“Let go and let God.” Sounds so…unnatural.
Free-falling, trusting, “stepping out on faith”, and and all of a sudden fear rises in our hearts faster than the darkest of nights. “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for me will save it.” Surrender.
When we are going through something really hard, we need a lifeline. We need something to hold onto that gives us hope and a moment to rest. There are so many choices…a buffet of remedies and comforts to choose from. Once when I was young, and life’s rug was pulled out from under me, I chose all the wrong things. It caused hurt and damage that I can’t undo. The next time I was caught up in circumstances I didn’t want and couldn’t control, I knew better. I turned to God and dug in…started reading through God’s promises in the Psalms and exploring the Bible each morning. Somehow the words calmed my fears, and gave me courage to face the day. I didn’t realize the walk I had begun as I read and He taught. I grasped for Hope, He nourished and healed. I surrendered, He restored. Nothing happened in an instant, but rather quietly as that walk has continued. It’s not easy to see the road ahead when we’re in the middle of a storm, but it’s incredibly reassuring to look backwards and see His steady love and patience over time. My aunt called this “a hand-in-hand walk with Jesus”. That’s what it feels like. Not demanding, not demeaning, just slow and patient, growing closer and more intimate over time.
As time went on, He began to urge me to let go of some things I wanted, sure, but more so to give Him access to the spaces I protected. Oh, how strong those fears can be! Ever so gently, He helped me to loosen my grip, and taught me to trust Him more. Sometimes it got confusing, especially as I tried to obey, and things just seem to fall apart even more. It was in that unraveling and surrender that I saw His strength really step in and I finally began to understand the depth of His love for me. My faith started to grow, and with every little layer of surrender I saw more of Him at work in my life. With every hesitant step to trust, every yielding to that quiet voice, He was at work.
The more I yielded to that work, the more fear slipped away. I realized that so many of the things I was holding onto were just to fill emptiness in my heart. I was protecting myself from being hurt again, and those things began to lose the value I had given them. It’s hard to explain, but my own creative solutions were occupying a space in my heart that God was waiting to fill. Once I could finally let go and say, “Ok, God, have it your way”, He started filling that space in a way that I couldn’t myself. It was in that bittersweet surrender, that I really began to live. The hand-in-hand walk continues, and is growing sweeter over time. Each day I discover more about the life God wants each of us to live, free to trust in His steady love and goodness, free to experience what He is waiting to give us.
I included this video for The End of Me written by Jason Gray a few years ago. As this song says, “I found peace like a river to attend my soul, hope running over when I let go, Joy that was hidden for all these years, and love overflowing to wash over everything…here at the end of me.” Sweetness waiting just behind surrender.
Who doesn’t want that peace? Life doesn’t always go as planned. How great that Grace can reach deeper than our own attempts to ease our pain, that Jesus isn’t afraid to climb down into the trenches to rescue us.
“Dear God, Please calm my fears and teach me to trust you with the things I want so badly. Help me to let go of my own solutions so that you can bring me yours.”
“He took away my guilt and reminded me that my life, my future, my journey belongs to Him ” – excerpt from A Future of Hope
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Did you come to know peace after letting go of something you wanted? Will you tell us about it? It’s in that letting go that we are able to really begin to live. Your story can bring hope to someone today.