking about, obsessing over, and trying to fix.
— I had to let go of my children as they grew up and needed, wanted, and deserved their independence.
— I had to let go of my Daddy when he was dying. If love could have healed him, he would never have died.
— I had to let go of a marriage I couldn’t save. Try as I did, I couldn’t salvage it.
— I had to let go of fixing (also known as CONTROLLING) other people’s lives. This one nearly killed me — it just can’t be done.
There is also another kind of letting go — letting go of people who want to walk away from you.
Sometimes you are the letting go-ER and sometimes you’re the letting go-EE.
There are people who are no longer an integral and active part of my life anymore — either because they made a concerted effort to leave, or because life simply took us in different directions, or because other things in their lives became more important and I was no longer on their list of priorities. Whether it was intentional or not, their absence left a hole, and I had no choice but to let them walk away.
Letting go doesn’t mean I no longer care.
It means I’m accepting what I can’t change.
Looking back, I can see how most everything I let go of brought peace in the end. I see now that God was trying to separate me from impossible situations where things weren’t going to get better — even with the death of my Daddy. It’s when I accepted what I couldn’t change that I found healing.
Dear friends suggested I memorize the long form of the Serenity Prayer, and in the darkest times of my life when I hurt so badly I couldn’t think of what to pray, I would say this prayer and it brought me great comfort — and it still does. Most of us have heard the first verse, but the rest of it is every bit as powerful.
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
Relationships and friendships end for a reason, even if we can’t see why at the time. It takes a tremendous amount of faith to trust that God will make ALL things right if I surrender to HIS will — not mine, and to accept this sometimes painful world as it is, not how I would make it if I had ANY control over it.
When someone leaves your life, it helps to trust what 1 John 2:19 says,
They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
It’s okay, even healthy, for people to go their separate ways! Of the people who have walked away from me, even though it hurt and I needed time to grieve the loss, I can now look back and see why it happened. Either the relationship was unhealthy and full of chaos and needed to go away, or things had changed so much that we no longer had anything in common anyway. Sometimes we just need to trust that things happen for the best!
If you’re struggling with letting go of some person, place or thing that is leaving you hurting you and causing you to lose peace, contentment and serenity in your life, I’ll leave you with a few lines from my favorite TD Jakes quote. I couldn’t say it better than this!
There are people who can walk away from you.
And hear me when I tell you this! When people can walk
Away from you: let them walk.
I don’t want you to try to talk another person into staying with you,
Loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to see you,
Staying attached to you.
I mean hang up the phone.
When people can walk away from you let them walk.
Your destiny is never tied to anybody that left.
People leave you because they are not joined to you.
And if they are not joined to you, you can’t make them stay.
Let them go.
And it doesn’t mean that they are a bad person it just means
That their part in the story is over. And you’ve got
To know when people’s part in your story is over so that you
Don’t keep trying to raise the dead.
You’ve got to know when it’s dead.
You’ve got to know when it’s over. Let me tell you something.
I’ve got the gift of good-bye. It’s the tenth spiritual gift,
I believe in good-bye. It’s not that I’m hateful,
it’s that I’m faithful, and I know whatever God
Means for me to have He’ll give it to me.
And if it takes too much sweat I don’t need it.
Stop begging people to stay.
If you care to watch him preach this on YouTube — and it’s a good one! — Click here:
There is FREEDOM in letting go of what we can’t change! Acceptance is the answer to all our problems today!